You can't be serious

For Your Consideration

editorial@sierrastar.comMay 20, 2014 

Two weeks ago Tom McClintock's response to Peter Cavanaugh was not only woefully inadequate but terribly misleading. Here's why.

Government shutdown (McClintock blames Democrats): Last I checked, Congress is responsible for appropriating funds to keep the government programs running. McClintock and Republican House majority refused to appropriate those funds unless their demand to delay the Obamacare individual mandate for one year was met. Democrats refused to pay their ransom demand, so Republicans didn't authorize funding resulting in a government shutdown. So whose fault is that? Hostage Taking 101 clearly points the finger at Republicans — unless you are of the belief that victims should be blamed when hostage takers shoot them.

SCHIP: McClintock said he voted against funding the State Children Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) because it expanded the benefit to people with six figure incomes. This exists only in McClintock's devious interpretation. If true, can't Tom simply propose elimination of that provision instead of defunding a program that saves lives? Doesn't the sanctity of life cover outside the womb children?

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): Yes, this bill puts those committing acts of violence against women on tribal lands under their judicial authority. Shouldn't a sovereign nation have that right? When an American commits a crime on foreign soil, they are subject to that country's laws. VAWA addresses many other aspects protecting women, but McClintock apparently finds that to be of no value. He said VAWA removes a judge's discretion, which forced a judge to sentence a Florida woman to 20 years for firing a warning shot at an abusive husband. You can't be serious. That's a new one in the list of GOP anti-VAWA arguments.

Food Safety (HR 2749/2009): McClintock argues "the bill raised billions of dollars of new taxes on small businesses and imposed an avalanche of operational restrictions on farms, particularly food and vegetable growers." To that I ask, according to whom? No doubt McClintock is simply repeating what the industry tells him to say. It's consistent that McClintock is more concerned about corporate profits than victims of foodborne illnesses and deaths — profits over people. This legislation doesn't occur without reason. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated in 2011 that 48 million people (one in six Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.

Campaign Disclosure (HR 5175/2010): According to Tom, "this bill would have interfered with the First Amendment right of Americans to join together, pool their resources, and express their opinions in an election." The only thing campaign disclosure does is require you to disclose who gives you money. It doesn't prevent anyone from giving it. Is it really okay with you when groups, foreign nations, corporations, and wealthy individuals are allowed to buy elections and politicians, then say you are not entitled to know who they are? Who is behind McClintock's vote against Food Safety?

Employment Discrimination (HR 12/2009) aka Equal Pay Act I: "This bill makes it more difficult for people who most need and want jobs to negotiate competitively to get them." Assuming that McClintock is referring to the Paycheck Fairness Act, it does not stop anyone from negotiating a salary. It simply codifies the expectation that a woman who does equal work of a man deserves equal pay. If your mom, sister or daughter works as hard, shouldn't she get the same pay?

Unemployment Extension: McClintock claims that extending benefits for two years keeps people from taking lower-paying jobs. JP Morgan's analyst Michael Feroli found that the end of emergency benefits may lower the unemployment rate by 0.25%-0.50% not because people would take lower wage jobs but because people have been dropped from the unemployment rolls (tinyurl.com/ldrvdfa). The CBO says extending unemployment helps the economy by preserving and creating jobs (cbo.gov/publication/44929).

A question I would have liked to ask McClintock were I at the town hall meeting is what it would take for him to admit that global warming is man-made. A horrific fire in San Diego County burned 10,000 acres. Cal Fire's Pimlott told CNN, "The common theme statewide this year is unprecedented number of fires and fire activity across the state, in many cases two to three months earlier than normal."

Nationwide states have been devastated by deadly tornados, hurricanes, floods, droughts and extremes in weather. Sadly, I believe the answer to my question is 'as soon as you can contribute as much to my campaign as the oil and gas interests.'

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