The race in California’s 4th Congressional District has gotten ugly. The Council-endorsed Democrat in the race is Charlie Brown, a career Air Force officer and police official. Brown ran against incumbent Rep. John Doolittle (R) in 2006. Doolittle was mired in allegations of corruption because of his relationship with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and Brown came close to defeating him. Doolittle is now retiring, and Brown is running a strong campaign for the open seat.
The Republican in the race is Tom McClintock, a state legislator. McClintock has been running television ads claiming that Brown attended an anti-Iraq war rally wearing his Air Force uniform at which a U.S. soldier was burned in effigy. Brown acknowledges attending the rally – he is opposed to the war – but denies wearing his uniform. It is unclear whether or not an effigy was burned. Brown claims McClintock was impugning his patriotism, where McClintock claims he is only questioning Brown’s judgment.
It is clear that McClintock has gone negative because he is worried he is losing. A poll last week found Brown leading 46-41%.
Frankly, this seems like a whole lot of fuss over nothing. Brown attended a rally against a war he opposed. Whether or not others attending the rally took objectionable actions is not his responsibility. We do know that Brown has a strong background in national security policies and supports progressive foreign policies. He will be a fine addition to Congress.