4th District Dem Charlie Brown signs on

Candidate registers, announced a second run in summer
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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An announced candidate for 4th District congressman since early September, retired Air Force officer Charlie Brown of Roseville made it official Friday, registering as a candidate at the Placer County election division's North Auburn office. Brown narrowly lost to U.S. Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville, in the 2006 election. Doolittle has since announced he will not seek re-election. Brown is the presumptive Democrat nominee for the November election but challengers within his own party still have until Thursday to register. With the district's incumbent not running, Friday's deadline for registering is extended to Thursday. Brown will now watch as two major candidates for the Republican 4th District nomination battle it out before the June 3 primary. Former 3rd District congressman Doug Ose of Sacramento and state Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, are the leading candidates. I'm someone who lives in the district and will come back to talk to people in the district, Brown said, contrasting himself with Doolittle as well as the two GOP candidates. Both are coming from outside the district. Brown's campaign has already started a fund-raising drive that mocks McClintock's Ventura County Senate district's distance from District 4. It's asking for $100 donations for each of the 418 miles the district is away from the south state county. Criticized during the 2006 campaign for not visiting his district, Doolittle had initiated town-hall meetings and regular reporter briefings early last year in what he said was an attempt to get back in touch with constituents. Since his announcement in January, however, Doolittle has stopped weekly reporter telephone conferences and failed to hold town-hall meetings over the President's Day recess, as he had a year earlier. As I had said before, his heart isn't in representing the district, Brown said. Brown said he wouldn't expect any differently from Ose or McClintock. None of them talk about what's good for the district, Brown said. When I served in the Air Force I took an oath of office to uphold the constitution “ not to some political party or donor. But that's why those other fools are doing it “ for the wrong reasons. Brown's assertions didn't wash with Placer County GOP Central Committee chairman Tom Hudson, whose group voted to endorse McClintock last week. Hudson said Brown's contentions won't score points with voters, who will find McClintock reflects their conservative values better than a Democratic Party candidate. McClintock has been criticized by the media for two decades on the grounds that he doesn't visit his district enough, Hudson said. McClintock's decision last week to run was the death knell for Charlie Brown, Hudson said. The only hope was if Doug Ose stayed in, he added. Charlie Brown was very much tied up with John Doolittle's running. On the issues, Brown said after registering as a candidate that he's steering clear of supporting either leading Democratic Party candidate for president “ Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. He's too concerned with his own candidacy, he said. I'm running for Congress, Brown said. I'm following both Republican and Democratic candidates. It's about who's talking about change and doing something for the country. Brown said he supports "enforceable political benchmarks as a means for expediting an end to the war in Iraq" and political solutions General Patreus has called for. It's back to accountability “ it's not about surrender, Brown said. So Iraq and other countries in the area are responsible for what's going on over there. On the domestic front, Brown said ending a U.S. presence in Iraq would free dollars up within the federal budget, providing a trickle-down effect and relief for middle- and low-income wage earners. What happens to veterans after they return from Iraq continues to be an important part of Brown's campaign, with five percent of campaign funding going to local veteran service providers. Everyone likes to use those troops for photo ops in the background, Brown said. I'm one of those troops. My wife was in the military and now my son is. The Journal's Gus Thomson can be reached at, or post a comment at Charlie Brown Fast facts - Received 46 percent of the vote two years ago against veteran U.S. Rep. John Doolittle - Born in Iowa in 1949 - Graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1972 - Served 26 years in the Air Force, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1998 - Flew rescue helicopter missions in Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia during Vietnam War - A Distinguished Flying Cross recipient - Brown and his wife, Jan, have two children. Their son, Jeff, is an Air Force captain in his fourth rotation in Iraq - Gus Thomson