Deconstructing Dan Morain

Deconstructing Dan Morain
By Congressman Tom McClintock

On January 6, the Sacramento Bee published a 1000-word polemic by Dan Morain attacking my opposition to the "fiscal cliff deal."  To its credit, the Bee published my response to the public policy issues involved, but the innuendoes, inaccuracies and omissions in Mr. Morain's column are so stark as to require a longer reply for the record.  I have italicized Morain's charges and followed them with my responses.

“Never one to build bridges, Rep. Tom McClintock has spent the better part of 30 years in office deriding the government that gives him his paycheck.”

I revere our government.  I have spent my entire adult life championing the genius of the American Republic and its unique principles of individual liberty, Constitutionally limited government and personal responsibility.  I challenge Mr. Morain to cite one word that I have ever spoken or written in all my years that derides the miracle of American government or the principles upon which it rests.

Perhaps what he refers to is my criticism of policies he advocates that are rapidly perverting our government into the European model of collectivism and statism that has produced misery, economic stagnation and social unrest wherever it has been imposed.

“But as he showed last week, his political machine of one has gained compatriots among the shrunken but more conservative band of Republicans representing California in the House. That doesn't bode well for California as it tries to get back some of the money it sends to Washington, and certainly not for the Sierra district McClintock represents.”

Morain obviously believes the role of a Congressman is to plunder the national treasury.  Indeed, it is precisely this philosophy that now threatens to bankrupt our nation.  The very essence of American federalism is that national revenues should be spent for those projects that benefit the nation as a whole, while projects that exclusively benefit local communities should be paid for by those communities.

" ‘According to exit polls, the American people agree with the positions of the Republican Party and heartily disagree with the positions of the Democratic Party,’ McClintock said, as if in a parallel political universe.”

According to the CBS exit poll, voters supported repealing Obamacare (49 to 44 percent); agreed that “government is doing too many things better left to business and individuals (51 to 43 percent); and agreed that “taxes should not be raised to help cut the deficit (63 to 33 percent).  I believe in this political universe, these are Republican positions.

“In California's 53-seat delegation, McClintock is one of 15 Republicans, down by four from last year. He was one of the seven California Republicans who voted against the fiscal cliff legislation. Each remains in Congress.

Morain isolates data in an attempt to suggest that my opposition to the bill was a minority position even among Republicans.  In fact, a vast majority of House Republicans opposed the “cliff deal” by a vote of (151-85), a ratio of nearly two to one. 

“McClintock…never returned my call.”

In fact, my office did answer questions put to it by Morain by email.  His obvious bias, however, and the games played with facts and quotes displayed throughout his work, offer no confidence that any discussion with him would be fairly or accurately reported. 

“First elected to the state Assembly in 1982, McClintock never rose to a leadership position, and routinely voted against annual budgets.”

Actually, I served as Republican Whip in the California Assembly from 1984 to 1989, a period of five years, until I could no longer support tax increases and deficits pushed by Republican leaders.   I also supported the five annual budgets that were balanced and provided prudent reserves during the Deukmejian administration.  In the House, I have supported – indeed, I have helped craft – the two budgets adopted in 2011 and 2012 to put our nation back on a course to fiscal solvency. 

“His new district includes much of what makes California golden, and encompasses Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park, ironic given his dim view of environmentalist-backed legislation.”

If Mr. Morain would spend any time in the mountain communities of my district, he might discover how “environmentalist-backed legislation” has utterly devastated the economies of the region.  For example, in Tahoe, where unelected regional planning agencies have largely usurped local governments, homeowners complain of being thwarted in their attempts to protect their property from fire danger, or from making minor and harmless improvements to their homes, or of being assessed exorbitant fees, or of being denied simple permits.  Timber harvesting, mining, ranching and tourism which drove the economy of the Sierras have all been victimized by these policies.  Mr. Morain notes the high unemployment rate in our communities but seems utterly oblivious to the impact of the policies he has successfully – if irresponsibly -- advocated.

“Voters in the new district overlooked that he remains registered to vote in Elk Grove, which is 30 miles away from the eastern edges of the district and 200 miles away from its farthest reaches south of Yosemite.” 

The fourth Congressional District is bigger than several states, and ironically, I live closer to Yosemite Valley than nearly half the residents of the district.  Members of Congress are only required to live within their state.  To my knowledge, Morain has never objected to local Democratic Congressmen living outside their districts in recent years or to others who have taken up residency in Washington and seldom visit.   I have returned to the district every weekend the Congressional session permits since I was first elected in 2008. 

In Congress, McClintock chairs the House Water and Power Subcommittee. But he has not used that post to help the region obtain funding needed to rebuild Sacramento River levees to avert a flood that would be disastrous for the people of Sacramento.

In fact, the House Water and Power Subcommittee has no jurisdiction over levee projects.  It does have jurisdiction over Bureau of Reclamation dams and in that capacity I have vigorously argued for completion of the Auburn Dam that would provide 400-year flood protection for the Sacramento Delta (not to mention 800 megawatts of hydroelectricity and 2.3 million acre feet of water storage).  Unfortunately, that project is vigorously opposed by the Sacramento Bee, and is now blocked at the state level.

“He is a one-man operation in a business that relies on compromise. The problem now is that other California Republicans in Congress appear to be coming around to his way of politicking.”

To Morain, compromise always means Republicans agreeing to Democratic policies.  I believe that compromise is a means to an end and not an end in itself.  I will always support compromises that benefit the country and oppose those that do it harm.  Coming days will determine if the “fiscal cliff deal” so ardently advocated by Morain -- that added $300 billion of new spending to the nation’s fiscal burdens and left 850,000 small businesses with massive tax increases -- benefitted or harmed our economy.
 
In the meantime, I hope that he at least solves his own confusion: either I’m a "one-man operation" or I’m convincing my colleagues to the principles I stand on.  He can’t have it both ways.
 

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Oakhurst Town Hall Meeting

Congressman McClintock will hold a town hall meeting in Oakhurst on Wednesday, April 23rd at 6:00 pm. The meeting will be held at Oakhurst Elementary School, 49495 High School Road, in Oakhurst. Hope to see you there!

Veterans Forum

An advocacy forum for Veterans will be held on April 17th in Truckee.  The forum, assembled by Congressman McClintock's office, will provide Veterans with the information they need to access the benefits they have earned.
 
Representatives from Nevada County and Placer County Veterans' service offices will join the Congressman’s staff to provide information on filing claims with the Veterans Benefits Administration.  Service providers and community program sponsors that help active duty military, wounded warriors and military families will also be present.
 
The forum will be held April 17th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Truckee Airport in the Experimental Aircraft Association Building, 10356 Truckee Airport Road in Truckee.  
 
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Office staff members are available to assist constituents with problems or concerns at satellite office locations held throughout the district.  Anyone wishing to discuss an issue of federal concern is invited to attend one of these satellite office sessions and speak with a member of staff.  For more information, or to reach staff, please call the district office at 916-786-5560.
  
Upcoming Satellite Office Hours Scheduled for April 2014:
 

Amador County

Jackson
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Conference Room D
County Administration Center
810 Court Street
 
Calaveras County

San Andreas
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Calaveras County Water Agency Conference Room
120 Toma Court
 
El Dorado County

Placerville
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
El Dorado County Government Center
330 Fair Lane
 
El Dorado Hills
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce
2085 Vine Street, #105
 
South Lake Tahoe 
Monday, April 21, 2014
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
South Tahoe Public Utility District
1275 Meadow Crest Drive
 
Fresno County

Auberry 
Thursday, April 17, 2014
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Auberry Library
33049 Auberry Road
 
Madera County

Oakhurst 
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Yosemite Visitors Bureau Conference Room 40637 Highway 41
 
Coarsegold 
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Yosemite Lakes Park/Clubhouse Library
30250 Yosemite Springs Way
 
Mariposa County

Mariposa
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Library Conference Room
4978 10th Street
 
Placer County

Auburn
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Placer County Government Center 
CEO 3 Meeting Room
175 Fulweiler Avenue
 
Lincoln 
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Lincoln City Hall
600 6th Street
 
Loomis 
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
9:00 am - 11:00 am 
Loomis City Hall
3365 Taylor Road
 
Rocklin 
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Rocklin City Hall
3980 Rocklin Rd
 
Tuolumne County

Sonora 
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Small Business Center Conference Room
99 N Washington St, Sonora
 
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