Capitol Alert

Bera campaign raises ghost of Gingrich to spook voters


In an email Friday with the subject line “Boo!,” Rep. Ami Bera’s campaign says it finds former Rep. Doug Ose’s record “the scariest thing around this Halloween for Sacramento County women.”

Ose’s “frightening” record, the email said, included voting against a woman’s right to choose and supporting the more recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed Hobby Lobby to refuse to pay for birth control for its female employees.

The Bera campaign even raised the ghost of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“One of the things that I know from personal experience in working with Doug Ose when he was in Congress the last session is that we can’t trust him,” the email quoted Kathy Kneer, president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, from a rally last week at Bera campaign headquarters.

“And that when Newt Gingrich wanted him to vote a certain way on a bill, he did, and he betrayed women,” Kneer continued.

But when Ose was sworn in for his first term in the House of Representatives on Jan. 6, 1999, Gingrich’s 20-year career in Congress had gone to the crypt.

Gingrich, a Georgia Republican, had resigned as speaker after his party lost seats in the November election, although Ose’s win was an exception. He left Congress on Jan. 3, 1999. Rep. Dennis Hastert of Illinois was House speaker during Ose’s three terms.

Allison Teixeira, a spokeswoman for Bera, said Kneer misspoke.

“She meant he was voting with party leaders,” Teixeira said.

Michawn Rich, a spokeswoman for the Ose campaign, said her candidate supports abortion rights and over-the-counter access to contraception.

“Doug Ose never served with Speaker Gingrich,” Rich said, “and much like every other misleading attack Congressman Bera has launched over the past year, we chalk this one up as just another sloppy attempt to distort Doug Ose’s record.”

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