Igor Birman, running to oust Democratic Rep. Ami Bera of Elk Grove, is up with his second television ad of the primary, skewering fellow Republican Doug Ose for what he characterizes as a liberal voting record when he served in Congress from 1999 to 2005. Following is a script of Birman’s 31-second television spot, which features many of the same charges he leveled against Ose in a prior two-minute Web ad. Christopher Cadelago of The Bee Capitol Bureau has the analysis.
Narrator: Doug Ose was ranked one of the most liberal Republicans in Congress.
He voted for over a trillion dollars in new debt increases, threatening our economy, mortgaging our future.
Ose voted for amnesty, and even backed a scheme to give Social Security benefits reserved for America’s seniors to illegal immigrants.
Doug Ose. He’s just too liberal.
Igor Birman is a conservative who will stand up for us.
Analysis: Birman is trying to counter Ose’s efforts to portray himself as a fiscal conservative. It’s true Ose voted for debt ceiling increases, but the ad doesn’t include the proper context.
Ose, who served in the Republican-led House, voted to increase the debt ceiling by $450 billion, increasing the nation’s limit to $6.4 trillion from $5.95 trillion in 2002. The following year, a proposal to raise the debt ceiling by $984 billion, to nearly $7.4 trillion, was incorporated into a procedural vote to bring the budget to the floor and passed with Ose’s support. Ose opposed raising the debt limit to $8.2 trillion from $7.4 trillion in 2004.
Though the first two votes mentioned total debt ceiling increases of more than $1 trillion, Birman does not mention that the nation was establishing and fortifying its homeland security apparatus and engaging in multiple wars following the attacks of 9/11.
The claim about providing benefits to illegal immigrants was previously used by Birman and, before that, by his boss, Rep. Tom McClintock, against Ose in the 2008 primary. The charge stems from a 2004 vote by Ose against amending an agreement between President George W. Bush and Mexico on pensions for U.S. workers in Mexico and Mexican workers in the U.S.
A 2003 U.S. Government Accountability Office report noted the agreement was expected to increase the number of unauthorized Mexican workers and family members eligible for Social Security benefits. However, the report also said some illegal immigrants could already receive Social Security benefits under certain circumstances. The ad also fails to mention Ose’s position was shared by Bush and several leading Republicans, including now-House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Rep. Darrell Issa.