Lessons newly elected Elk Grove officials could learn from Doug Ose - Be Real

Former Rep, Doug Ose. |  By Dan Gougherty |  Though it might be hard to imagine given Rep. Ami Bera's recent comfortable victory to a fi...

Former Rep, Doug Ose. | 

By Dan Gougherty | 

Though it might be hard to imagine given Rep. Ami Bera's recent comfortable victory to a fifth term to the U.S. Congress representing Elk Grove and California's Seventh District, his second term for the seat was a hard-fought battle. In 2014 Bera, who barely beat incumbent Dan Lungren in 2012, faced another tough challenge from former Congressman Doug Ose.

During that election year, I closely followed the race and got to know Ose as much as someone can following a campaign.  Even though I did not agree with most of Ose's policies, I came to respect him for reasons that might otherwise seem trivial.

First, understanding the importance of even small media outlets, Ose readily availed himself to coverage. Although he had a fully-funded professional campaign staff and the backing of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Ose said to contact him, not a campaign staffer, with questions.  

Toward the end of the campaign season, I covered a get-out-the-vote event he held in Fair Oaks. And here is what always struck me about Ose, who it should be pointed out, is wealthy.

After he made his speech to his volunteers, I asked Ose for a brief interview, which he granted. He asked me to follow him to his vehicle.

His vehicle was a well-traveled pickup truck that had the markings of someone conducting business complete with a cluttered dashboard. Something you would more usually associate with a construction site supervisor, much less a former Congressman, and it was not a show like Walmart billionaire Sam Walton driving an old pick-up to conjure some folksy image. 

And here is the thing that struck me - Ose drove himself from event to event. No self-important bullshit entourage like so many low-level politicians thinks they need. 

While most of Ose's positions were at odds with my values, as well as a majority of voters that year, it did show, at least to me, what you saw with him is what you got. That is something worthy of respect. 

As Elk Grove elected officials, especially newly elected ones, take office, it is worth remembering Ose's example. Be real, be open to questions, especially from those who might not share the same ideology, and preserve your integrity.

And for goodness sake, remember, you are not a member of Congress; you are just a local-yokel elected official. Drop the vanity, lose the drivers, lose the photographers, and get rid of that entourage you think you need. 

Just be real.

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White Hat said...

You should have written this to Steve Ly four years ago. Ly was the only local politician that thought he needed that entourage.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Pete Townshend of The Who wrote it best, “Yeah. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”

The egomaniacs on the Elk Grove City Council, in the the past, used EGPD as their personal drivers. That is, until the usual suspects found out and put a stop to that misuse of our police department.

And then to make matters worse, one council member would then turn around and bill the taxpayers for mileage. Took citizens coming forward and forcing an ordinance to put a stop to that council dishonesty.

And here we go again! Does the new boss already have a driver? Recent sightings say it’s already occurring. Are the new electeds already in bed with the developers?

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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