McClintock, Ose face off |

McClintock, Ose face off

ROCKLIN – Congressional candidates Doug Ose and Tom McClintock stood toe-to-toe here tonight, trying to persuade a crowd of 500 Republicans which man is more conservative and better able to represent a district neither has ever called home.

The first debate between the two candidates, hosted by the Lincoln Club of Placer County at the Sunset Center, often turned passionate and personal.

Ose repeatedly charged that McClintock, who represents a Southern California district as a state senator, has no meaningful connection to the area and pointed out that his opponent has not registered to vote in the district.

“As a career Southern California politician, he has voted repeatedly against the priorities of Northern California,” said Ose.

McClintock defended his decision to accept per diem money to live in Elk Grove while representing District 19, which includes parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

“I make no apologies for accepting the same per diem that every other lawmaker gets so my family could stay with me while I was in Sacramento,” he said.

McClintock went on to say, to rousing applause, “I think voters care more about where candidates stand on the issues than where he lives.”

Both Ose and McClintock vowed to buy homes in the district if elected. McClintock said he would move to Rocklin, while Ose said he would be house-hunting today along Highway 49 north of Auburn.

The rest of the debate centered around the conservative credential of Ose, whom McClintock repeatedly labeled a “liberal Republican.” McClintock cast the primary race as a battle between the liberal and conservative wings “for the heart and soul of the party.”

McClintock characterized Ose as a free spender who has received poor ratings from conservative groups on topics such as abortion, gun control, immigration and congressional earmarks.

Ose said he supports a one-year moratorium on earmarks. He also claimed his legislation waived the need for environmental permits that had stopped progress on building a fence along the border with Mexico.

Ose also said he voted for partial-birth abortion ban, but he does not support barring rape victims or women whose health is endangered from getting abortions.

Ose, 52, and McClintock, 51, are vying for the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District; state law does not require them to reside in the district.

Other candidates include Republicans Ted Terbolizard and Suzanne Jones – debate organizers said they expected future GOP face-offs to include them – and Democrats Charlie Brown, John Wolfgram and Mike Harrington.

Trading labels

Wednesday night’s debate was the latest round in the bout between two Republican heavyweights.

Ose has characterized McClintock, whose legal residence is in Southern California, as a “carpetbagger” in television ads and mailers. A wealthy developer who lives in Sacramento, Ose recently rented a guest house in Granite Bay, in District 4.

McClintock responded with a flier found in mailboxes Wednesday that accused Ose of having a “liberal” voting record. The McClintock campaign also issued a press release Wednesday calling on Ose to release his tax returns for the last five years.

“Mr. Ose is a millionaire,” the press release said. “Voters have the right to judge for themselves which candidate best relates to them.”

Ose has charged it’s McClintock who is out of touch with district voters by tagging the him as a “carpetbagger.”

The candidates are seeking to replace incumbent Rep. John T. Doolittle, a Republican from Roseville who is not seeking re-election after representing the district since 1991. The FBI has been investigating Doolittle’s links to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff for nearly three years, though no charges have been filed.

Ose had donated to Doolittle’s legal defense fund, and Doolittle staff members were reported to be at meetings with area Republicans when Ose’s candidacy was being discussed prior to his official announcement.

The Democratic and Republican congressional primaries are June 3.

Doug Ose

– Born: June 27, 1955, in Sacramento

– Background: U.S. congressman from Jan. 3, 1999, to Jan. 3, 2005 (did not seek re-election in 2004), for a total of three terms. Owns a real estate business.

Tom McClintock

– Born: July 10, 1956, in White Plains, N.Y.

– Background: Represents District 19 in Southern California in state Senate. Served in Assembly from 1982 to 1992 and 1996 to 2000. Made unsuccessful runs for lieutenant governor (2006), governor (2003), state controller (1994 and 2002), and U.S. House (1992).

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