Congressman Urges Climate Change 'Agitation' Through Newspapers, Radio

If you want to fight the good fight against Draconian climate change legislation, catch your elected officials with witnesses around, don’t try to talk privately with them.

That was the advice Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., gave while speaking at the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change held by The Heartland Institute in New York on March 9. He encouraged the audience to confront policymakers in public forums rather than one-on-one.

“If you’re sitting in their office and you’re talking to them, you’re in exactly the wrong place,” McClintock said. “If you want to communicate with your legislator, don’t write them a letter. Write that same letter to the local newspaper or put it on a blog. Mention them by name, how they’re voting and ask them those inconvenient questions.”

According to the freshman California congressman, when constituents employ such tactics, it forces accountability by particular politicians.

“Don’t visit them, don’t visit them in their office,” McClintock said. “Visit them at a public meeting when you can hold them accountable in front of their constituents. If you’re going to call them, don’t call them at their office – call them on a local talk show.”

McClintock cited abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who was a central figure in the equal rights movement after the Civil War.

“Very late in life, a great abolitionist, Frederick Douglass was approached by a young protégé – after the 13th and 14th Amendments, long after the Civil War and the protégé asked Mr. Douglass, what do we do now? This great abolitionist looks at him and says, ‘Agitate, agitate, agitate.’ That’s what the left is doing. They’re very good at it. We have to get just as good at it.”

McClintock was elected to represent California’s 4th Congressional District in November 2008 after spending 22 years in the California state legislature. He was a candidate in California’s historic 2003 recall election, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger was first elected.