Republicans in California will have a shot next year to defeat Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), who is considered to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the House. But there is very strong disagreement whether or not a former Republican Congressman should run.
Former Rep. Doug Ose, who served in Congress from 1999 to 2005, sees an opening to return to Washington and is apparently being courted by some in state's political establishment to run in the CA-07.
Ose, who lost a congressional primary bid in 2008, is telling the media that he isn't happy with the state of affairs in Washington and around the country. But there are some who believe that Ose wouldn't do much to help fix Washington based on his past support of big government policies.
A group of California-based Tea Party and conservative activists sent a letter to Ose on Monday, warning him that he can expect active opposition to his candidacy should he decide to run.
"It has come to our attention that you are considering running for Congress in California’s 7th Congressional District. We have also heard that you do not want to see a 'bloody primary' for the Republican nomination," wrote the activists. "We agree. That’s why we are writing today to encourage you not to run in CA-07."
"While we respect your commitment to public service, your record in Congress would leave us no choice but to actively oppose your candidacy should you decide to run," they continued. "As you know, your record in Congress was not conservative. Below are just a few examples of your Leftist stand on issues that conservatives find unbelievable from a professing 'Republican.'"
The activists cited a few specific reasons for their opposition to his potential candidates, noting that he is a "strong supporter of earmark spending" and his partnership with Democrats to reduce tax relief.
"It’s vitally important that Ami Bera is defeated next year. But it’s even more important that the voters elect a Congressman committed to protecting taxpayers and reducing the size and cost of the federal government," noted the activists. "You are not that man."
"Your record indicates you do not share the principles we hold dear: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets," they added. "That’s why, should you decide to run, we intend to unite to oppose your candidacy and ensure that the Republican nominee is someone who is committed to fighting for these values."
The comments echo a statement made in 2008 by the Club for Growth, a DC-based free market advocacy organization that frequently opposes big government Republicans. The organization opposed Ose's candidacy, calling him "one of the most liberal Republicans in the House" because of his anti-taxpayer record.
"As a member of Congress from the Third District, Ose consistently voted for outrageous pork projects and against stripping those projects from appropriations bills. He voted, for example, to spend California's tax dollars on wood research; peanut competitiveness; asparagus research; and mohair subsidies," noted the Club for Growth. "Sure, Ose brought home some pork to California but in order to get his few crumbs, Doug Ose had to vote to waste California's tax dollars on billions of dollars in outrageous pork projects for all 49 other states."
They noted that Ose supported the Farm Bill, from which he benefited; an expensive new entitlement in Medicare Part D; McCain-Feingold, which attempted to suppress political speech; and wasteful budgets.
Ose proposed net-spending increase of $65.9 billion in his last two terms in Congress, according to data complied by the National Taxpayers Union. The only spending cut he proposed was repeal of the automatic pay adjustment for members of Congress, which would've saved taxpayers $2 million.
You can read the letter to Ose below.