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The National Journal Group Hotline

CA Rep. Doug Ose (R-03) “turned his congressional subcommittee into a high-profile platform to criticize” Democratic officials and CA “energy regulators the last two years.” Now, Democratic officials “may use” Ose’s chairmanship of a House Gov’t Reform subcommittee “as he edges closer to a bid to unseat” Boxer.

Ose “returned” $6.5K of the nearly $33.5K “in energy companies’ campaign contributions he received as he traveled the state for subcommittee hearings. And like Boxer, Ose sold energy stock during the height” of the CA power crisis, “giving the profits to charity as the wealthy

developer does each year with his congressional pay raise.”

During subcmte hearings the last two years, Ose defended President Bush “and was sharply critical” of Gov. Gray Davis (D) and CA energy regulators.

Democrats complain GOPers “have used” the Gov’t Reform Committee “for years as a partisan bludgeon,” as GOPers did when Dems “had the majority.” But the criticism Ose is getting “could wind up helping” him in “in the short term, countering views that he isn’t conservative enough to win the GOP nomination to take on the liberal Boxer.”

Douglas Heller, of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR): “The contrast between Senator Boxer and Congressman Ose couldn’t be more clear. She was one of the first federal lawmakers to point the finger at the power companies and question their role … while Congressman Ose was defending the federal bureaucracy and the power companies.”

Ose “denies ignoring energy generators’ manipulation, and last month reintroduced legislation that would let FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commis.) impose penalties or price gougers” (Thompson, AP, 3/8).

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