California District 52 (San Diego) is a great opportunity for a dem pickup this year. Mother Jones called Lori Saldana one of the ten mostly likely electable Occupy candidates, saying her prospects are good, and according to Public Policy Polling, the race is one of the 12 most likely pick-ups for house dems in 2012. Republican Brian Bilbray is the incumbent; you can see in the graphic below how much his district has changed in 2012 – the yellow is his old district (50), the blue is the new district (52) and the red is State Assembly District 76.
Why is the 76th AD important? Because, this was the district of progressive challenger Lori Saldana, when she served three terms in the Assembly. Not only did she win each of her three elections by double digit margins, she was also Speaker Pro-Tem and the Majority Whip. She authored, sponsored and passed a host of progressive legislation (you can see her list of accomplishments here).
Lori’s progressive bona fides are unimpeachable, she won this district several times hands down, and now a good portion of the 76th is part of the new CD 52! This is real bad news for Bilbray and the Republicans, because on top of Bilbray losing all of his wealthy North County constituents (most of whom are going to Darrell Issa), he also has to contend with the much more liberal beach and urban areas – as well as Lori’s many, many grassroots supporters that voted her into the State Assembly three times.
This is all good, right? Not so fast … we have a wolf in sheep’s clothing by the name of Scott Peters who has entered the flock.
“O praeclarum custodem ovium lupum!” proclaimed Cicero, one of early Rome's most proclaimed thinkers. An excellent protector of sheep, the wolf!…begins an op-ed piece on him during the 2003 city council elections.
More on Scott Peters - San Diego’s “Mini-Mitt” - below the orange curl…
Scott Peters is a multi-millionaire who calls himself a democrat, but is really in the pockets of the age-old land wealth power structure here in San Diego. I have diaried about his background here. He will be Mitt Romney’s neighbor once Mittens Manor in La Jolla is complete (the very district that Peters represented when he was on City Council).
Much like Mitt, Peters is worth at least $260M, according to his FEC financial disclosure file. Just like Mitt, he made his money as a
private equity vulture capitalist, buying up companies and selling them off for a profit. And again, much like Mitt, Peters won’t release his tax returns. Lori has been challenging Peters, and Brian Bilbray, to release their taxes since February 22nd; Lori released hers months ago.
While Bilbray has accepted the challenge, Peters, supposedly a democrat, refuses; in an economy where the 1% has reaped more than 93% of the recent growth, Scott Peters doesn’t feel that it is important for us to know what his tax rate is. Does he pay less than his secretary? Does he pay less than you? In addition, what is he hiding? Look at all the skeletons in Mitt's closet that are slowly seeing daylight... we need to know if Peters is being honest with us.
Do we really need another bona fide 1%’er, who panders to the left yet votes with the right? Don’t we have enough corporate dems in congress???
What is also sad is you will probably see that he has support from some big unions, but his record is really pathetic on labor issues. While he was on the City Council, he:
-Opposed the Living Wage ordinance for city contractors in 2005 (that passed 5-4, BTW)
-Opposed prevailing wage for water and sewer projects under $10M. While he tries to spin this as “supporting” a prevailing wage, the truth is that San Diego has never supported a prevailing wage. This resolution was actually requested by the construction industry for one project, to avoid getting outbid by non-local contractors who had access to cheaper labor. In fact, it was the “pro-business” position. For the projects under $10M, well, unions are on their own. In reality it was a pro-business measure spun to bolster his “pro-labor cred” and help his labor-leader lackeys save face with their organizations. If he really supported labor, he would have pushed for an initiative for all projects over $1M, as was passed after he left.
-He pledged to the conservative Lincoln Club (full two-page pander here) that he would support keeping hotel developments immune from “union operation contracts”. This is an issue that was finally passed by the City Council in 2010, after Peters had left. It requires large hotel projects downtown to seek council approval for their project, opening them up to public and union scrutiny and debate. It gives the unions an opportunity to weigh in and request labor agreements for the future hotel. I’m not sure if the unions know about his earlier pledge to republicans and fellow fat cats to throw them under the bus if project labor agreements don’t work to the business interests’ benefit, because I think if they did they’d change their minds about supporting him.
I have supported private hotel proposals on private land, including the Intercontinental and the Rosewood, without using our land use regulatory authority to impose union operation contracts.These are Scott Peters own words; does that sound like a union supporter to you?
-In the same letter to the Lincoln Club, he states: “I have consistently opposed the imposition of Project labor Agreements on projects, except where (as in the case of the ballpark) the project proponent saw an advantage to it.”
That pretty much sums up Scott Peters’ position on everything – he’s with American workers, as long as the 1% sees an advantage to it. Yes, he has union support, yes, he has establishment democratic support, for one reason, and one reason only: his big fat donor list. It makes him really popular at parties, like the nerdy kid on the block who has a pool.
Any union leader, and any politician who supports Scott Peters, can count on a ready-made bank account. Some of the top “labor leaders” in San Diego are actually contemplating running for office; is their support for Peters really based on his supposed undying support of labor, or is it more about garnering his loyalty for their own future political aspirations?
It’s pretty clear that faced with a choice between the corporate 1% and American workers, Scott Peters will throw us under the bus in a San Diego second. Three former Chamber of Commerce presidents have endorsed him; those people don’t endorse politicians lightly. They’re not like us lefties; they have plenty of money, and they don’t need to beg for cash. What they’re looking for are political hacks that will do their bidding in Washington – that’s what they pay for, literally. Hundreds of millions of dollars. If they support Scott Peters, they are betting that they will get their investment back in spades. His record shows that they will.
Support Lori Saldana for Congress – a real grassroots progressive that really can WIN!!!
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Scott Peters, SHOW US YOUR TAXES!!!!
9:48 AM PT: REC LIST!!??!?!! WOO HOO!!! Thanks everyone! I'm checking to see if maybe Lori can stop by; if not today, she'll definitely be here soon to talk to us in person.... YAY!!!!
10:26 AM PT: Lori is here to talk to us!!! May I introduce the Honorable Lori Saldana, candidate for California 52nd Congressional district!
10:54 AM PT: Lori had to leave to walk precincts - tough work running as a grasroots candidate... But please, leave your comments and questions and she'll be checking in later to answer them! Thanks!!