Throughout his 20-plus years in the Legislature, Ventura County state Sen. Tom McClintock has cultivated a reputation in the Capitol as a lawmaker who votes 'no' more than any other.
On countless roll calls over the years, McClintock has cast a sole no vote or been among only two or three legislators to oppose specific pieces of legislation.
His opponent in his current race for Congress in Northern California, former Congressman Doug Ose, has taken notice -- specifically as it relates to bills designed to carve out special benefits to members of the National Guard who have been called to active duty.
It is an imposing list, and one that Ose hopes will make an impression upon the many veterans in the conservative 4th District. Among the examples of McClintock votes:
No on a 2005 bill that releases active duty service members from having to pay certain fees, such as utility termination fees, upon deployment (passed the Senate 38-2, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger).
No on a 2005 bill that allows active duty service members to defer specific financial obligations upon deployment for six months (passed the Senate 35-2, signed by Schwarzenegger).
No on a 2005 bill that provides a six-month grace period on interest charges and surcharges to accounts held by surviving spouses of military members killed in action (passed the Senate 33-2, signed by Schwarzenegger).
No on a 1997 resolution asking Congress to minimize military base closures in California. McClintock was a member of the Assembly at the time and was the only dissenter on a 76-1 roll call vote.
McClintock is appealing to voters by asserting he will stick to his guns in Congress and consistently vote to hold the line on government spending. Ose is betting that veterans in the district don't believe that hard-line on spending should apply to veterans benefits.