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US rep rails against spending

By: Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer
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Rookie Republican Congressman Tom McClintock was back in his home district Wednesday with plenty of concerns about the way the nation’s political business was being done in Washington, D.C. Elected last November to succeed veteran 4th District representative John Doolittle, McClintock tore into what he perceives as federal fiscal recklessness, economic policy that’s setting the stage for rampant inflation, onerous new regulations that could stifle recovery and a disastrous shift toward government-run health care. “Bad public policy in the last administration is being compounded by this administration,” McClintock said. But McClintock, who spent 22 years in the state Legislature focusing on fiscal conservatism, also offered a ray of hope. “I’m optimistic,” McClintock said. “Because you’re watching a democracy come alive, with people turning out in droves to be part of this public policy debate.” McClintock earlier this week increased the number of town hall meetings in his Northern California district from one to four – and changed the venue of the one he had already scheduled to a larger hall. The decision comes after similar meetings this month by U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren and U.S. Rep. Wally Herger drew crowds of 4,600 and 2,100 respectively, he said. Special interests have driven the system in recent years, McClintock said. But with danger signs emerging in the economy and to democracy, McClintock said citizens are putting aside their hobbies, work and family time to dedicate more of their resources to understanding issues now before the nation. All decisions in Washington are merely reflections of what’s being discussed outside the Capitol, over backyard fences and at local coffee shops, he said. “The more people sense the danger, citizens rise to the occasion,” McClintock said. “That’s how we’ll save our country.” Leslye Janusz, president of the Auburn Area Democratic Club, said the town hall meetings are drawing a crowd because people are being scared by Republican rhetoric fuelled by misinformation. “People need to stop and take a deep breath – and find out what’s real,” Janusz said. “Right-wing media and the Republican talk machine are scaring the pants off people.” Eighty percent of Americans are saying the nation needs a health care system that works and that should include a public option that involves the federal government, she said. Bud Beadles, a Lions Club member, said after McClintock’s speech to about 30 Lions and guests that he was “very impressed” with the congressman’s remarks. “He was honest and straightforward and didn’t hesitate in telling the public how he feels,” Beadles said. “I was especially pleased to see he was optimistic about the public beginning to take notice and taking part in the process.” On the local front, McClintock reiterated his support for construction of the long-delayed Auburn dam. McClintock said that with water shortages becoming more prevalent because of government policy that moves away from providing abundant water and power, the Auburn dam would provide water storage for two million families and electrical power to supply a million homes, he said. “That’s why Auburn dam must remain on the table,” he said. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.