In an indication of the coming battle for California's Seventh Congressional District, Democratic Congressman Ami Bera's campaign has been accused of dirty tricks by his Republican challenger, former Congressman Doug Ose.
According to an email sent today by Ose campaign staffer Michawn Rich, a current Bera campaign volunteer and former Congressional intern, Assem Chipalkatti, allegedly attempted to volunteer for the Ose campaign at about 3 p.m. yesterday. Rich said that Chipalkatti told the Ose staff that he had worked for Republican candidates in Washington and that he felt Ose was the best person for the job given Bera's support of the Affordable Health Care Act.
Rich claimed the staff was on to the proposition, and after listening, "politely escorted him from the premises." Chipalkatti's alleged action was characterized as an attempted infiltration.
The Bera campaign has been contacted, and campaign manager Danny Kazin
as of this posting responded by saying the matter was just brought to their attention and that it is being investigated. said Chipalkatti "volunteered for us in the past but was no longer associated with our campaign when he apparently visited Ose's headquarters yesterday. Nobody from our campaign directed or suggested that he go there."
Ose called on Bera to discipline his campaign manager, adding that "This may be an acceptable parlor game in Washington, D.C., but it is not what the people of Sacramento County expect from their elected officials."
Additionally, Ose took the opportunity to renew his challenge for a series of five debates in the weeks leading up to the elections. Currently no debates between Bera and Ose have been scheduled.
“Instead of trying to infiltrate our office, Bera’s campaign staff should work to establish the five debates that I have proposed," Ose said. "The voters deserve to hear about our competing visions for this district.”