In California, county election officials mail or email information pamphlets to voters before an election. These pamphlets include statements of qualifications submitted by candidates running for U.S. House of Representatives, California State Legislature, and local offices.
This procedure is authorized by law in California Elections Code Section 13300 et seq. I don’t know if many Californians read the statements or actually use them as a guide to voting. In rare cases in which I don’t know much about the candidates (races for water districts seem particularly inscrutable), I usually look at the lists of endorsements of politicians and special interest groups on campaign web sites for surmising where candidates actually stand on policy issues. This can be especially critical for non-partisan local offices such as county supervisor, city council member, and school board member.
Frankly, most of the candidate statements I’ve read over the years are pabulum – full of platitudes, resume puffery, and lists of nice things the candidate will do using the government as the vehicle. In other words, “Vote for me: I’m a wonderful person who will get you more stuff paid for by someone else!”
In stark contrast is the candidate statement of my own member of Congress, U.S. Representative Tom McClintock, who is running for reelection in California’s 4th Congressional District. He sets aside flattery and bribery and provides a clean, concise philosophical statement, concluding with a warning about the future of the country. He does not cater to the caprices and irrational desires of the democratic majority, but instead rises to the ideals of a republic.
Here is his statement for the June 5, 2012 primary election:
STATEMENT OF CANDIDATE FOR UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE, 4th DISTRICT
Occupation: United States Representative
Education and Qualifications: If more spending, borrowing and bureaucrats produces prosperity, our economy should be booming by now. The reality is that no nation has ever taxed, spent and borrowed its way to prosperity, yet some would take us still further down this road to debt, doubt and despair.
You sent me to Washington to fight for common-sense solutions to relieve hardworking Americans from the stifling burdens of government bureaucracies and unleash the potential of the American people. I’ve done my best to be worthy of your trust.
But this time, something more precious than even our economy is at stake.
America’s prosperity and greatness spring from uniquely American principles of individual freedom and constitutionally limited government.
America’s Founders created a voluntary society where people are free to make their own choices, enjoy the fruit of their own labors, take responsibility for their own decisions and lead their own lives with a minimum of governmental interference and intrusion.
Today, a very different vision competes for our future: that of a compulsory society, where our fundamental rights are subordinated to the mandates of government bureaucrats, where innocent taxpayers are forced to bail out the bad decisions of others and where consumers are compelled to purchase the products or underwrite the losses of politically connected companies.
This election may well decide which society we leave our children and grandchildren.
I stand with America’s Founders.
If you would like to join my campaign at www.helptom.com, I would be honored to have your support.
See the officially posted statement here: Placer County Elections – CA 4th Congressional District – Tom McClintock