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 www.scottpeters.com.