McClintock's Votes Against Fire Prevention Adding Up for District Residents

Incumbent continues to reject common sense solutions and bipartisan action


Tuesday, August 21st, 2018


ROSEVILLE, Calif. – With California amid one of the worst fire seasons in state history, Rep. Tom McClintock – who represents one of the regions most directly impacted by the wildfires – continues to double-down on his failure to provide relief to constituents. In his current term alone, McClintock has voted against new federal funding to prevent wildfires and voted to eliminate tax breaks for California wildfire victims. Though still not over, the current fire season has already become the worst in state history, destroying thousands of homes and businesses and surpassing the $12 billion in damage from the record 2017 season.

"Fire season is having a devastating impact on our gateway communities and small businesses. Yosemite Park and regional campgrounds were shut down because of the Ferguson Fire during peak season, when local businesses and counties receive much of their annual revenue. We deserve a representative who understands the real costs of deadly wildfires, understands the root causes, and invests in lasting solutions to address them," said Jessica Morse, McClintock's opponent in the November election. "A real investment in forest health must include targeted logging, grazing, prescribed burns, and other innovative solutions for fuel reduction – solutions that will save us billions of dollars in damages while bringing good-paying jobs to our community. It's time for leaders who won't play partisan games with our lives and livelihoods."

In Mariposa County, home of the Ferguson fire, the local government lost upwards of $1.5 million in Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue, as the Yosemite closure and blocked highways virtually eliminated tourism for nearly three weeks. The TOT supports 43% of the county budget and is vital to maintain law enforcement, fire, public works, and recreation programs. Further, Mariposa is still reeling from disastrous floods last winter and has applied without success for a federal disaster declaration.

Despite having tremendous influence over the issue as the chair of the House subcommittee on Federal Lands, McClintock has been an obstacle to fire prevention. He refused to sign onto a bipartisan bill, the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, that several other California Republicans co-sponsored, an act the Modesto Bee called "political malpractice" because it leaves his constituents so vulnerable. McClintock also voted against the recent bipartisan omnibus spending bill, which Pres. Trump's own Secretary of Agriculture says is crucial to addressing fire prevention. The legislation included a long-term "fire funding fix" that will stop the rise of the 10-year average cost of fighting wild land fire and reduce the disruptive practice of transferring funds from fire prevention programs to cover firefighting costs. Adding insult to injury, McClintock voted against a 2017 bill to provide federal aid to victims of the California wildfires, and a bill this year to provide tax relief to fire victims.

McClintock is facing his toughest re-election test since his first race in 2008. He trailed Morse in fundraising by a more than two-to-one margin in the most recent finance quarter, taking in only $223,000 to Morse's $543,000. Additionally, every major political prognosticator has moved the race out of the "Safe Republican" category, including Inside Elections, the Cook Political Report, UVA's Crystal Ball, and CNN. In fact, McClintock's 51% showing in June was the lowest total he's ever received in a 4th district primary. Morse was also recently added to the DCCC's Red to Blue program, which highlights the most competitive Congressional races across the country.

About Jessica Morse

A fifth-generation Northern Californian, Jessica Morse is a daughter of the foothills. A devoted public servant, Morse spent a decade serving with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, including over a year in Baghdad at the height of the Iraq War. She is running for office to bring public service back to politics to protect our land, healthcare, and local economy.

About the 4th District

California's 4th District stretches from the eastern Sacramento suburbs to the Sierra foothills, including Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. Incumbent Republican Tom McClintock won his first election by less than a point, and the GOP vote for President shrunk to 54% in 2016, more competitive than many of the areas won by Democrats in recent special elections such as those in Alabama and Pennsylvania.

Paid for by Jessica Morse for Congress | 1079 Sunrise Ave, Ste B-275, Roseville, CA 95661