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Eric Hogue- Contributor

Eric Hogue is a talk radio host at Sacramento station KTKZ and is the principal behind the blog Hogue Blog. [go to Hoge index]

Your Turn Republican Moderates
The scramble for the 3rd District
[Eric Hogue] 11/15/03

The next big Sacramento battle for the California Republican Party is the Third Congressional District, which is located just outside of the 'Belly of the Beast'. This is the vacant seat left by Congressman Doug Ose who has decided to keep to his word and leave the post after two terms.

The battle to replace Congressman Ose is heating up rather quickly on 1380 KTKZ. Not a week goes by that the candidates don't rush to the show and dialogue with the voters over the week's 'hot news' and campaign strategy.

This GOP Primary features an 'inside baseball' battle between former Republican Assemblyman and current State Senator Rico Oller, former California Attorney General and Congressman Dan Lungren. There are also rumors that the number of Republicans gunning for this DC destination may increase, with rumors that Sacramento radio talk show host Tom Sullivan, who used his show this summer to say that he didn't have the personal passion for the job, now may approach the possibility of running again.

Another new twist this week is somebody by the name of Mary Ose, the sister of Congressman Doug Ose. She has NEVER held an elected position in the party, but - again the Beast's Rumor Mill has it that Doug may endorse his sister next week.

So the Congressional Third features State Senator Rico Oller, Dan Lungren, possibly Tom Sullivan and maybe Mary Ose. And if that isn't enough - there might be a "special election" surrounding this post this March.

Seems that Congressman Doug Ose is on a short list to join the Governor Schwarzenegger Administration next week. If this evolves, the March Primary will be a special election for this congressional seat. The winner will fulfill the remainder of Ose's empty seat and be able to run as an incumbent for the general election in November. Quite the advantage, wouldn't you say!

All of this is great fun for a local talk show host, but at the same time it seems to be rather counter productive for the growth and development of this California GOP. Tom Sullivan has 'played' with this campaign for ratings and attention. He is NOT serious and he is NOT a true conservative, of which this safely formed Republican district will desire. To Sullivan, this is a 'toy'. Someone needs to inform him that this is real life politics. He would have to leave his business interest in Sacramento and moved to Washington DC. He would have to turn his company over to someone else...and when your business product is Tom Sullivan, hard to hand it to 'Joe Smith' and say, "Keep this running until I get back." Time for Sullivan to think of what he has accomplished as a talk host and businessman in Sacramento and put this fantasy aside. We need his donations as fuel, not his hobby-like political interests.

Dan Lungren is either 'loved' or 'hated' in this district. Recently, Lungren sold his home in Roseville, California and moved three miles to a new home inside of this contested congressional district. He hasn't been able to raise any money on his own and his major support is coming from Southern California with no endorsements inside of, or adjacent to, this district's lines. Lungren is a nice guy, a sold political candidate...but he might be better served - as would the party - with a run for the US Senate seat against a Barbara Boxer.

I believe the reason he has decided to hone in on the Third Congressional is money - he has none! This congressional race turns out to be the most affordable campaign at the moment for Dan Lungren. He should stay in Washington DC, where he has been a lobbyist and attorney for the past six years, and build his support for a major campaign in the future, a campaign that will NOT cost us a qualified Republican candidate as this race would if Lungren were to win.

The real leader and Republican representative in this district is State Senator Rico Oller. He holds ALL of the major endorsements for this area in this campaign. He can raise money, he has a war chest of nearly $800,000 currently. Oller is a true conservative - and this district wants nothing else! He has lived in this district for his entire life, He built a business in this district, held the assembly seat for this district and now represents them as a state senator. Rico Oller is the next level for this congressional seat. When Rico Oller speaks, he represents the voters and the citizens of this congressional district perfectly and this is what a representative republic is all about!

All of the other maneuvering is bad behavior by the moderates of our party. When I decided to represent the Republican win in the recall election, choosing Governor-elect Schwarzenegger over State Senator McClintock, I mentioned that the moderates would need to return the favor the conservatives offered in voting for Schwarzenegger. Then, conservatives coalesced behind Arnold, and now the moderates of the GOP need to stop this infiltration and set their sights elsewhere for another Republican win.

Let's stop acting like the 'Stupid Party' and remember what winning really means. Get behind State Senator Rico Oller, and at the same time, find a race for the likes of a Dan Lungren - he is worthy. Time to grow a bench and pick up numbers...not fight against conservative candidates!

Remember...the grassroots are watching!






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