Tuesday is "choose" day

For Your Consideration

editorial@sierrastar.comMay 27, 2014 

If time went any faster, tomorrow morning would be Christmas — followed by Easter at noon.

But it's been a full three months since Campaign 2014 officially kicked-off locally with the Feb. 28 Oakhurst Democratic Club's district attorney debate at the Oakhurst Community Center, and here we are with the June Primary Election only five days away.

The Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce presented subsequent well-attended debates among all the candidates April 17 and May 1, even as various "Meet and Greet" fundraisers and similar gatherings were staged throughout Eastern Madera County by those running for public office and their supporters.

Having attended all three formal debates and quite a few other associated events during this election cycle with November still comparatively a long way off, I feel we are blessed with an unusually strong lineup of choices this time around with a group of gifted candidates who present themselves well — offering confident conviction and impressive credentials.

I'm particularly pleased with the extraordinary civility and courtesy displayed by all in public forum, unlike the outrageously contentious Fresno catfight currently being waged between District Attorney Elizabeth Egan and her opponent, Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp. Meow. How 'bout determining the winner election night with a bare knuckle fist fight on live Pay TV with all proceeds going to "Stop the Violence?"

Ironically, the highest office being contested in the upcoming primary offers the lowest examples of questionable tactics. This race involves our Fourth District Congressional Representative, Tom McClintock, attempting to undermine his Republican opponent, Art Moore.

In McClintock's case, his first volley at Moore was fabricating an alleged character deficiency based on Moore's absence from voting while serving his many years in the military, as has become constitutionally customary throughout our nation's history in the established tradition of George Patton, George C. Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower and David Petraeus.

When the blowback on this notion was instantaneous from the general public, particularly veteran's groups and affiliated organizations, McClintock quickly shifted his attack on Moore with a classic "red herring" move, meaning to create something which distracts from the most relevant, important issue. In this instance, Mr. Moore's candidacy is the bothersome issue as McClintock attempts to erase the existence of Bronze Star Medalist Moore by pretending his only opponent is actually a liberal named Jeffrey Gerlach.

I've spoken a number of times with Mr. Gerlach and found him to be highly articulate and well-intended. Although quite pleased at his unanticipated and unaccustomed notoriety thanks to McClintock's pronounced fear of Moore, Gerlach states that he is a Libertarian, not a liberal, and McClintock's summary of his various positions are seriously misleading in several areas, although cleverly so. Gerlach also suggests that he is really more a "Rationalist" than anything else and does emphatically support increasing the federal minimum wage and gay marriage.

What's missing from McClintock's most recent "The Choice is Clear" flyer is any mention at all of West Point graduate Moore, who has now been endorsed by former Congressman George Radanovich, numerous Placer County, El Dorado County and Mariposa County Supervisors, and Nate Beason, Chairman of the Rural County Representatives of California. Mr. Moore has also received a ringing endorsement from The Fresno Bee, which states that "McClintock has been an elected official for nearly three decades — all the while portraying government as the enemy of the people. Moreover, he is totally ineffective. The sooner he exits Congress, the better for 4th District residents."

As our congressional campaign has now come under national focus thanks to the New York Times and Time Magazine, voting with meaningful issue awareness and honestly thoughtful reflection next Tuesday is all the more important.

For our neighbors and our nation, may the best men and women win.

So we can all get better.

NOTE: Peter Cavanaugh is a member of the executive committee of the Oakhurst Democratic Party.

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