Who says an Oller-less race isnt going to be fun?
What promised to be a full-contact June 3 Republican primary election for the District 4 congressional seat pretty much lost a main antagonist when Rico Oller dropped out of the race.Oller, a veteran of several contests for the California Legislature, is known for taking shots at anyone, be they Republicans or Democrats. In 1996 he mercilessly ran over present Placer County supervisor Kirk Uhler, then a twenty-something Placer supe and Assembly candidate. If memory serves me correctly, Oller sent out a mailer pillorying Uhler for some youthful indiscretion or another. Oller, who hails from Amador County, beat out Uhler and former Big Leaguer Steve Sax for the seat.Fast forward to this January when Rep. John Doolittle, the long-standing District 4 representative and Oller cohort, announced his resignation. After a scrum of Republicans thrashed about, it was Oller who came up clutching Doolittles bouquet even though former Sacramento-area Congressman Doug Ose had announced his candidacy.For those who marvel at the depths politicians Democrats and Republicans will stoop to attain office, this particular Republican lineup promised some good eye poking.Alas, Oller bailed when state Sen. Tom McClintock decided to run for Doolittles seat. Thats left Ose and McClintock to fight it out. But until recently, its been pretty quiet.At this point it appears as though McClintock either doesnt have his heart in the fight or hes pulling a Rope-a-Dope. Thats because Ose is starting to launch some pretty fun depending if you are watching or receiving haymakers powered by a $500,000 media campaign.First, Ose parked a U-Haul near McClintocks campaign announcement in Auburn that, according to the Associated Press, carried a banner portraying McClintock as a bird with a cardboard cone for a nose.Termed-out Tom feathering his nest again! All the way from LA, reported the AP. Can one intimate carpet bagger any more directly? And while Ose has moved into District 4 in order to vote for himself, he left out the fact that neither the Constitution nor state law requires that candidates for Congress live in the district they represent.Next came Oses assertion distributed far and wide that the fiscally conservative McClintock is wasting taxpayer money by accepting a state approved $170-a-day housing allowance. Then there are the those fun bumper stickers showing, again, McClintock with the cardboard cone bird beak.Who says an Oller-less primary is going to be punchless? It is the early rounds, but will the good senator from Thousand Oaks spring off the ropes and launch a few of his own blows high or low?Just listen for the bells.Jamie Bate is the editor of the Sierra Sun. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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