California: Brown Hit for Anti-War Rally Appearance

Posted September 17, 2008 at 6:43pm

State Sen. Tom McClintock has launched a broadside attack against retired Air Force Lt. Col. Charlie Brown in their race for the open 4th district, accusing the Democrat of embracing anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and participating in a protest where a soldier was hung in effigy.

Brown, hoping to outlast McClintock in the solidly Republican 4th district after nearly knocking off retiring Rep. John Doolittle (R) last cycle, responded with a call for his GOP opponent to stop the partisan attacks and join him in supporting veterans.

McClintock held a news conference Tuesday demanding that Brown come clean about his role in a 2005 anti-Iraq War demonstration in Sacramento. McClintock’s campaign also went up with a districtwide radio ad featuring the mother of an Iraq War veteran who chides Brown on his participation in the rally.

“Hi, I’m Deborah Johns, proud mother of a United States Marine. My son has served three tours of duty in Iraq, and everyday I’m reminded of what it’s like to have a child in harm’s way,” Johns says as the ad opens.

“That’s why I was so upset to see Charlie Brown at an anti-war protest where a soldier was hung in effigy,” Johns continues in the ad. “That’s no way to support our troops. Showing up in uniform sends the wrong message to our veterans and only helps groups like CODEPINK promote their left-wing agenda.”

At the demonstration in question, the owners of the home where it was held hung a soldier in effigy to symbolize the troops who had died in Iraq for a war that the they deemed to be unjust and unnecessary. Brown has claimed that he was wearing a camouflage jacket at the rally, but McClintock’s ad argues otherwise.

Brown, in a statement released by his campaign, doesn’t directly address all of the charges the McClintock campaign makes in this radio ad.

But Brown does criticize McClintock, saying he has voted against veterans and soldiers at war “time and time again,” while encouraging him to donate 5 percent of every campaign dollar that he raises to veterans’ charities, just like he has.

“Rather than join me in a bipartisan effort to provide real, immediate help to veterans, [McClintock] would rather spend thousands of dollars on negative attack ads,” Brown said. “This is exactly what’s wrong with politics in Washington and why so many people are frustrated that our problems never get solved.”

McClintock also hit the 4th district’s radio airwaves this week with an ad on fiscal issues.