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Buzz Patterson
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Distinguished White House Military Aide Challenging California Rep. Ami Bera

Buzz Patterson is an outsider with an insider’s knowledge

By Katy Grimes, August 27, 2019 8:16 am

Colonel “Buzz” Patterson is challenging Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) in the 7th Congressional District. Why? “I want to help bring back the Golden State,” Patterson says. 

Rep. Ami Bera has represented the district since January 2013 following redistricting. Currently Congressional District 7 represents southern and eastern Sacramento County. The District has 13.8 percent unemployment – much higher than the state average.

Congressional District 7

Patterson said he’s greatly concerned about the homeless explosion in California and on Sacramento streets in District 7. “Homeless veterans are not being offered much help at all, while indigent illegal immigrants are receiving free benefits,” Patterson said.

“California has the fifth largest economy in the world, but the state’s public schools ranks 48th in the country,” he said. “How can Gov. Newsom brag about that?”

“And we are still paying for that stupid train,” he said. “San Francisco actually built a train station for high speed rail, but there are no tracks. There is such a disconnect in this state,” Patterson said. “California politicians shoot first and aim later. High Speed Rail is a perfect example.”

Patterson describes Rep. Ami Bera as “a reliable Democrat vote for Nancy Pelosi rather than for District 7.”

“High unemployment in the district, jobs, homeless vagrants and homeless veterans – this is why so many Californians are moving to Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico, and Arizona. I want to stay and fight,” Patterson said.

“California is benefitting from President Trump’s economic policies, and especially minority groups,” Patterson said. “Unemployment is at historic lows. You are better off today under President Donald Trump if you are a minority. So the high unemployment in District 7 is telling.”

Who is Buzz Patterson? 

Patterson has seen government from the deepest recesses inside; he worked in the White House for the Clinton Administration, and was responsible for carrying the nuclear football. The American nuclear “football,” officially known as the Presidential Emergency Satchel, is always accompanied by a military aide carrying launch codes for nuclear weapons.

In a California Globe interview, Colonel Patterson said his job in the White House encompassed much more than just carrying the emergency satchel; he was operational commander for all military units assigned to the White House, which included Air Force One, Marine One, Camp David, and the White House Transportation Agency.

Prior to working in the White House, Patterson was stationed at Travis Air Force Base, and lived through the Clinton Administration’s “Base Realignment” and Closure (BRAC). California was very hard hit with 28 military bases closed which caused housing values to drop significantly. Congressional District 7 in Sacramento, lost three major military bases. Many families still living in the region were either active duty military at the time, or had family members employed at the bases.

Lt. Colonel Robert “Buzz” Patterson

Patterson hails from a military family. His father was an Air Force pilot for 33 years, and retired as a two-star Major General. Patterson said as a child they moved every two to three years. He attended eight schools in 12 years, and even moved during his senior year in high school. “At the time it was difficult, but I wouldn’t change anything,” Patterson said. “It made me resilient to change schools, change sport teams, and change friend groups.”

Patterson went into the Air Force following receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Virginia Tech University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. 

He was considering going to law school and then into the JAG Corps, when then-President Ronald Reagan, who was trying to repair the military from the Jimmy Carter Administration cuts, encouraged young people to join the military. Patterson said law school could wait – he went in to the Air Force and became a pilot.

Patterson saw tours of duty in 69 countries, including combat operations in Grenada, Bosnia, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Rwanda, and Haiti.

The call from the White House came in 1995, and he started working for the Clinton Administration in 1996. Patterson went everywhere the President did, and had an office and a bedroom in the White House. As operational commander for all military units assigned to the White House, Patterson said he was in charge of coordinating all of the behind-the-scenes logistics and travel with the President. “You can’t screw up… on a nine-country African trip in 1998, when there are thousands of people to coordinate on a trip overseas,” he said.

During his years with the Clintons, Patterson found himself disgusted and appalled with what he’d personally witnessed in the Clinton White House.

Patterson has been asked to run for public office several times, but the timing was never good.

Following his retirement from the Air Force, Patterson flew for Delta Airlines as a commercial pilot. And he wrote books – two of which were New York Times bestsellers.

Patterson said the Clintons led him to write “Dereliction of Duty,” a warning of the kind of harm an irresponsible president can do to our national security. Patterson said Bill Clinton had a lack of focus, and lack of direction, and waffled constantly on military engagement. Patterson said because of this, Bill Clinton could have captured Osama Bin Laden but didn’t, and made the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 inevitable.

And in 2016, when Hillary Clinton decided to run for President, Patterson retired from Delta and got back into speaking and writing to educate voters about the Clintons and their legacy.

Patterson’s books include Dereliction of Duty, Reckless Disregard, War Crimes and Conduct Unbecoming about President Barack Obama and how his national security policies weakened the military and endangered America’s safety.

Patterson received the Defense Superior Service Medal for accomplishments while at the White House and was awarded the Air Force Air Medal for flying combat support missions during the Bosnian War in 1994.

Patterson, his wife and their three children reside in California.

Katy Grimes

Katy Grimes, the Editor of the California Globe, is a long-time Investigative Journalist covering the California State Capitol, and the co-author of California's War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins? Who Loses?
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