Elections

How truthful were the 4th District candidates?

With charges flying in Tuesday’s debate, The Bee did some fact-checking and analyzed the claims:

Art Moore’s claim: Rep. Tom McClintock doesn’t live in the 4th District, which covers 10 counties and stretches from Truckee to Fresno.

The truth: While McClintock lives several miles outside of the district, in the city of Elk Grove, members of Congress are not required to live in their districts. Indeed, Democratic Rep. Mike Honda of San Jose lives outside his 17th Congressional District. Former Congressman Doug Ose, who is taking on Rep. Ami Bera, has lifelong ties to the redrawn 7th district. But, he, too, lives just outside the lines. Under the state constitution, candidates for the Legislature must reside in their districts for one year or more before they stand for election. Not so for Congress.

McClintock’s claim: Moore never registered to vote before the June primary.

The truth: It’s true that Moore, an Army officer, never registered, or voted, before moving from the East Coast to Roseville and running for office this year. According to a paper by Army Col. Peter Crean titled “Political Participation and the United States Army Officer Corps,” the U.S. Army has “vacillated” between periods of political activity and abstention by its officers. Crean’s research suggests, as Moore claims, that Gens. George Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton all abstained from the political process for a time and refused to vote because they believed “their allegiance to the nation precluded their belonging to a political party.”

McClintock’s claim: Some 350 bills passed the Republican-run House and stalled in the Democratic-led Senate.

The truth: McClintock is relying on a popular refrain by Republicans to buttress their argument that the House has been working hard. While there’s no doubt that about 350 bills passed the House and were forwarded to the Senate, as confirmed by various fact-checkers throughout the fall months, some remained in committee and others may have been similar to Senate legislation. Earlier this year, The Washington Post took a look at the number of bills passed by the House and awaiting Senate action and determined “That’s pretty much how things have always been.” The newspaper found that more than 300 bills were waiting for Senate action when Congress completed its work in 11 of the past 19 Congresses.

Moore’s claim: McClintock is feathering his own nest by serving in elected office.

The truth: Moore points to McClintock’s participation in the state pension system as evidence he’s benefiting financially from his years in office. McClintock does receive taxpayer-funded retirement payments. However, the state pension hasn’t made him rich. McClintock ranked 425th in terms of congressional wealth, with a minimum net worth of minus-$96,995 and a maximum worth of $35,999, according to OpenSecrets.org.

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