Sunday, December 30, 2012

 Rep.-Elect Scott Peters to Be Sworn In with 113th Congress On Jan. 3 at U.S. Capitol

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, Jan. 3, Representative-Elect Scott Peters will take the oath of office with the other members of 113th Congress. The Vice-President and the Speaker of the House will administer the oath during the first session of the 113th Congress on the floor of the House of Representatives at noon EST (9 a.m. PST).

“I’m honored and eager to be taking the oath of office next week.  Personally, it will be the culmination of an exciting year for my family and me,” Peters said. “But mostly, I am enthusiastic about getting to work for San Diego,” he added.  His wife and their two children will join Peters at the ceremony.

On the morning of the swearing-in, Peters and his family will participate in a bi-partisan prayer service at St. Peters Catholic Church in D.C. Additionally, on Jan. 3 Peters will host an Open House in his Capitol Hill office, to celebrate the occasion. The Open House will be held from noon to 4 p.m., at 2410 Rayburn HOB, Washington, D.C. To RSVP for the Open House, write to

Peters’ District Director MaryAnne Pintar encouraged residents of the 52nd District, and Peters’ other friends and supporters, to participate in the swearing in by watching the proceedings on CSPAN where they will be aired live, and by posting a message on Peters’ Facebook page.

“So many people contributed to the success of the campaign and helped send Scott to Washington,” Pintar said. “We can’t all be in D.C. for the big day, but we can all be a part of it by sending him well wishes on Facebook or Twitter. I know it would mean a lot to him to hear from people back home on this important day. He's going to need a lot of support from San Diego.”

Peters' Facebook page and Twitter account can be accessed via the home page of his campaign


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Support United Health Care Employees (UHCE)

Our fight for fair wages and affordable health benefits continues on Wednesday. We joined our fellow workers from United Health Care Employees (UHCE) last month to stand tough in negotiations with Sodexo, a foreign corporation to which many personnel decisions have been outsourced at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. But housekeepers and dietary workers at Sharp Grossmont still don't have affordable health insurance.

It's crucial that we continue to stand together and make our voices heard. 

Can you join us in solidarity for the picket on Wednesday afternoon?

Wednesday, December 12
2:00 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Sharp Grossmont Hospital
Corner of Grossmont Center Drive and Health Care Center Drive, La Mesa

Saturday, December 8, 2012

San Diego Working Families To Participate in National Candlelight Campaign Against Cuts

Urge Senator Dianne Feinstein to Say: No Cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security Benefits, End Tax Cuts for 2%

San Diego– On December 10, San Diego working families will gather at 750 B Street for a candlelight event to keep pressure on Senator Dianne Feinstein to say no to any cuts in benefits to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, and to end tax cuts to the richest 2%. San Diegans spoke out loud and clear about their priorities in this election, and it’s important to remind politicians of that clear message.

Since the election, San Diego’s working families have been mobilizing around the Lame Duck session. On Nov. 8, working families across the country held nearly 100 events outside Congressional offices, health clinics, Social Security offices, construction sites and other community locations.

San Diego working families

Ahead of the ‘fiscal cliff’ showdown in Washington D.C., working families will hold a candlelight vigil opposing tax breaks for the top 2% and in defense of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Monday, December 10, 2012
5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Outside Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein
750 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101

San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council
3737 Camino del Rio South, #403, San Diego, CA 92108
619-228-8101 Office


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rep.-Elect Scott Peters Announces First Hires Michelle Dorothy Named Chief of Staff, MaryAnne Pintar is District Director

San Diego – Representative-elect Scott Peters today announced the hiring of his two top aides. Michelle Dorothy, who has been both a District Director and a Chief of Staff for a member of Congress, will be his Chief of Staff in Washington, D.C.  MaryAnne Pintar, who has nineteen years experience in local government and politics, will be his District Director.

“Michelle has solid congressional experience and a meaningful private sector background.  She will understand the challenges around job creation that were so important in our campaign, and she will ensure that our two offices provide efficient and first-rate service to constituents,” Peters said of Dorothy.

Dorothy is currently chief of staff for an outgoing Democratic congressman. Before her work as a congressional aide, she spent 10 years in the private sector in the telecommunications and software industries where she was responsible for the design and implementation of marketing strategies for multi-million dollar product portfolios. Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Dorothy has a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University, as well as two master’s degrees: one in business administration and one in public and international affairs, both from the University of Pittsburgh.

“MaryAnne Pintar will bring invaluable ties to the community and years of political and government experience to the job.  And her strong communications background will help ensure that my work in D.C. is responsive to our district and the region,” Peters said.

Pintar was most recently the communications director for Peters’ congressional campaign and she was his last chief of staff when he was San Diego City Council President.  She’s managed or worked in various capacities on several citywide campaigns in San Diego, run her own public affairs consulting business, and was also a senior press aide and chief of staff to former Mayor Susan Golding.  Pintar has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, and a Master of Science in Mass Communications with dual emphases in political science and advertising, both from San Diego State University.

Peters spent two of the past three weeks at freshman member orientation in Washington, D.C. preparing to take office in January. He will be sworn in with the 70 other new members in a ceremony on the House floor on January 3.


Lorena Gonzalez To Run For State Assembly

Elected Officials and Business Leaders Provide Early Support for Pro-Jobs Democrat’s Campaign for Assembly District 80 in South San Diego County

San Diego, CA -- (Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012) -- Working families advocate Lorena Gonzalez will run for the 80th State Assembly District, vowing to seek the seat once it is vacated by the current assembly member, she announced this evening.

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, Congressman-elect Juan Vargas and State Assemblyman Ben Hueso join several Democratic, Republican and independent elected officials, business advocates and community leaders in the 80th District who have already endorsed Lorena. Her election may come as early as Spring 2012.

“I’ve hammered out tough compromises between business and workers, between teachers and our school board, and between developers and environmentalists by putting practicality ahead of ideology.  That approach worked in San Diego County and it will work in Sacramento.  Extremism doesn't work. Pragmatic problem-solving does," Gonzalez said.

Lorena serves as the chief executive of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, an advocacy organization that represents 200,000 local union workers in the region.

As Secretary-Treasurer of the Labor Council, Lorena led successful campaigns for living wage agreements, local hiring preferences and increased education funding for San Diego County workers and their families.

“Respect for working families means respect for their money. Unions negotiate wages and benefits but nothing happens until union members vote. I think that principle applies to taxpayers," she said.

The 80th Assembly District, currently represented by Assemblyman Hueso, includes Chula Vista, National City, Imperial Beach and the San Diego neighborhoods of San Ysidro, City Heights, Barrio Logan, Sherman Heights, Otay Mesa, Paradise Hills and other southern areas of the city.

Lorena will seek election as early as this year if Assemblyman Hueso is elected to the State Senate in a special election this spring or as late as 2016 if he vacates the seat because of term limits.

Early Support for Lorena
Lorena has received endorsements from a variety of leaders representing the district, including Democrats, Republicans and independents:

•             San Diego Mayor Bob Filner
•             U.S. Congressman-elect Juan Vargas
•             Assemblyman Ben Hueso
•             State Senator Marty Block
•             San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez
•             San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald
•             National City Mayor Ron Morrison
•             Chula Vista City Councilwoman Mary Salas
•             Chula Vista City Councilwoman Pamela Bensoussan
•             National City Vice Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis
•             National City Councilwoman Mona Rios
•             San Diego Unified School Board President John Lee Evans
•             San Diego Unified School Board Member Richard Barrera
•             San Diego Unified School Board Member Kevin Beiser
•             San Diego Unified School Board Member Scott Barnett
•             San Diego Unified School Board Member-elect Marne Foster
•             Southwestern College Board President Norma Hernandez
•             Southwestern College Board Vice President Humberto Peraza
•             Southwestern College Board Member Tim Nader
•             Southwestern College Board Member Terri Valladolid
•             San Diego Community College Board Trustee Peter Zschiesche
•             South Bay Irrigation District Board Member Jose Preciado
•             Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante (retired)
•             State Senator Christine Kehoe (retired)
•             Imperial Beach Mayor Diane Rose (retired)
•             San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce* CEO and San Ysidro School Board Vice President Jason Wells
•             San Diego Economic Development Corp.* CEO Mark Cafferty
•             Former San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce* Chairman Mel Katz
•             Incoming Downtown San Diego Partnership* Chairman Keith Jones
(Partial list)
* indicates endorsement by the individual listed only. Organization is used for identification purposes only and does not indicate an endorsement by that organization.

About Lorena
The daughter of an immigrant farmworker and a nurse, Lorena learned the value of hard work and determination at an early age. After graduating from Vista High School in San Diego County, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Stanford University, a Master’s Degree from Georgetown University and a Law Degree from UCLA.

Upon her election to the Labor Council, Lorena became the first woman and first person of color to serve as head of the Labor Council since the organization’s inception in 1891.

Prior to coming to the Labor Council, Lorena worked as the Senior Advisor to California’s Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante. She served as a consultant to the Commission on Economic Development, and was the Lt. Governor’s principal advisor on policy issues dealing with labor, the environment, energy and infrastructure. Lorena was also the Lt. Governor’s appointee to the California State Lands Commission from 2000 to 2006 and served as San Diego City Councilman Ben Hueso's alternate to the Coastal Commission in 2007 and 2008.

Lorena serves on the boards of directors of the United Way of San Diego County, the California Labor Federation, the Center on Policy Initiatives and the Planning and Conservation League.

Nonetheless, Lorena’s most cherished title is that of mother. She lives in San Diego's Sherman Heights neighborhood with her two children – Tierra and Antonio.


Dr. Shirley Nash Weber takes Oath as Newest Assemblymember for 79th District

Sacramento, CA – The start of the legislative year begins with the addition of the newest member to the California State Assembly, Dr. Shirley Nash Weber. Assemblywoman Weber (D-San Diego) was sworn in on December 3, 2012 at noon inside the Assembly chambers at the California State Capitol in the company of relatives and close friends.  Dr. Weber, a professor and department chair at San Diego State University, has a record of creating jobs and serving the community that stretches back over her 30 years as a resident of the district.

“As the new Assemblymember for the 79th District, I realize that the voters have placed a tremendous trust in me,” said Dr. Weber. “There is much work to do specifically in the areas of job creation, education, and investment in infrastructure projects that will put folks back to work. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do the good work for the people of the 79th District and for California.”

Dr. Weber will also have a separate Community Swearing-In Ceremony on Saturday, December 8th, 2012 at the Bayview Baptist Church, Martin Luther King Jr. Center, 6134 Benson Avenue in San Diego from 3pm to 5pm.  The public is invited to attend this event. To RSVP or for more information contact Kaamal Martin at (619)279-8154.

Born to sharecroppers in Hope, Arkansas, Assemblymember Weber has lived in California since the age of three. Educated in our state’s public schools, she received her BA, MA and PhD from UCLA by the time she was 26. A respected community advocate known for her work on closing the academic achievement gap, Dr. Weber is the former President of the San Diego School Board. She currently serves as the mayor’s appointee and Chair of the Citizens’ Equal Opportunity Commission, where she has created jobs by tripling the number of small businesses contracting with the city of San Diego.

She is the first African –American to be elected to office South of Los Angeles.
Assemblymember Weber defeated Republican Mary England by capturing a whopping 60.27 percent of the votes and will take over the seat vacated by State Senator Marty Block representing the 79th District which includes portions of San Diego, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Bonita, National City, and Chula Vista.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shining A Light On Poverty Wages

San Diego California - Overpass Light Brigade, a group of San Diego community members, encourages public support for Wal-Mart employees locally and nation-wide. Employees of the mega-retailer are seeking dialogue with Wal-Mart regarding their poverty-level wages and inadequate health insurance.

Wednesday evening, November 21st, OLB will display a lighted banner reading "Walkout On Walmart" above Interstate 15 at the Aero Drive overpass.
Tonight's display is one of many "Walkout On Walmart" displays now taking place in cities across America, including Portland, Oregon, Hilo, Hawaii, Madison, Wisconsin, and Austin, Texas.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Peters Virtual Election Night Speech

Of my seven election nights, this is the third that lasted many days.  In the 2000 primary, I made the runoff by 300-odd votes, and waited a week to find out for sure.  In the 2012 primary, I made the runoff by 719 votes out of 151,000 cast; that took a number of weeks to play out.  And in this election, we closed up election night with a lead of 685 votes, with thousands more to count.  So unlike my friends like Toni Atkins or Brian Maienschien (who believe me would sweat if they ever got less than 60% of the vote), I don’t get to give a victory speech to my assembled supporters on election night.   So now I am giving my victory speech virtually.  So grab your campaign sign and an appropriate celebratory beverage, and read this while standing up.  Please applaud and laugh at the appropriate times.

Thank you!  Thank you so much for being here [or there]

I just [on Friday] received a gracious call from Congressman Bilbray congratulating me on our victory in this campaign.  He offered his help in making a successful transition.  We had a tough battle, but that battle is over.  Please join me in thanking Mr. Bilbray for his years of public service in Congress and beforehand, and in wishing him and his family well.  In particular, we send our thoughts and prayers to Brianna Bilbray as she fights cancer, and we wish her the very best. 

Thirteen months ago, we began a campaign to change Congress, to return to the days when listening, discussion and compromise created the road to success, not failure.  When we could disagree with civility.  When extreme partisanship was not the norm.  We thought we could balance the budget in a way that held the line on spending but still allowed us to invest in opportunities to grow our future – infrastructure, education and scientific research -- and retained a basic safety net for the poor, for seniors and for veterans.  We thought we could figure out a simpler tax code that was progressive but not punitive, that funded our government and incentivized the creation of jobs here in America. 

You thought so too, and that’s why we’re here [or there] celebrating this terrific victory!

A lot of analysts will write about why and how we won this election.   They will talk about blue and red, about turnout, about President Obama and Governor Romney, about money and super PACs.  But we all know the real why and the real how.  Why did we win?  Because people want Congress to change.  Duh.  [pause for chuckles]  How did we win?  Because of you all.

I could never adequately thank everyone who has so steadfastly endorsed me in this campaign, but let me mention a few.  From the beginning, we had the backing of our most prominent elected officials, including my adopted sister in politics, Toni Atkins.  My future colleagues Susan Davis and Juan Vargas and our new mayor, Bob Filner.  Our past and current leaders in Sacramento – Lucy Killea, Chris Kehoe, Ben Hueso, and Howard Wayne.  Dede Alpert, who endorsed me even as she fought back her own concern that I don’t smile enough.  [pause for chuckles as I ironically don’t smile.]   And Nathan Fletcher, who has served our nation and our state so honorably and is an exemplary leader.  I received wonderful good wishes and support from the folks I worked with at the City of San Diego and at the Port of San Diego, from my Port Commission colleagues like Chairman Lou Smith, and from our city council members, like David Alvarez and Marty Emerald.  And how about Todd Gloria; he worked as hard on this campaign as he would have on his own if he’d had an opponent!  We had the support of the labor community, environmentalists, Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Coalition.  Civic leaders like Irwin and Joan Jacobs and Malin Burnham.  Iconic San Diegans like Bill Walton and Donna Frye.  Former Chamber of Commerce chairmen Tom Wornham, Phil Blair, Mel Katz and Ted Roth.  All of those great community papers from Ocean Beach to La Jolla to Rancho Bernardo and Poway!  Oh, and did you hear that President Clinton endorsed me?   I am grateful to all of you.
I thank my parents for the example they set for me in raising a family and contributing to the greater good.  For fighting against race discrimination.  For teaching me that the first shall be last and the last shall be first and about the camel trying to get though the eye of the needle.  Look it up – you could learn something.  And for letting me tell the story of my father the minister and my mother the part-time secretary, who worked hard and saved their money put me and my three sisters through college on a minister’s salary with help from grants, college loans and work-study pigeon cage cleaning.  A lot of people related to that, and a lot of people are having a hard time doing for their family what my parents did for ours.

We had very generous financial contributors. Thanks to all of you.  There is a lot of evidence every year that election victories can’t be bought, but it’s also clear that you won’t win if you don’t have the resources to get the word out.  Our contributors funded what became a very expensive effort, and that’s important.  But they also made a statement with their contributions.  Those were investments in a better Congress and a future of promise and opportunity. 

And we had wonderful volunteers.  When our first volunteer (Lisa Casey) came in her by herself months and months ago to make phone calls, I worried that we had rented way too  much campaign office space.  Those worries were unfounded.  By the time the primary rolled around, and all throughout the summer and fall, our office was sending out walkers and buzzing with phone calls.  Near election days, we would send out 25 or 30 walkers to knock on doors.  Every afternoon and evening, we would have dozens of people making phone calls.  High school students, college students, retirees, and people who took off work to help out.  It was impressive.  My daughter, who came in to help when she was home from college, called me in amazement:  “Dad, there are all these people in here making phone calls for you and they don’t even know you.  It’s pretty cool.”

Well, it was really cool, and I thank each and every one of you for your dedication and generosity.

We also had a terrific campaign staff.  They came in early and stayed late.  Tracy Cambre, who hates politics but loves people, was not just the campaign glue but the campaign mom who kept our cookies coming and our spirits up.  Kate Lyon ran our amazing ground game, navigating our way through the state party and managing our volunteer army.  Over time, Kate was joined by Toni, Andrew, Andrea, Tom, McLean and Ryan, who is the future Prime Minister of Australia.  Dan Zawitoski – Dan Z – did our research and opposition observation.  Seamus Kennedy ran our fundraising operation, and he taught me a lot and put up with a lot.  A warning here – Seamus knows off the top of his head who’s maxed out and how far away you are from maxing out.  Later, Seamus was helped out by Brett on events, and Alan, our call time manager, who would track me down if I strayed from my call time.  Thanks to all of you guys for your great work!

And two more unusual talents. 

MaryAnne Pintar is a young woman with a lot of experience in government and politics here in San Diego.  She was the communications director in a campaign environment where distortion was the tool of the opponent and sometimes even our local editorial page.  [pause for adverse reaction to local editorial page]  It was a tough job but MaryAnne was up to it.  She fights for the truth and we respect her for her skill and tenacity.  And you should know that many of the national consultants she dealt with concluded that MaryAnne Pintar is one of the very best communications directors in the country.  Thank you, MaryAnne.

Our campaign manager, Robert Dempsey, came to us from politics in Vermont and Ohio.  He brought expertise that we had not seen here before, and I am not just talking about his formidable dancing or karaoke.  [pause for enthusiastic reaction from campaign staffers]  Robert knows how to raise money.  This may come as a surprise to no one, but although our demographics have changed, there is not a longstanding network of Democratic donors here in San Diego.  Robert has helped us begin to grow one.  In addition, Robert knew how to run a sophisticated field and get-out-the-vote effort that anyone who’s paid attention would honestly say was the first and best that San Diego has seen.  Robert, we would not have won this campaign without you leading us and showing us how.  Thank you.

And finally, I want to thank my wife of 26 years.  When Lynn married me, I was a corporate tax lawyer working to become a partner in a big law firm.  About 13 years ago, I started my long journey – some would say descent – into political life.  But as foreign as public life is to her, she has always supported me, even as she runs a major business, cares for her parents, manages our household and watches over our two children.  She had to watch as I was bashed in television commercials – one of which even mentioned her – and she had no way to fight back.  It is a lot to put up with, and I am awestruck by Lynn’s character and love.  So if you are happy about this election result, please take a minute to thank Lynn.  Without her there would be no “Congressman Peters.”

This was a big effort and this is a big win.  OK, it was not a landslide, but one of my roles is to be the candidate that the other candidates look to for drama and entertainment.  [Pause as Todd Gloria laughs and nods.]  Tonight we celebrate, tomorrow we rest, and then we get to work.  If I do my job, and if the rest of Congress gets the same message that voters in San Diego, Coronado and Poway sent, we are going to get this government back on track.  It may take some time.  It will take lots of work.  And none of our challenges will be overcome just in Washington DC.  We will need your support from home as well.  We will stay in touch.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everybody! God bless you all and God Bless America!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Weber’s message of economic opportunity and high-quality, affordable education resonates with voters

Lemon Grove, CA – Educator and local jobs advocate Dr. Shirley Weber has won the race for the 79th Assembly district, defeating Republican Mary England with 60.27 percent of the vote. Weber, a professor and department chair at San Diego State University, has a record of creating jobs and serving the community that stretches back over her 30 years as a resident of the district.

“I am honored to have won the support of so many who see that high-wage jobs and better public schools are key to getting our economy back on track,” said Dr. Weber. “I commend Mary England on running a great campaign.

“Tonight, the challenges we face are clear. Our economy isn’t creating enough high-wage jobs – jobs that allow families to purchase a home, send their kids to college and retire with dignity,” Weber said. “In Sacramento, I’m going to focus on doing basic things we know help create good jobs – fundamentals like improving the business climate in our area, expanding access to high-quality public education, and investing in infrastructure projects that put our friends and neighbors back to work.

“It is an honor to have run this race and to have the support of so many people who believe that we have what it takes to get this economy back on track. I look forward to working with everyone - Republicans, Democrats and Independents - to improve our economy and our quality of life.

“Thank you to everyone who stood with me, who stood up for our kids and our jobs and our community. I am profoundly grateful to the voters, and to everyone who volunteered on our campaign and came with us on this journey. I look forward to the road ahead, and to representing everyone in the 79th in Sacramento.”

About Dr. Shirley Weber

Born to sharecroppers in Hope, Arkansas, Shirley Weber has lived in California since the age of 3. Educated in our state’s public schools, she received her BA, MA and PhD from UCLA by the time she was 26. A respected community advocate known for her work on closing the academic achievement gap for children of color, Dr. Weber is the former President of the San Diego School Board. She currently serves as the mayor’s appointee and Chair of the Citizens’ Equal Opportunity Commission, and is a professor at SDSU. Dr. Weber has lived in the 79th Assembly District for over 30 years.

To learn more, visit

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Politician DeMaio reduced to lies and thuggery

There are reports of attempted voter suppression from south bay from right-wing Judicial Watch's Voter Integrity Project. A well deserved shout out to local Labor for pushing back against this bullying and attempt to deny citizens their right to vote. Given DeMaio's ties to the right-wingers in D.C., this attempt to turn San Diego into Arizona for voting to deny Filner a win deserves to be at the top of the news cycle and demands a real response from the progressive community in San Diego.

And these flyers have been popping up.

 If DeMaio were really up by 10, would these tactics be necessary?

Wait. This is DeMaio. It's not about winning. It's about destruction. An enemies list has been created, a flow chart of his administration has been making the rounds (Lutar as Deputy mayor positions her well for a run at the City Council), and this is keeping in character with a politician who doesn't care for anyone but himself and punishing those who dare challenge him.

That the Republican Party could produce someone this odious is a major reason why people don't like politics. And why DeMaio needs to lose.

Scott Has Experience Breaking Through Gridlock to Create Jobs  

Election Day: 11 Reasons in 7 Days to Support Scott Peters for Congress

San Diego -- The Scott Peters for Congress campaign today continued its 11 Reasons in 7 Days to support Peters over Tea Party candidate and 12-year incumbent Brian Bilbray in the California’s new 52nd Congressional District.

Reason #1: Scott has experience breaking through gridlock to create jobs, a skill Washington, D.C. desperately needs.

In 2000, the construction of the downtown ballpark had stopped because of conflicts of interest involving a former councilmember. Scott campaigned for the ballpark as a community member in 1998, convinced it would be a catalyst for rehabilitating the blighted East Village area of downtown. As a councilmember, he led the effort to restart the project. He removed the conflicts of interest, the bonds were issued and the ballpark opened. Now the East Village is energized and beautiful, and a part of the city that used to be a drain on city resources is a showcase ballpark that has sparked $1.2 billion in new direct private spending and more than 19,000 jobs. Watch Video

Scott has experience breaking through gridlock and logjams, a skill Washington, D.C. desperately needs to help turn around a flagging economy and create jobs.

Over the past seven days our campaign has provided tangible examples of Scott’s ability to work across party lines and achieve consensus to get results, and create jobs. His work to get the downtown ballpark jumpstarted and completed is a great example of this. It was mired in conflict and people were frustrated by the City’s inability to break through the gridlock to achieve progress on this important civic project.  Scott is running for Congress to bring this San Diego approach to Washington.

When President Bill Clinton endorsed Scott, he called San Diego his “exhibit A about why creative cooperation works better than constant conflict…If you vote for him, everyday he can stand up on the floor of Congress and give one of those little 1 minute speeches, saying let me tell you one more San Diego story. Let me tell you how we did it, with Democrats and Republicans making a better future, because we live in tomorrow, not yesterday.”

We couldn’t have said it any better. Here’s to tomorrow.

To find out more about Scott Peters’ campaign to change Congress, go to


Scott Can Build Bipartisan Consensus to Create Jobs

Election Day: 11 Reasons in 7 Days to Support Scott Peters for Congress

San Diego -- The Scott Peters for Congress campaign today continued its 11 Reasons in 7 Days to support Peters over Tea Party candidate and 12-year incumbent Brian Bilbray in the California’s new 52nd Congressional District.

Reason #2: Scott Builds Bipartisan Consensus to Create Jobs. He has widespread bi-partisan support Brian Bilbray can’t claim.

As Chairman of the San Diego Unified Port Commission, Scott garnered unanimous support from all five Port cities to secure Port funding for the Convention Center Expansion Project. The Port Commission is made up of Democrats and Republicans who each represent their own specific city and constituency. Yet, Scott successfully brought everyone around to supporting this critical project, which will result in as many as 2,000 construction jobs and 6,900 permanent new jobs for San Diegans. The Convention Center is a foundation for our tourism economy, one of the three “traded economies” in our region.

Scott is the only candidate in the race for California’s new 52nd Congressional District who has drawn support from Democrats, independents like Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association Lani Lutar, and Republicans, including three former chairman of San Diego’s Regional Chamber of Commerce.

These three former Chamber chairs are lifelong Republicans who’ve supported Brian Bilbray in the past. But in this race, they know Scott will be the better advocate in Washington for the San Diego region. Even Republican business leader Malin Burnham is supporting Scott. He said it’s because he knows Scott is a better leader, and has what it takes to bring San Diego’s Congressional delegation together to do what is needed to increase economic prosperity for our region.

These leading Republicans agree it’s time for change. To find out more about Scott Peters’ campaign to change Congress, go to


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Scott Stands Up for Those Who Stand Up for Us

Bilbray voted to underfund veterans’ health care & suicide prevention
Day 6: 11 Reasons in 7 Days to Support Scott Peters for Congress

San Diego -- The Scott Peters for Congress campaign today continued its 11 Reasons in 7 Days to support Peters over Tea Party candidate and 12-year incumbent Brian Bilbray in the California’s new 52nd Congressional District.
 Reason #5: Scott will stand up for those who stand up for us. He will always fight to fully fund veterans’ health care and benefits. He won’t turn his back on our war heroes as Brian Bilbray has done.  

When Scott was elected to the City Council, San Diego was losing hundreds of trained, experienced officers to cities where the cost of living was lower and the pay higher. And the Fire Department budget was not sufficient to meet emergency needs. Scott worked to gain Council approval for an 8% pay increase for police officers to help retain them. He also worked to increase the Fire Department budget by nearly 50% over four years to provide more staffing and better equipment. All this was accomplished without raising taxes, but by prioritizing spending.  When Scott left the City, we had one of the lowest crime rates in the San Diego’s history.

Police officers and firefighters risk their lives for us; they deserve to make a fair wage and to have the equipment needed to keep us, and them, safe. At the City, Scott stood up for those who stand up for us. He’s the only candidate in this race by San Diego Fire Fighters and the International Association of Firefighters.

In Congress, Scott will stand up for veterans and fight to ensure their health care and benefits are fully funded. Veterans and their families make enormous sacrifices to protect our national security and our freedoms.

It’s unconscionable that Brian Bilbray VOTED EIGHT TIMES to underfund veterans’ health care and benefits. He even voted against suicide prevention for our war heroes, and today, we are losing more warriors to suicide than on the battlefield. Yet, Bilbray gives oil companies that have never been more profitable tax breaks and subsidies. Nothing could be more backward or egregious.

We can do better. For more information about Scott Peters’ campaign to change Congress, go to


Friday, November 2, 2012

The Continued Economic Woes of Colleges in California

Education reform issues are something many San Diego Politico readers are passionate about, and the feature that follows builds on this topic by looking at the soaring tuition rates throughout the UC and CSU systems. Writer Rachel Higgins takes a by-the-numbers look at what is happening in California higher ed, and examines what politicians are aiming to do about it. Rachel writes full-time for an educational website that markets itself as a place to search for accredited degrees online and a general resource for anyone interested in learning more about college options.

The Continued Economic Woes of Colleges in California

While college students nationwide have contended with skyrocketing tuition prices in recent years, the growth of these costs has been particularly substantial in California. The increases have been primarily attributed to the state budget, and in response, many California congressmen have enacted various prescriptions intended to control costs more effectively.

In January 2010, California Gov. Jerry Brown proposed an annual state budget that made significant cuts to various state services, including $500 million slashed from the University of California. This reduction – 16.4 percent from the previous year – led to a dubious historical watermark: for the first time ever, student tuition contributions ($2.7 billion) were higher than state fund support ($2.5 billion). The cuts also dropped the state’s per-student funding even further. Between 1990 and 2011, this rate fell 57 percent, though the largest decline occurred in 2008-09 when the higher education budget was slashed 20 percent. In addition, Gov. Brown cut funding to both the California State University system by $500 million and the state’s community college programs by $400 million.

Higher education was not the only area targeted by Gov. Brown’s budget cuts. The 2011-12 plan implemented a rainy day fund of $1 billion, put measures in place to eliminate a budget gap of $25.4 billion, and cut spending by $12.5 billion. To offset these costs, state employees saw their wages decline by 8 to 10 percent, while Medi-Cal, welfare-to-work and programs benefiting children and low-income families were dramatically reduced. Brown was apologetic, but steadfast in his resolve when he unveiled the 2011-12 budget. “For 10 years, we've had budget gimmicks and tricks that pushed us deep into debt,” he said. “We must now return California to fiscal responsibility and get our state on the road to economic recovery and job growth.”

For the following year’s budgetary proposal, Gov. Brown included several prescriptions aimed at reducing the burden on California’s college students. Most notable was his “free online textbook library,” included in SB 1052, which would provide complementary course materials for the most popular lower-level courses in the state’s collegiate system. The library will be overseen by the California Open Education Resources Council, a group comprised of faculty from all three of the state’s academic divisions. He also implemented SB 1053, a “companion bill” that created a digital library of open source textbooks and course materials. Both libraries are licensed for creative commons, allowing students free access to materials while enabling instructors to create customized, web-based curricula. In addition, Brown signed SB 1028, which allocates $5 million for the library measures from the ScholarShare Trust. The absent funds will be matched by private donors and philanthropic organizations.

The 2012-13 budget also targeted students’ tuition woes. For both the UC and CSU systems, the General Fund will increase by $125 million provided that the schools retain annual tuition fees from the previous academic year (of $12,192 and $5,472, respectively); however, this measure depends on voter approval of Gov. Brown’s tax initiative in the November 2012 election. The budget also increased community college apportionment funding by $159.9 million (thereby retiring apportionment referrals) and added $23.8 million to the Proposition 98 General Fund, which will provide $28 to participating schools for each enrolled student. In order to access the General Fund, participating institutions must record graduation rates of at least 30 percent and lower the student loan cohort default rate (the number of students who default on their loan payments within three years of graduation) to 15.5 percent.

However, student tuition still stands to rise in the coming year. College costs are likely to rise by 6 percent pending passage of Gov. Brown’s Proposition 30, which increases California sales tax by 0.25 percent for the next four years and increases income tax rates for those who earn more than $250,000. If the proposition does not pass, then tuition will rise by as much as 20 percent – and the UC system will lose as much as $250 million in state funding.

Convincing the public to approve a measure that raises taxes is always a tricky sell for politicians, but the measures created by Gov. Brown that will appear on the ballot next month could enable California to effectively control tuition costs in the long term. Though Gov. Brown and other state politicos ultimately control how much money is allocated to different programs, California voters have the power to influence tuition costs in the upcoming election.

Rachel Higgins is a writer and researcher for Feel free to check out more of her writing!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Scott Supports Greater Campaign Transparency

Day 3: 11 Reasons in 7 Days to Support Scott Peters for Congress

San Diego -- The Scott Peters for Congress campaign today continued its 11 Reasons in 7 Days to support Peters over Tea Party candidate and 12-year incumbent Brian Bilbray in the California’s new 52nd Congressional District.

Reason #8: Scott will support greater transparency in election spending.

When Scott was elected to the City Council, several conflicts of interest were interfering with the City Council’s ability to get things done. That’s why he pushed to create San Diego’s first Ethics Commission. Scott was instrumental in drafting this legislation, which brought about one of the toughest and most effective ethics commissions in the state, and the first in our county. The Commission’s work has resulted in greater public scrutiny of political disclosures, greater transparency, and increased public confidence in local government.

Scott supports greater transparency in election-related spending
, such as the campaign finance disclosure rules proposed in the DISCLOSE Act, which was opposed by Tea Party candidate Brian Bilbray.

It’s no wonder Mr. Bilbray voted against the bill; he’s been the beneficiary of millions of dollars of spending by Super PACs that currently are not required to report who funds them, such as the Grover Norquist group, Americans for Tax Reform. Mr. Bilbray pledged allegiance to Grover Norquist. He pledged to never compromise at any time with anyone outside of the Tea Party.  In return, Norquist has invested $1.4 million to support Bilbray’s candidacy.

It’s time for a change. For more information about Scott Peters’ campaign to change Congress, go to

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Former President Clinton endorses Filner for Mayor

The Bob Filner for Mayor campaign today announced the endorsement of President Bill Clinton.  In a recorded statement, President Clinton said:

“This is President Bill Clinton asking you to join me in supporting Bob Filner for Mayor.  As President, I worked with Bob to save San Diego taxpayers over three billion dollars and secured funding for construction of the Veteran’s Home.  Bob has the experience to move San Diego forward – to create good-paying 21st Century jobs, to support quality public education,  and to put neighborhoods first, not special interests.  As a Freedom Rider in the 1960s, Bob showed he had the courage to do what’s right, and that’s exactly what he will do as mayor of San Diego.”

Filner expressed appreciation for President Clinton’s endorsement:  “I was proud to work with President Clinton to secure funding for major local infrastructure projects, to save ratepayers over $3 billion, and to strengthen our relations with Mexico, among other things.  He represents the kind of bi-partisan cooperation that puts problem-solving ahead of politics, and that’s the kind of mayor I will be for San Diego.”

Day 2: Scott Will Push for Investments in Transit, an End to Oil Company Subsidies

San Diego -- The Scott Peters for Congress campaign today continues its 11 Reasons in 7 Days to support Peters over Tea Party candidate Brian Bilbray in California’s new 52nd Congressional District.

Reason #9:  Scott will push for investments in alternative transportation and for an end to oil company subsidies.

When Scott was elected to the City Council, he helped turn a dilapidated area with failing businesses and dangerous speeding traffic into a thriving retail district.  He empowered the community of Bird Rock to create its own traffic plan, with the help of a nationally known walkability expert. It’s now home to dozens of businesses that support hundreds of jobs.  And it’s considered a national model for how to make a neighborhood friendlier for pedestrians and bicycles.

In Congress, Scott will push to end subsidies to profitable oil companies so these revenues can be used to support investments in alternative and public transit. Last year, the five largest oil companies posted record profits of $137 billion. That’s a 75% increase over 2010. The transportation bill supported by House Republicans, and Brian Bilbray, ends funds for bike lanes and Safe Routes to School, cuts funds for public transit and provides more money for freeways when gas prices are skyrocketing. And it doesn’t get us any closer to a practical energy policy that reduces our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil.

It’s time for a change. For more information about Scott Peters’ campaign to change Congress, go to

The Ryan-Bilbray Budget Drastically Reduces Disaster Preparedness and Relief

Congressman Brian Bilbray (CA-52) backed his Washington Republicans in voting for the Ryan budget that not only ends the Medicare guarantee but deeply and drastically reduces emergency response and preparedness. In fact, an analysis from Third Way says that the Ryan-Bilbray budget “would set the clock back on disaster preparation to the days before Hurricane Katrina.”

Read more about the Ryan-Bilbray budget and the damage it would do to disaster response and relief for yourself.

Ryan budget could hammer storm aid, critics say
By: Andrew Restuccia
October 30, 2012

Mitt Romney says he wants to give states more power to deal with disasters like Sandy. But his running mate’s budget plan would threaten states’ ability to respond to massive storms, some experts say.

Paul Ryan’s House-passed budget would cut non-defense discretionary funding by 22 percent starting in 2014, according to the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which said in an August report that about one-third of that money goes to state aid for a range of needs including disaster response.

“These are very deep cuts to a part of the budget that’s already been cut a lot,” Michael Leachman, the lead author of the report, told POLITICO. “I think that it’s pretty clear that the part of the budget that includes disaster relief and other forms of state and local aid would have a pretty big target on its back.”

Leachman, director of state fiscal research at the center, said it’s possible that appropriators would shield state aid from major cuts under the Ryan budget. “But it seems more likely to us that the state aid portion would get most of the cuts,” he said.

The cuts would compound the fiscal troubles already burdening many states.

“These kind of cuts would come at a time when states and localities are already hobbled by the recession and the sluggish economy,” Leachman said. He estimates that states and local governments could lose $28 billion in 2014 under Ryan’s plan if funding for state aid is indeed cut by 22 percent.

To be sure, it’s unclear what Romney’s approach to major disasters would be. The Romney campaign stressed Monday that there is a place for agencies like FEMA, although the GOP candidate has been critical of the federal government’s role in the past.

“Gov. Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement Monday. “As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities, and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.”

The Romney campaign did not respond to requests from POLITICO for more details about how his response to major storms might differ from President Barack Obama’s. And Romney declined to answer at least five questions from reporters in Ohio about what he would do with FEMA.

But if Ryan’s budget is any indication of Romney’s plans, FEMA and other agencies that play major roles in predicting and responding to storms could see cuts.

David Kendall, a senior fellow for health and fiscal policy at the think tank Third Way, said Ryan’s budget cuts “community and regional development,” which includes FEMA, by 62 percent below the Office of Management and Budget’s baseline.

“Four of every 10 dollars from [community and regional development] goes to disaster relief, so it would be virtually impossible for FEMA to avoid major cuts if the Republicans implemented their budget proposal,” Kendall said.
Kendall also said cuts under Ryan’s budget would prevent the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from launching a replacement polar satellite on time.

“The result would be devastating,” Kendall said. “Weather forecasts would be only half as accurate. Without this satellite, hurricane forecasters would not have been able to give Americans on the Eastern seaboard an accurate warning about Sandy.”

Forecasters have relied on satellites polar satellites since 1960 to get accurate weather data on extreme weather events, and NOAA is working to replace an existing satellite by 2016, Kendall said.

In the aftermath of Sandy, governors from states hard hit by the storm, including Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, praised the federal government’s response to far. And he touted FEMA’s role in the state’s recovery.
“I expect FEMA to be a major force here over the next couple of months. And that’s what we’re talking about. We’re talking about months,” Christie said during a Tuesday morning briefing.

Romney’s stance on FEMA was propelled into the spotlight this week after the Huffington Post dug up a transcript from a from a June 2011 CNN primary debate in which Romney raised questions about the federal government’s role in responding to disasters.

“FEMA is about to run out of money,” debate moderator John King said to Romney during the debate pointing to the May 2011 tornado that killed more than 150 people in Joplin, Mo. “And there are some people who say, ‘Do it on a case-by-case basis.’ And there are some people who say, ‘You know what, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role.’ How do you deal with something like that?”

Romney responded that “every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.

“Instead of thinking in the federal budget, ‘What we should cut?’ we should ask ourselves the opposite question, ‘What should we keep?’” Romney added. “We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, ‘What are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do?’ And those things we’ve got to stop doing.”

King pressed Romney again. “Including disaster relief, though?” he asked.

“We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” Romney responded. “It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”

While exactly what Romney meant to say in the exchange is unclear, the comments came as Republicans in Congress were insisting that money allocated for hurricane relief be offset by spending reductions elsewhere.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

7/11 Count Down to Election Day!  11 Reasons to Support Scott Peters in 7 Days

San Diego -- With just one week left until Election Day, the Scott Peters for Congress campaign is reminding voters of eleven reasons in seven days to support Peters over Tea Party candidate and 12-year incumbent Brian Bilbray. (Everyone does a Top 10, but ours goes to 11. Hat tip to Nigel Tufnel.)

Reason #11: Scott Will Fight for Small Businesses

While on the San Diego Port Commission, Scott championed a“Rent Relief” program for Port Tenants. During the economic downturn, a number of the region’s small businesses faced ruin, including some Port tenants. Scott supported a partnership with them in which tenants were allowed to defer their rent payments in 2009 so they would have enough cash flow to stay in business.  As a result, ALL these business stayed afloat and re-paid their debts in full.

To support small businesses at the federal level, when Scott goes to Congress, he will push for legislation that requires financial institutions that received (Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP) bailout money to make more small business loans available. Scott knows that more than 90 percent of the jobs in San Diego are generated by small businesses, and he’ll make sure entrepreneurs get the support they need.

Reason #10: Scott Will Make Government More Accountable

While on the City Council, Scott led the City through its transition to a Strong Mayor-Strong Council form of government, to make City Hall more accountable to the public. He hired the City’s first Independent Budget Analyst,led the creation of the City’s first-ever Audit Committee, and established an Independent Auditor function, so the auditor would report to the City Council, not to the management it audits. He also formed the City’s first-ever Ethics Commission.
When Scott goes to Congress, he’ll push for a “No Budget No Pay Law” as a way to hold representatives accountable for doing their jobs
. This includes working together to pass a federal budget. Congress’s inability to reach agreement on a federal budget caused America’s credit rating to be downgraded for the first time in our history. It led us to this fiscal cliff that threatens jobs, our economy and even national security. Congressman Bilbray counts the draconian cuts forced by sequestration as a hallmark example of bipartisan work. We can do better.
For more information about Scott Peters campaign to fix Congress, go to

Monday, October 29, 2012

November 2012 Election Night Watch Party co-hosted by San Diego County Democratic Party and San Diego Labor Council

For the first time, San Diego’s Democratic Party and Labor Council will host all endorsed candidates for Election Night Watch Party celebration

Join the San Diego County Democratic Party and San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council for an Election Night watch party in downtown San Diego. Candidates, office holders and community leaders will join members of the public to watch election returns come in. 2012’s historic general election features the crucial Obama vs Romney presidential race, landmark San Diego races for Congress, Mayor, and State Legislature, and critical ballot measures at the state and local levels.

For the first time, all major endorsed candidates of the San Diego County Democratic Party and San Diego Labor Council will be headquartered in the same location on Election Night. Candidates, elected officials and campaign representatives will join activists and community members to mark the end of campaign season and watch election results come in on giant 50-inch screens throughout the evening.

Guests to include: Congressman Bob Filner, candidate San Diego Mayor; Port Commissioner Scott Peters, Candidate 52nd Congressional District; State Senator Juan Vargas, Candidate 51st Congressional District; State Senator Christine Kehoe, Assemblymember Marty Block, Candidate 39th State Senate District; San Diego Councilmember Todd Gloria, San Diego Councilmember David Alvarez; Jess Durfee, Chair, San Diego County Democratic Party; Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer/CEO, San Diego Labor Council.  All will be available to speak with media.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
8:01 p.m.

The Westin Gaslamp Quarter, 910 Broadway Circle, San Diego, CA 92101
Reception: Garden Terrace Ballroom, 4th Floor
Lucas O’Connor, San Diego Labor Council
703-864-4619 Cell

San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council
3737 Camino del Rio South, #403, San Diego, CA 92108
619-228-8101 Office

National Nurses Group Backs Peters for Congress Over Bilbray

San Diego – National Nurses United, the nation’s largest professional association of registered nurses, and their state affiliate the California Nurses Association, have endorsed Scott Peters for Congress over Tea Party incumbent Brian Bilbray, the Peters campaign announced today.

“We believe you will do an excellent job in representing your district on health, women’s issues, and civil rights, which are important to Registered Nurses,” wrote NNU Political Action Committee Chair Carolyn Hietamaki, R.N., in a letter to Peters.

“Nurses are on the front lines of patient care,” Peters said. “They are compassionate, highly skilled men and women who play a critical role in our health care system. I applaud them for the valuable work they do,” he added.

Hietmaki said they are backing Peters also because they believe he will be a stronger advocate for preserving and protecting Medicare than Mr. Bilbray, based on Bilbray’s record. Bilbray has voted 10 times throughout his career in Congress to cut Medicare benefits for seniors, and twice to essentially end it as part of the Ryan/Brian budget.

NNU is a national advocate for comprehensive patient safety reforms, and very active in the national health care debate, pushing for affordable care and high patient-safety standards. Recently, the California Nurses Association was behind the law in California that requires a minimum nurse-to-patient ratio in hospitals to improve patient care.

For more information about Scott Peters campaign to change Congress, go to

San Diego Tea Party Endorses Bilbray for Congress (And other endorsements he isn’t touting…)

San Diego – Incumbent Congressman and former lobbyist Brian Bilbray, faced with a tough re-election in a new, more moderate district, has spent the entire campaign for the new 52nd District sprinting toward the middle. But, as the Scott Peters for Congress campaign pointed out today, that’s tough to do when you’ve been endorsed by the Tea Party and other right-wing extremist groups as Bilbray has been.

A new voter guide shows Bilbray endorsed by the San Diego Tea Party, presumably because he agrees with them on their priority issues, which include:
·      Privatizing Social Security;
·      Turning Medicare into a voucher program;
·      Raising the eligibility age for recipients of Social Security and Medicare;
·      Draconian cuts to federal funds for education and scientific research; and
·      Reducing “social safety net” programs for the elderly, ill and disabled who rely on them to avoid a life of poverty.

“Mr. Bilbray can run, but he can’t hide from his extreme record,” said Peters Communications Director MaryAnne Pintar. “He’s voted repeatedly against protecting the rights of women, and women’s access to birth control and reproductive health care. And he’s taken some of harshest positions on immigration of anyone in Congress, and even against adequate health care funds for our veterans.

“One can presume these groups back Bilbray for his anti-choice, anti-equality, and harsh immigration stances,” she added.

At a recent debate, Bilbray refused to deny that the immigration policies recommended by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are too liberal for him. And he’s been criticized for a 2010 appearance on Hardball with Chris Mathews in which he suggested undocumented immigrants could be spotted by the type of shoes they wear.

According to the Family Voter Info Guide, where the Tea Party endorsement is listed, Bilbray is also endorsed by theSouthern California Patriots, which boasts membership from several local Tea Party chapters and “citizen brigades.” And the sample ballot from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters shows Bilbray endorsed by the American Independent Party, the political party formed in 1967 to support the presidential nomination of Alabama Governor George Wallace who ran on a segregationist platform.

In sharp contrast, Peters is endorsed by community and business leaders, and organizations, from across the political spectrum. The coalition of supporters backing Peters closely matches the new 52nd Congressional District, as well as Peters’ record of reaching across the aisle to solve problems, and his bi-partisan appeal. For more information about Scott Peters’ campaign to change Congress, go to


Sunday, October 28, 2012

ICYMI: Sandra Fluke Endorsed Scott Peters This Week! 

San Diego – In case you missed it, nationally recognized women’s rights advocate Sandra Fluke endorsed Scott Peters for Congress this week. She was in San Diego to headline a Planned Parenthood rally where she introduced Peters as “a man who will stand up for women every day” to an energetic crowd.

At the rally attended by 150-200 people, Fluke also took the incumbent, Brian Bilbray, to task for his long, dismal list of anti-women, anti-choice votes.

“We deserve better than a Representative who has made it a priority to defund Planned Parenthood….to take away women’s access to breast cancer screenings and cervical cancer screenings, and birth control,” she said, as the crowd booed.  She also warned voters not to be fooled by Bilbray’s claim that he is pro-choice.

“Voting to defund Planned Parenthood as Brian Bilbray has done is not only anti-choice, it's anti-women's health and anti-women. I endorse Scott Peters for Congress because he is steadfast in his support for women's choice and women's rights,” she said.

Fluke also headlined a fundraising event for Peters earlier in the week. Her endorsement came within days of Peters being endorsed by former President Bill Clinton, and California Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson, adding to the tremendous momentum Peters has going into the final days of the campaign.

For more information about Scott Peters campaign to change Congress, go to


Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Dozen+ Democratic Leaders to Gather for GOTV Push for Peters! 

Sunday, Oct. 28, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

More than a dozen local Democratic leaders will gather tomorrow night for a Get Out The Vote Kick Off for Scott Peters who is running to unseat entrenched Tea Party incumbent, Brian Bilbray, in the newly drawn 52nd Congressional District.

Scott’s supporters and volunteers will gather to hear what they can do to help get Scott elected in the remaining days of the campaign. The Peters campaign has hundreds of volunteers who’ve been staffing phone banks, walking precincts, canvassing community events, and delivering yard signs every day over the past several weeks. Scott will thank them and get the troops fired up for the final push!

State Majority Leader Toni Atkins, Assemblymember Marty Block, Francine Busby, Congresswoman Susan Davis, Former State Sen. Denise Ducheny, San Diego County Party Chair Jess Durfee, Congressman Bob Filner, Councilmember Todd Gloria, Secretary-Treasurer of the SD Labor Council Lorena Gonzalez, San Diego Port Commissioner and Candidate for Congress Scott Peters, Deputy Mayor Dave Roberts, State Sen. Juan Vargas, Former Assemblymember Howard Wayne.

Scott Peters for Congress Headquarters, 4715 Viewridge Ave., Suite 150, San Diego, CA 92123


MaryAnne Pintar, 619-252-9923,


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ethics Charge Cites Ray Ellis, Lincoln Club, Developers

Jess Durfee, Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, today filed complaints against Republican City Council candidate Ray Ellis and an independent expenditure committee, San Diego County Voters for Progress and Reform, formed to support his and other campaigns, detailing two major violations of state laws. The complaints were filed with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the State Fair Political Practices Commission, and the City of San Diego Ethics Commission.

“San Diegans need to know that San Diego County Voters for Progress and Reform and the candidates it supports, including Ray Ellis, have chosen to violate state law," said Durfee. "This is essentially money-laundering and defrauding of the public, and it's an egregious breach of trust with voters.”

The two major violations were detailed in a press conference held on the steps of the Hall of Justice. San Diego County Voters for Progress and Reform (SDCVPR) has been funneling funds from the Lincoln Club, the Building Industry Association, and others to support various local candidates, including Ray Ellis. The committee attempted to mask the source of its funding by failing to file a disclosure form within the required period, including a major donation of $25,000 from the Building Industry Association.

Ellis and the committee also broke state campaign finance laws by illegally coordinating their activities in order to use unlimited outside contributions to fund television advertising. In April 2012, the Ellis campaign produced a series of seven videos that have been broadcast on YouTube (

In early October, SDCVPR produced and purchased $50,000 in air time on high profile cable TV to air a slick commercial supporting Ray Ellis ( The commercial clearly uses the same raw video footage that was originally produced and paid for by the Ellis campaign. (View a side-by-side comparison at

“It is illegal for a candidate and an independent expenditure committee to coordinate in this way, or any way,” Durfee explained.  “No one should be able to buy an election.” Durfee called on SDCVPR and Ray Ellis to immediately cease the airing of the commercials and called on SDCVPR to release a full accounting of all donations received and expenses accrued.

“If the public can’t trust Ray Ellis and his supporters to follow the rules during a campaign, how will they be able to trust him to govern if he’s elected to the City Council?” Durfee said.


Bilbray No Shows -- AGAIN

San Diego – Congressman Brian Bilbray shunned the voters yet again last night when he ducked another candidate forum that had been on the calendar and publicized for weeks. With the arrogant disregard he’s displayed repeatedly during this campaign, he no-showed at a forum before the Ocean Beach Town Council after he confirmed his attendance weeks prior. Bilbray, did send a member of his staff to take video of Scott Peters, however, and after holding up the meeting awaiting Bilbray’s arrival, event organizers were pleased to give the entire time over to candidate Scott Peters.

“Mr. Bilbray has shunned requests to debate and defend his record at public forums repeatedly,” said Peters Communications Director MaryAnne Pintar. “Clearly, he is terrified of having to defend his dismal record on women’s rights and his votes to underfund veteran’s health care.”

Mr. Bilbray did rent a booth at a community fair last weekend, however, presumably to conduct direct voter outreach. Unfortunately, the event was outside of the newly drawn 52nd Congressional District, and after realizing this embarrassing mistake, the Congressman and his staff disassembled the booth and left half way through the day. 

During a recent interview with KPBS Radio, which Bilbray agreed to in lieu of a debate, he was asked about his reluctance to debate. His response was, “I have no idea.” A recent column in the San Diego Free Press also took him to task for ducking the forums.

In contrast, the Peters campaign has accepted every debate request; Bilbray has rebuffed requests from Voice of San Diego’s Politifest, the North County Chamber of Commerce, KPBS Radio, and the Green Experts Academy and Sustainability Alliance of Southern California and the Smart Vote Candidate Forum at Temple Emanu-El. 


San Diego Democratic Party Filing Complaints Over Campaign Violations by Republican Candidate

The Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party will be filing complaints today with the District Attorney’s office regarding violations of state and local campaign law by a Republican political candidate and an independent expenditure committee.

Jess Durfee, San Diego County Democratic Party Chair

Filing of complaints with the District Attorney’s office regarding major campaign violations, including illegal coordination between a Republican political candidate and an independent expenditure committee, and failure of an independent expenditure committee to disclose the source of its contributions.

Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.


Steps of the Hall of Justice, 330 W. Broadway, San Diego (92101)


Republican candidates and committees are attempting to deceive voters by masking the source of contributions from big developers and downtown insiders to independent expenditure committees and illegally coordinating campaign activities.

Viewing of illegally coordinated campaign activities, including video documentation.

For more information, please contact Jess Durfee at (619) 750-5377 or

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

State’s Highest Ranking Public Education Official Endorses Peters Over Bilbray

“Peters is the better choice by far for those who believe education is a top priority.”
~ Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

San Diego –
The highest-ranking public education official in the state of California today endorsed San Diego Port Commissioner Scott Peters for Congress over 12-year incumbent Congressman Brian Bilbray. Tom Torlakson, California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, said he was backing Peters because Bilbray’s track record on standing up for students is dismal.

“Scott Peters will represent the right priorities in Washington D.C. and education is at the top of his list,” said Torlakson. “College shouldn’t only be for the wealthy; yet Brian Bilbray has voted repeatedly to slash federal aid for students who qualify while allowing loopholes for profitable corporations. His priorities could not be more backward.”

Brian Bilbray has voted to cut funds for Pell Grants, and against increased funds for student loans at a time when working families across America are struggling and sacrificing to make ends meet during a tough economic recession.

“My sisters and I all went to college and were able to build our careers because we had financial aid,” Peters said. “My dad wouldn’t have been able to put us all through college on his minister’s salary without it. I’m running to fight for every kid who deserves the same opportunity.”

Peters said voters should be particularly disappointed in Mr. Bilbray’s vote against the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 that allowed recipients of student loans to repay them in a way that reflects their post education salaries.

“By making payment schedules more in line with actual salaries, it’s easier for loan recipients to repay those loans. That means these debts are more likely to be repaid. Lowers default rates save us billions in the long run,” Peters said.

Scott Peters is running a heated challenge to Bilbray in California’s newly drawn 52nd Congressional District.

For more information about Scott’s campaign to fix Congress, go to


Congressman Bilbray Voted Against Making Student Loans More Affordable. In 2012, the Fountain Valley Patch reported that Clinton talked about the Student Loan Reform Act. Bilbray voted against the bill that was designed to make student loans more affordable. It was reported that “the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 would save taxpayers $68 billion in the coming years by cutting out the role of banks and lending institutions as middlemen in federally guaranteed student loans. The money is to be channeled into the Pell Grant program, invested in community colleges and historically black colleges and used to make student loans more affordable by capping repayments at 10 percent of discretionary income starting in 2014.” [H R 4872, Vote #167, 3/21/10;, 3/30/10]

Congressman Bilbray Voted for the Ryan Budget That Jeopardized Pell Grants for Millions of Students.  In 2012, Bilbray voted for the Ryan Budget. Under this plan, 9.6 million students could see their Pell Grants fall by more than $1000 in 2014, and, over the next decade, over one million students would lose support altogether. [OMB, 3/21/12; H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12]

Congressman Bilbray Voted to Make Cuts to the Pell Grant Program. In 2011, Bilbray voted for a Republican budget which, according to data from the Department of Education, would cut 1.4 million students from being eligible for Pell Grants. According to the House Committee on Education and Labor: “Under the Republican budget, the maximum Pell Grant award would be cut by more than $2,500 for the 2012-2013 school year, bringing the maximum award to $3,040, the lowest it’s been since 1998.  New data from the Department of Education shows that the Republican budget would result in almost 1.4 million students losing eligibility for Pell grants, and all students receiving significantly reduced awards. For students, this could make college far less affordable.”  [House Committee on Education and Labor, 4/15/11 citing Estimates from the US Department of Education; H Con Res 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11]
Congressman Bilbray Voted for Bill that Would Have Slashed Pell Grants.
 In 2011, Bilbray voted for $61 billion in draconian cuts for a continuing resolution to finish fiscal year 2011. The bill would have slashed “the maximum Pell Grant by $845 -- from the current maximum of $5,550 to $4,705.  This GOP bill will lower the amount of aid that 9.4 million college students are projected to receive.” [HR 1, Vote #147, 2/19/11; Democratic Leader press release]

Congressman Bilbray Opposed Largest Increase in Student Aid Since the GI Bill. In 2007, Bilbray voted against legislation that provided the largest increase in student aid since the G.I. Bill. The conference report of the bill cut government subsidies to student loan firms by about $20 billion and redirected most of the money to aid for students and college graduates. It also included $750 million in federal budget deficit reduction. The maximum Pell grant award would be increased by $490 in 2008 and by $1,090 over five years. It also provided debt forgiveness to certain public-sector workers after 10 years of service, and capped student loan repayments at 15 percent of discretionary income. [HR 2669, Vote #864, 9/07/07; Reno Gazette Journal, 9/10/07]