Residents should be informed about local up to federal candidatesBy: Carol Feineman, Editor
We’ve focused the past few months on the fast-approaching Lincoln City Council election. We want residents to be informed about the qualifications and positions of all nine candidates before voting for three council candidates to fill four-year terms.
But residents also need to be informed about the presidential as well as national and state races in the Nov. 6 Presidential General Election.
Our U.S. House of Representatives’ Fourth Congressional District race is between Republican incumbent, Tom McClintock from Elk Grove; and a first-time Democratic candidate, Jack Uppal from Lincoln.
Running for office is hard work. Candidates need to understand complex issues and have practical solutions.
That’s not an easy position to be in.
It could also be intimidating to many candidates if their opponents have been elected officials for many years.
Uppal is running against such an opponent, McClintock, who served 22 years in the California State Legislature and the last four in the U.S. Congress.
But when I talked to Uppal in my office Friday afternoon, he was very self-assured and positive about his chances to end up this January in Washington, D.C. as our new representative.
“I think we can win. I think we have a darn good message and that message is getting out to the people,” Uppal said. “That message is nonpartisanship, moderation, working across the party lines and common-sense solutions.”
Those top priorities include “preserving and strengthening Medicare, jobs and the economy, ending gridlock, not letting party differences keep us from action. Here we are in 2012 and we’re talking about contraception; that should long ago have been settled,” according to Uppal.
Uppal retired four years ago to Lincoln Hills after a 28-year career in the semiconductor industry. He traded his leisurely days of golf, tennis and bridge at Lincoln Hills for jam-packed days of talking to board of supervisors, community leaders and citizens in the Fourth Congressional District.
District 4 covers 10 counties, from Truckee to Lincoln, Roseville, Rocklin, most of Auburn, to parts of Fresno County.
While never running for political office before, Uppal said he has the qualities necessary in Congress because of his engineering career.
Earning a Ph.D. in chemistry from M.I.T., Uppal was an engineer and then a manager/ director at Intel and later a senior vice president at Mattson Technology.
Why does that qualify Uppal to be a U.S. Congressman?
“Engineers find practical, workable solutions. They don’t dwell on the past; they move forward,” Uppal said. “When I was at Intel, I was responsible for spending budgets of a billion dollars a year. I was responsible for negotiation across the world with companies.”
Negotiating and working on solutions “instead of dwelling on where we were” is what Uppal says is needed in Congress.
That’s where the bipartisanship values come in.
“In working out solutions, I list myself as a moderate Democrat. I don’t believe that either party is right,” Uppal said. “Good ideas come from both parties.”
What made Uppal decide to compete against McClintock is “the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression” the last few years.
“When we needed our Congress to pull us out of this turbulence, instead of working together, Congress did nothing. There was such a great divide,” Uppal said. “In my mind, we need congressmen to come up with solutions instead of grandstanding. Since he’s been in office, about four years, McClintock has introduced five bills – none of them have passed. I’m tired of the gridlock. Congress voted 30 times to appeal the Affordable Care Act. McClintock voted over 30 times to appeal it, which was a waste of time because it had no chance of passing, instead of addressing important things like the farm bill, which many people in our district rely on. That’s a wasteful government, a wasteful amount of time.”
Referring to Lincoln, Uppal said that Lincoln “is addressing and needs to continue to address their budget woes. If there’s some help from the federal level, I’d like to help. There are still questions on water district funding for regional sewer. If the local officials initiate needs, that’s my No. 1 priority to support the local community in the district.”
For anyone who wants to talk to Uppal, contact him through his website at JackUppal.com or JackUppal@gmail.com. He can also talk to residents at two events: a women’s rights rally at 11 a.m. Monday at the corner of Galleria Boulevard and Roseville Parkway in Roseville and at the Lincoln Democratic Club meeting at 6:45 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Kilaga Springs Lodge.
McClintock wants another four years
Since age 26, McClintock has held elected offices, 22 years in the California State Legislature and the last four as the area’s U.S. representative.
“I want to continue the work that I have devoted my life to, which is to restore the uniquely American principles of individual liberty, constitutionally limited government and personal responsibility,” McClintock told The News Messenger Tuesday, “restoring freedom to individual decisions, from what kind of light bulbs we can buy, what we can set our thermostat to at home. These freedoms are being usurped more and more over the last 10 years by reductions of individual freedoms by government regulations.”
McClintock explained that the election is about voters choosing one of two ways of governance.
“One is a voluntary society where people can make their own choice, enjoy the fruit of their own labors, take responsibility for their own decisions,” McClintock said about his party, “and lead their own lives with a minimal of government interference and intrusion.”
“The other is a compulsory society where our fundamental rights are subordinated to the mandate of governmental bureaucrats,” he said about the Democratic party, “where innocent taxpayers pay for the bad decisions of others and consumers are forced to buy products of politically connected companies.”
McClintock summed up his top issues in a September speech, “Seven Steps to Restore Prosperity,” he presented to the El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce.
From that speech, the seven measures “that are absolutely essential to repair our economy and restore America as the most prosperous and productive nation in the world are: First and foremost – it’s the spending, stupid. Second, regulations are killing us. Third, get government out of the way and develop America’s vast energy potential. Fourth, broaden, flatten and lower our tax rates. Fifth, stop picking winners and losers in the marketplace. Sixth, repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered delivery systems. Seventh, stop using the civil justice system for plunder.”
On Tuesday, McClintock reiterated that “those are the seven measures that are essential to restoring the American economy.”
Closer to our region, McClintock wants to “continue to do work on the natural resources committee to restore the prosperity of the Sierras and the budget committee, which is absolutely essential to restore the solvency of our national government.”
Why should voters keep him in office another four years?
“If they believe in limited government and individual liberty, that’s what I dedicated my life to restore,” McClintock answered. “If they believe in bigger government, ever more regulations of higher taxes and reckless debt, then I’m not their candidate.”
He is qualified to be in Congress because “I’ve proven my leadership.”
“The first two years of Congress, I chaired the sub-committee on water and power and, in the last two years, produced legislation to end the government regulatory drought that destroyed thousands of jobs and strengthened Northern California water rights,” McClintock said.
McClintock will next appear at a National Aging in Place event at 10 a.m. Nov. 3 at 2159 Langtee Drive in Roseville. To reach McClintock, see tommcclintock.com.