Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Party Fratricide

Think the Democrats are facing intraparty divisiveness because Sen. Clinton won't drop out? Well, the GOP is facing some of the same, if the primary campaign for California's 4th Congressional District is any indication. The seat became open when the incumbent (John Doolittle) announced his retirement amidst an FBI investigation. The two GOP candidates, Tom McClintock and Doug Ose have been going for each other's throat almost since Doolittle's announcement. From today's Los Angeles Times.

The whiff of political fratricide has added heat to a GOP primary campaign already defined by personal attacks in political ads and mailers, with McClintock accusing Ose of being a free-spending "Washington, D.C., liberal" and Ose dismissing McClintock as a carpetbagging "L.A. politician."

The political rhetoric also underscores how that even in Northern California's 4th Congressional District, one of the most conservative in the state, Republicans are campaigning to clean up their own party as much as anything else. ...

Ose, a wealthy real estate developer who represented the neighboring Sacramento district from 1999 to 2006, has used close to $1.5 million of his own fortune to flood the airwaves and mailboxes with ads deriding McClintock as a hypocrite for collecting a government paycheck for two decades while he preached against the ills of big government.

"For 22 years, Tom McClintock has been representing Los Angeles in the Legislature, but now terms limits are forcing him out, so he's shopping for a new job," one of Ose's more cheeky television ads says.

Ose also is quick to remind voters that McClintock is registered to vote in Thousand Oaks -- though he lives in Elk Grove, near Sacramento -- and can't even cast a ballot for himself in the primary. ...

McClintock also points out that Ose lives outside the 4th Congressional District-- he recently rented a room inside the lines -- and has fired at Ose for accepting $600,000 in federal subsidies to his family's farming interests.

Ose has returned the favor by blasting McClintock for "ripping off taxpayers" by accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax-free per diem payments from the state, as reported by The Times in March.

The $170-a-day payments are meant to help lawmakers pay their additional living expenses while attending eight-month legislative session far from their homes. But McClintock and his family live year-round in a home just 14 miles from the Capitol.

What is so ironic about this GOP battle is that both McClintock and Ose are far-right conservatives and take identical stances on abortion, immigration, and government spending (unless the government is spending money on them or their friends).

In the mean time, lurking in the background, the Democratic candidate, Charley Brown, waits for the outcome of the GOP primary race (coming up in June). Hopefully he's taking plenty of notes so that when the campaign starts in earnest he can use some of the charges and counter-chargers against the GOP winner. He's got an uphill fight because of the conservative tilt in the district: 47% are registered Republican, 31% Democrat. Still, the Republican candidates are doing everything they can to destroy each other, and Brown almost beat Doolittle the last go-round. This might be a fun race to watch.

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Blogger Litzz11@yahoo.com said...

"For 22 years, Tom McClintock has been representing Los Angeles in the Legislature, but now terms limits are forcing him out, so he's shopping for a new job," one of Ose's more cheeky television ads says.

Wait a minute. Ose is criticizing McClintock for taking a government paycheck because he served in the legislature?? And what is McClintock doing but running for Congress?

So I assume this means he will be doing the job for free??

Dang, wingnuts stopped making sense a long, long time ago.

4:08 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Nah, SoBeale, Ose is complaining that McClintock is a carpetbagger. McClintock was in the state legislature representing a Southern California area. When Doolittle announced his retirement, McClintock decided to run for Congress in this Northern California district.

McClintock's legal residence is still in SoCal, so he won't even be able to vote in the Primary in which he's running.

7:24 AM  

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