By Trina Kleist
The cost of placing a candidate statement in voter pamphlets was enough to prevent congressional candidate Ben Emery, of Nevada City, from using that forum to get out his message.
Emery, an independent candidate, is running for the 4th U.S. District congressional seat against incumbent Republican Tom McClintock, of Elk Grove.
In early August when the candidate statements were due, the grassroots campaign was "hand to mouth," Emery said Friday. He didn't have the money to pay for statements in every county pamphlet in the nine-county 4th District, he added.
In Nevada County, candidates are charged a flat fee of $75 plus $0.025 for every voter in the district, said Senior Assistant Clerk-Recorder Beth Goodrich.
All of Nevada County is within District 4, so the congressional candidates each would have to pay $1,605.45 for the statement, Goodrich said.
Other counties charge fees under similar formulas, Goodrich said. In Placer County, with about 196,000 voters in the 4th Congressional District, the candidates each would have to pay $4,050 to have their statements printed, she added.
The district also covers all or part of Sierra, Plumas, Modoc, Lassen, Butte, El Dorado and Sacramento counties, with nearly 589,000 people 18 years old or older in 2009, according to the most recent U.S. Census information.
Emery offered his statement to readers of The Union:
"I am a family man, father, ranch manager, youth athletic coach, outdoorsman, and was born and raised in Northern California. I have long-term, vested interests in the district I hope to represent.
"For too long, we have been voting for career politicians or candidates running to represent their parties. I am neither Democrat nor Republican; I am an independent man running for the people of the 4th District.
"I am running against the corruption in Washington, DC. My campaign does not accept political action committee or corporate donations. The reason for this is, I do not want any entity or organization to have influence on the votes I will be taking or the legislation I will be writing. The people of the district are my special interests.
"My main platform once in office will be regaining the control of our elected officials through public financing of campaigns. Those who control the purse strings of our elections, control the elected officials in our government. The revolving door and influence of lobbyists in our nations capital is a big part of the problem we face today.
"Slowing this process of elected officials becoming lobbyists or vice versa is a key element to regaining control of our government.
"Government doesn't happen to us; we vote for it.
"I look forward to representing my neighbors and the beautiful 4th District of California in the 112th congress of the United States of America."