Sunday, July 1, 2012

CA-52 - A Competitive California House Race?

My home got redistricted into House CA-52, which was a boon for me as I had previously resided in Susan Davis' district, which was heavily gerrymandered to ensure that no Republican would ever seriously challenge her. (She has never fallen below 60% in any election effort.) Now I live in one of the few competitive districts in California, featuring a race between Brian Bilbray (R) and Scott Peters. Peters, former city council member from La Jolla, edged out environmental activist and former assemblywoman, Lori Saldaña for second place in the "open" primary system.

Brian Bilbray has been my Congressman before, when I lived at a different address in San Diego, so its kind of strange seeing his name on the ballot again, after I had moved into a Democratic district. Honestly, he has never been my favorite Republican member of Congress; but to be fair, he has always been in districts with substantial numbers of Democrats.

Meanwhile, Scott Peters has taken flack for his terms as council member and as port commissioner. Dave Maass takes up the issue of how the campaign will play out in the most recent issue of San Diego City Beat. Based on interviews with both Peters and Bilbray he sees Bilbray attacking Peters for his part in the current pension mess in San Diego, with Peters claiming that he was on the council that started to fix it. Bilbray also stated that he would attack for Peters being self funded, pouring his own money into the campaign. I think that is a laughable non-issue, Peters has plenty of other baggage and certainly many Republicans have been self funded.

But Maass makes the good point that it is going to be difficult for Peters to distance himself from pension issues. Saldaña attacked along these lines as well, so the meme is out there, as my kids like to say. Peters believes he can set the record straight, but in an interview with the La Jolla Light, Peters labels "The reconfiguration of “The Throat” (the once precarious and highly congested intersection of Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Parkway)," as his most significant achievement while in office. Hardly resetting the narrative.

The OBRag holds out Scott Peters as a solid Democrat, with "solid Democratic values." Which is really my problem with him, becausem as defined by the left, solid Democrat means unwilling to tackle the nation's fiscal crisis with anything more than doubling down on current policy.
  • Unapologetic about supporting the ACA, which represents a doubling down on a regulated utility approach to health care insurance that so far has just increased costs.
  • Unwilling to discuss alternative approaches to Medicare's delivery model. Tinkering with prescription costs isn't going to solve the problem of unfunded entitlements in the system. Paying for "outcome based" health care isn't going to deliver cost reduction either. Further, no Democrat has really proposed a serious reform along these lines.
  • Saying that social security isn't in that bad of shape.

Ultimately, we aren't going to repeal the ACA and start over on serious health care reform with Democrats in control of the House. This is the main reason I oppose Scott Peters. But could the Democrats please get serious about the looming financial crisis. Medicaid expansion is unlikely to move forward as planned given the Supreme Court ruling, but look at the rest of these liabilities and ask why they isn't serious discussion on the left about what to do.

Scott Peters dismisses Paul Ryan, but he and his fellow Democrats aren't offering any serious alternatives to the entitlement problem. See also KT Cat's blog.


  1. >>Unapologetic about supporting the ACA

    STOP. Halt. Go no further. ¡No pasarán! That's as much as I need to hear. Drop dead. Kill switch.

    I'm sure Dave Maass and the OBRag did a good job, but I've become something of a single-issue voter, so...

  2. ACA is the issue as it is destroying the economy, adding uncertainty, empowering the government's thugs at the IRS, and worse...