Tom’s Perpetual Failure

Tom McClintock has been a politician for nearly forty years. He’s done little else in his life. For almost twelve of those years, he’s represented California’s 4th District – a role that should provide a critical link to the federal government, which owns and is responsible for 57% of California’s forests, and almost all of the publicly-owned forests in California’s 4th. But Tom has failed to pass the legislation we need to protect our forests, and his failure has caused tremendous harm.

We’ve known for decades that climate change would create the conditions we’re now seeing across the West. This 1989 study by the California Energy Commission predicts that “California’s forests are likely to experience lower growth and higher susceptibility to fires, insects, and disease. Significant Risk.” And they have. As the U.S. Forest Services tells us, “Since 2010” – McClintock’s time in Congress, representing a District comprised largely of forest – “an estimated 129 million trees have died in California’s national forests due to conditions caused by climate change, unprecedented drought, bark beetle infestation and high tree densities.” A July 2017 Symposium by the U.S. Department of Agriculture produced a number of recommendations to fix California’s forests. So far as we can tell from his congressional website, Tom hasn’t taken action on any of these recommendations. Instead, as we’ve explained before, the only option Tom’s offered is a bill that serves corporate interests, not ours.

Tom McClintock’s partiality for business interests might be because they are such solid supporters – the Koch Industries and PG&E PACs contributed again this year, as they have in the past. Just as importantly, though, Tom stands with the extremists in his party in refusing to acknowledge our climate crisis. He stubbornly declared just last year that climate change was nothing to worry about, comparing scientists sounding the alarm to Chicken Little. But as Tom’s inaction and failure has shown us, you can’t fix a problem if you won’t face it. As this article explains, “the climate crisis is happening right now.” Officially, the 2020 fire season has barely begun. It typically lasts through October or later. But we’ve already lost more than 3 million acres of forest, too many lives and an untold number of homes in California. The West is on fire. Tom’s Twitter feed offers lots of warnings but no solutions.

Tom McClintock has had long enough to take meaningful action to fix this problem. It’s clear now that he can’t or won’t. California’s 4th District deserves better. We deserve a representative who sees our challenges with clear eyes and takes meaningful action to fix them. We deserve a representative who truly cares about what happens in this District. We deserve a representative who will fight for us.

Join us, as we fight to send Tom McClintock back to his own District, and to finally stop him from selling us out, one vote at a time. To learn more about the alternative, visit

Because we know, as Margaret Mead said, that “a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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