Democrat Brown declares run against Doolittle for 4th District as crowd cheers
GRASS VALLEY — Charlie Brown doesn’t know where he stands in the polls in his race to unseat nine-term incumbent Congressman John Doolittle (R-Roseville), but he’s not too worried.
“I haven’t taken one,” said the Democratic candidate, who landed at the Nevada County Airport Friday for the kickoff of his 4th District race and spoke to a crowd that repeatedly cheered him.
“This isn’t about polls,” Brown said. “It’s about doing the right things.”
The retired Air Force lieutenant colonel from Roseville outlined his views on those things, including the war in Iraq, immigration reform, balancing the federal budget, reproductive choice and energy.
“As a retired Air Force officer who once coordinated intelligence flights over Iraq, I stated this war was a strategic mistake from the very start,” Brown said. “We’ve toppled a dictator, but the vacuum has unleashed centuries-old sectarian rivalries.”
Keeping America safe “means fighting the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. It does not mean getting involved in a civil war in another country.”
The former Vietnam War helicopter pilot said he also sees too many parallels between that war and the current one when it comes to government contracts. Brown said he had two friends die during Vietnam, allegedly because of defective helicopter parts sold to the military.
“They got rich and my friends died, and it’s still happening today,” Brown said. “Congress needs to stand up and do something about it.”
The candidate said he was told by many people to not talk about immigration reform because it was too controversial, but he decided to anyway.
“Reform starts with secure borders,” Brown said. “Next, we must deal with the companies that hire illegal immigrants and give local police the resources they need to deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes.”
Balancing the national budget is paramount, Brown said.
“We’re mortgaging our country’s future and out children’s future,” he said.
Keeping government out of personal business and reproductive choice are also important, Brown said.
“I most certainly don’t want the government telling my wife and daughter what to do with their bodies,” he said.
The candidate also said he wants the United States to become energy independent.
“As we saw on 9/11 and again after Hurricane Katrina, instability in the world oil market is a very real threat to America’s economy, as well as our security,” Brown said.
Brown applauded Nevada County for voting for him over Doolittle last November and bringing him within 9,000 votes of victory.
“We did well here because we got out and talked to the people,” Brown said. “This is about coming together.”
Doolittle, who declared as recently as Friday his intention to seek another term, will be facing opposition from within his own party in next year’s primary. Air Force reservist Eric Egland and Auburn City Councilman Mike Holmes have announced they will run against the embattled Republican. Assemblyman Ted Gaines is also considering a run for the seat.