|By Dan Morain, The Sacramento Bee|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
But this year, the seat that stretches from
McClintock was one of 60 House Republicans who led the shutdown of the federal government last October, in a loopy attempt to end government funding for the Affordable Care Act, President
"That's what convinced me to run,"
Moore, a Republican, called himself a conservative, but thinks representatives should deliver for folks back home, quite a concept these days. To be taken seriously, he will need to raise six figures quickly. But he's being guided by a veteran strategist,
Not yet 36, Moore represents much that McClintock is not. McClintock, 57, lives 40 miles outside the district in
He wears a class ring from
When he stepped away from a military career, he worked for a building-supply company and more recently for the consulting firm Deloitte in
McClintock, who has stopped talking to me, got his start in politics in his 20s by working as an aide to Sen.
He won an Assembly seat in 1982 at age 26, served 22 years in
He was, ironically, one of the most vocal backers of California's legislative term-limits initiative in 1990. He has lost many races for statewide office. For a time in 2012, a supporter started Draft Tom McClintock for President. The Facebook page has 488 likes.
The contrast between Moore and McClintock goes beyond résumés. Moore talks about making government work, finding ways to improve
"We just need better representation," Moore said.
McClintock is one of only four House members who received 100 percent pure ratings in 2013 from the conservative advocacy groups
To achieve celestial status among conservatives, McClintock voted against raising the debt ceiling, against the Hurricane Sandy emergency relief legislation and against the farm bill.
Freedomworks lauded him for voting to cut
Earlier this month, McClintock joined 85 Republicans and five Democrats by voting against House Resolution 3370, which seeks to ease the sticker shock of a run-up in federally subsidized flood-insurance premiums.
The legislation is particularly helpful to families in flood-prone parts of the
McClintock ended 2013 with
McClintock's standing among conservative groups could be his salvation. Freedomworks and the others will spend tens of millions challenging
Business-oriented Republican organizations have made clear they will back candidates who, like Moore, offer alternatives to hard-right politicians.
"Other business groups I talk to -- not the Cal Chamber -- are growing increasingly frustrated with Republican incumbents who can't get anything done," said
Over coffee the other day at Fox & Goose, Moore sat ramrod straight and directly answered questions about his positions: Opposes Obamacare. Doesn't care if same-sex couples marry. Believes gays should have been admitted to the military 10 years ago. Thinks reproductive questions ought to be left to women and their doctors, though he'd vote against government funding of abortion and opposes abortion personally.
Moore has never voted, but not because he was too busy. He followed a traditional view that military officers should remain apolitical. That allows them to provide civilian leaders their best advice, with "no question about your loyalties," he said.
Hot-button issues aside, he believes the federal government has a role in flood control, thinks
"We're a really strong country. So let's get after the problems," he said.
Without a doubt,
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