Editor’s note: Here’s an interview with Clint Curtis, the Democrat who’s running against Tom McClintock for our Congressional district. The original reference is here or here. The interviewer is Jim Cirile.
JC: How does the opposition look?
CC: I’m going to try to keep the campaign positive. I’ve been told that the guy I’m running against (Republican incumbent Tom) McClintock basically kind of does that whole nasty thing again – the personal attacks and so forth a la Tom Feeney, and in fact, one of his advisers that they hired for this campaign, was Feeney’s Chief of Staff in DC.
JC: Oh, no. They’re not going to break out that lame old tin foil hat crap again, are they? [In the 2006 race, Feeney painted Curtis as a crackpot and even put up --- andthen scrubbed --- a "crazyclintcurtis.com" web site featuring doctored photos of Curtis wearing a tin foil hat.]
CC: I’m not sure, because in California, people actually read enough and understand enough that when I was talking about how [computerized voting] couldn’t be trusted, they’d go, ‘yes, I understand that’ — whereas down in Florida, some of these people don’t know anything about computers.
JC: Also you’re not a one issue kind of guy. Election integrity is, of course, critically important, but your web site is clearly focused on helping the people of the district and taking solid progressives stands on the issues. It would be tough to brand you with the “crazy stick” this time out — won’t stick.
CC: It should be tough, yes, although you know, to the small group that likes to tell their own jokes and sit around the room, they’ll be perfectly happy doing whatever they want to do. But quite frankly, Democrats do that, too. We have our own little thing of, you know, making people smaller than they are, making jokes at their expense. We just don’t run TV ads. We just kind of keep it to ourselves.
JC: How do you like your odds against McClintock?
CC: If he wins, he brings no money to the district. Now, this was a [Rep. John] Doolittle district, and . . . Doolittle brought money to the district.
It’s really what your job is as a Congressman — to find out what your district needs and get it for them. If they need roads, if they need hospitals, whatever they need, you have to make it happen. Here they get nothing. McClintock is a hard liner – ‘We will take no money, we will do no earmarks, we will not legislate anything.’
He gets paid to stay home, I guess. He passes no legislation, so he does nothing, and that is his mantra. He symbolizes small government by not actually partaking of it. I, however, am going to bring money to the area. That should bring in all the moderate Republicans that are on the school boards and are on the highway department, that actually need this money and haven’t been able to get it.
JC: What about specific needs for District 4?
CC: Education. The roads are terrible. I’ll bet we have the worst roads in California. I mean, they are just horrible because there’s not anybody to fix them. I would like to increase broadband. I would bet 25% of the residents are on dial-up, because there are no towers. It’s a big area, population’s dispersed. There is money available to build towers or put in fiber optics or something, some way of getting broadband to them, but McClintock isn’t interested in addressing that.
So we are going to address the needs of this area, and we’ll be bringing in these people from the other parties and they will tell us other things that we need to address that I don’t even know about yet. I’m willing to listen. We need to protect our water and recreational areas. It’s crucial we protect Social Security and, of course, I’m dedicated to election integrity, and that issue will always be a cornerstone.
JC: What can people do to help?
“Hopefully a lot of the progressives who supported Marcy Winograd will now support me. We need all hands on deck. It’s a fight we can win, but my opponent’s going to be slinging up a mud storm.”
CC: I need volunteers, I need money, just like we always do. Just like every campaign always does, you need money and you need time, and volunteers are time, because you do have to get the word out. I’m assuming that the Libertarians, and the Greens, and the Peace & Freedom will organize their own people because this will be their first chance — perhaps their only chance if I don’t get elected — to actually have a seat at the table, so this should bring them in.
I’d like to see a lot of them coming into this race to help us out. Hopefully a lot of the progressives who supported Marcy Winograd will now support me. We need all hands on deck. It’s a fight we can win, but my opponent’s going to be slinging up a mud storm. The progressives came out in big numbers to support Marcy. Unfortunately she lost, but I think she raised around $400,000, which is fabulous. So I’m appealing to all the progressives out there – the fight is not over. It’s just beginning.
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