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Winter 2004 CalBusiness  
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Up Close: Congressman Doug Ose on the Job

by Marguerite Rigoglioso

Congressman Ose on the Job 24/7
US Representative
Doug Ose, BS 77

Between the rivers and streams of the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta and the snow-capped mountains of the Nevada border lies US Congressman Doug Ose’s corner of the world. Ose, a Reupublican and a Sacramento native, has been working steadily to promote the social and economic well-being of his constituents in California’s Third Congressional District since 1998.

Ose will honor his term-limits pledge and retire from the House after the current108th Congress. "Congress is a non-stop job," Ose says enthusiastically. "As an elected official, your decisions affect millions of people both directly and indirectly. When you vote to send troops to war or tax businesses into oblivion, your job responsibilities are essentially in effect 24 hours a day."

For Ose, those responsibilities have included managing some of the bigger headaches facing the nation in recent years, such as the California energy crisis. It was Ose’s proposed price mitigation plan, adopted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2001, that led to drastic reductions in energy prices for California rate payers over the summer. Ose also authored legislation to fight energy price gouging and has been active in urging the state to adopt a new market design for California’s unstable energy market.

Ose has been working to promote education, protect the rights and economic security of the agricultural community, expand health-care coverage, eliminate government waste, and curb the growing drug epidemic. "An elected official is a role model," he says. "If people see you doing things properly, making decisions that greatly benefit the country that serves as an affirmation of our nation and its institutions."

Before turning to politics, Ose had for many years enjoyed a prominent career as a real-estate developer in the Sacramento area. He had been a member of the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Commission and a heavy promoter of military base reuse — a big-ticket item with residents who had been stung by multiple base closures in the area. Having enjoyed his various public roles, when the congressional seat became vacant in 1997, Ose decided to make a bid for office. "I realized it was an opportunity, and I took it," he says.

Ose says that although the world of business and politics are different, the knowledge he gained at Haas has been indispensable in his current career. "At Haas, I learned how to examine issues from multiple perspectives," he says. "That’s exactly what I do to get a grasp on political situations — I figure out where the parties involved are coming from, what’s important to them, and what’s motivating them." Indeed, for Ose, sometimes it’s déjà vu all over again: "The other day I was in a meeting on the theory of currency relative to the GDP, and I felt as though I were right back to my junior year class on money and capital markets with Lou Spellman!"

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Doug Ose

US Representative
Doug Ose, BS 77
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