Editorial: Charlie Brown for Congress | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Editorial: Charlie Brown for Congress

Tahoe Daily Tribune

In astonishment we have watched the political and ethical implosion of Congressman John Doolittle and his failure to take personal responsibilities for his actions. His entanglements have been meticulously reported in this newspaper and among the nation’s most distinguished press from coast to coast.

We know the record. We know the investigations. We know the back-biting vindictiveness, the brutal and mean-spirited side of Fourth District Congressman John Doolittle as demonstrated in a selectively televised Oct. 11 debate. We know it all too well. We’ve tolerated his personal attacks on the First Amendment for years. But leave it to Mr. Doolittle, a fortunate son with three draft deferments and no military service, to slam his opponent Charlie Brown, a decorated veteran of two wars. Accusing the retired Air Force Lt. Colonel of not looking out for the safety of our country speaks volumes of his character.

Yes, it has been amazing to watch the political, ethical and intellectual implosion of John Doolittle.

We are endorsing Charlie Brown for the following reasons:

n Duty, honor and country: This is the oath Charlie Brown took when he joined the military over 35 years ago. It is an oath that has guided his life of public service, and the high standards of integrity and accountability with which he approaches common problems. He assures us he is still bound by this oath, and the Air Force Honor Code: “I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do.”

n Charlie Brown is not John Doolittle: Though Charlie Brown doesn’t have political leadership experience and has not held public office, we trust that he will not be beholden to political partisanship, lobbyists, or special interests as has always been the case with Mr. Doolittle. We believe Brown when he told us that he will be Tahoe’s advocate in Washington. He has made it a point to meet with a diverse group of Tahoe seniors, veterans, business owners and middle-income wage earners over the past eight months. We don’t believe that being elected will turn him into something he’s not.

n A lifetime of service to country: Charlie Brown received a Congressional appointment to the U. S. Air Force Academy, graduating in 1972, and served for 26 years before his retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Brown is a Vietnam war veteran. He served as a rescue helicopter pilot participating in the evacuations of Phnom Phen, and the Mayaguez incident and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He flew reconnaissance missions in support of military operations across the world in Libya, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, and numerous other points around the world. He has extensive experience with satellites and other intelligence collection assets.

As coordinator of surveillance missions over Iraq’s “No Fly Zones” during the 1990s, Brown sat in on general’s briefings every day, and knew WMD claims were false. Accordingly, Brown spoke out early and often against Iraq War intelligence that it was only lately that the White House has acknowledged was incorrect.

n A man of values: Brown’s wife, Jan, is also a veteran of the Air Force. They have been married for 33 years and have two children. Their son, Jeff, is an Air Force pilot who has served three rotations in Iraq. Their daughter, Stacey, recently graduated from the University of California at Irvine. The Brown family has lived in Roseville for 14 years.

Brown is a leader who shares our values. He is a proven leader who understands how to defeat our enemies abroad and represent our values at home. He’s just what we need in these dangerous, uncertain times.

So it should go without saying that despite Doolittle’s spineless rhetoric that Brown somehow is a “flim-flam man” liberal extremist, it should be duly noted that Brown believes as we do that the government’s first priority is the safety of its citizens and the security of its borders.

Brown has dedicated his life to defending our country, and we can count on him to put our security first in Congress. By contrast, John Doolittle has denied our troops the tools they need to win the war on terror, and has accumulated a poor voting record on veterans’ issues in the 109th Congress. He’s voted raises and more perks for himself and “no bid” earmarks for himself, while voting against increasing VA healthcare funding, against raises for combat forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, against providing healthcare for Guardsman and reservists – among other things.

In the five years since 9/11, little has been done to secure our borders and our ports. And, the most worrisome part about the tragic response to Hurricane Katrina was that it occurred four years after 9/11. Brown knows that America can no longer trust its security to those who have proven themselves unwilling or unable to lead us through dangerous times.

Despite the glib picture Mr. Doolittle likes to paint out of desperation, this Congressional race is not between liberals and conservatives. In fact, politics isn’t really what’s at stake. This election is about right vs. wrong, abuse of power, leading with integrity, protecting the earth, protecting the country and living within our means. For that Charlie Brown has our vote on Nov. 7.


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