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52nd Congressional Race: Bilbray, Peters, Saldaña On The Issues

Above: Brian Bilbray, Scott Peters and Lori Saldana, the three participants in KPBS' 52nd Congressional District debate.

Aired 5/29/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Guests: Brian Bilbray, Republican Congressman

Scott Peters, Democratic challenger

Lori Saldana, Democratic challenger

Transcript

The 52nd Congressional District has morphed a couple of times. Twenty years ago it was the 50th District, represented by Randy Cunningham. The 2010 census changed the district's number and geography so that it now runs up the coast from Coronado and then northeast to Poway. It now has more Democrats than Republicans.

Two Democrats, Scott Peters and Lori Saldaña, are trying to unseat Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray. For the first time, the top-two vote-getters, regardless of party, will be on the November ballot. The three candidates met earlier for a debate at the KPBS studios, which covered several issues.

Peters, a San Diego City Council member from 2000 to 2008, ran unsuccessfully for City Attorney after he was termed out. He calls himself "a common-sense Democrat," and has been endorsed by the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council and Assembly members Ben Hueso, Toni Atkins and Marty Block, among others. His priorities are job creation, veterans and their families and reducing reliance on foreign oil.

Lori Saldaña served six years in the State Assembly and elected to run for Congress rather than the State Senate. A self-described progressive, Saldana is a champion of environmental causes, including wetlands preservation and the creation of solar power. She has also advocated changes in California's initiative process, including increasing the fee petitioners would pay upon filing.

Brian Bilbray serves on the House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and Government Reform Committees. He considers himself a moderate on some social issues, but a conservative on immigration and on fiscal matters. He generally votes with the House leadership. He has signed Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge. He is a strong believer in pro-life causes and in traditional marriage.

Evening Edition

Above: Brian Bilbray, a 52nd Congressional District candidate, talks to KPBS.

Evening Edition

Above: Scott Peters, a 52nd Congressional District candidate, talks to KPBS.

Evening Edition

Above: Lori Saldaña, a 52nd Congressional District candidate, talks to KPBS.

Comments

Avatar for user 'philosopher3000'

philosopher3000 | May 29, 2012 at 3:35 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

I like the KPBS segway from Saldaña to Salad (because we all know that salad is just as important as congress), but the constant baiting of Saldaña, by repeatedly implying that she is "contentious", even after she diplomatically answered the question, is not good journalism, its pandering to her opponents by reinforcing unfair stereotypes. "Contentious" is just code for UPPITY. When you're a white male that stands-up for what you believe then you have 'character and backbone', when your a female latina your just an uppity w__ b____ b____.

We need strong Democrats who will fight for what they believe in. We need women with strong character and backbone. We need latino representation for San Diego in congress. And we need people who will stand-up to the stone-walling Conservative Republicans like her opponent, it is time we elected a real Democrat, and got rid of the dead wood that replaced Randy Duke Cunningscam.

KPBS doesn't need to cut the debate short by focusing our only public media on vegetables, KPBS needs to stop undercutting there journalistic integrity by playing to the political elite, you used the word "contentious" 3 times, and said Lori has "an inability to get along with others". Congress is broken, because our media is broken.

Democrats need to become warriors, grow a spine, and stop appeasing the people who stand in the way of progress. Principaled and independent people who understand the underlying nature and values of our democracy, a woman who knows that government is about the people, not the millionaires.

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Avatar for user 'marasmom'

marasmom | May 30, 2012 at 6:59 a.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

Hear, Hear, Philosopher3000! I also find it interesting that this article cites a few of Peters' endorsements, but fails to mention that Lori Saldana has been endorsed by Donna Frye, Tony Young, Marti Emerald, our State Controller John Chiang and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, not to mention every Democratic Club in the new 52nd Cong. District, among MANY others.

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Avatar for user 'marasmom'

marasmom | May 30, 2012 at 7:22 a.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

Also, Scott Peters grossly distorted facts when he said at the end that every Democrat currently in the Assembly has endorsed him -- he has the endorsements of the 2 LOCAL Democratic Assemblymembers -- one of whom, Toni Atkins, shares his baggage of the SD Pension Fiasco while serving on the City Council. Lori Saldana has been endorsed by MANY of her colleagues in the CA Assembly, including Karen Bass, the first African-American woman Speaker who now serves in Congress, Judy Chu, who was recently elected to Congress in a special election, Tom Ammiano, and many more -- not to mention the former Assemblymen Chiang and Jones mentioned above.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | May 30, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

"Democrats need to become warriors, grow a spine, and stop appeasing the people who stand in the way of progress. Principaled and independent people who understand the underlying nature and values of our democracy, a woman who knows that government is about the people, not the millionaires."

1) Change is only progress if there is an improvement. All parties tout policy that is detrimental to some people. The purpose of the legislature is to write fair law, not pursue personal ideals of progress.

2) Your statement is confusing when you refer to both Democrats (the ones you attribute to lacking spines) and independent people (who you only characterize as understanding the values of democracy).

3) Millionaires are people, as are non-millionaires. Trying to separate them out into different legal categories is ... suspicious.

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Avatar for user 'AlexSachs'

AlexSachs | May 30, 2012 at 12:52 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

What? Bilbray says he is a moderate on social issues? What social issues? Even your profile says he is rabidly anti-choice and anti gay marriage. He has led a vitriolic campaign against immigrants - I consider that a social issue. He is against funding for planned parenthood, he is a tool of the GOP leadership. He is far out of step with his district and has been since his return from his exile/lobbying days.

Democrats need to be prepared to withstand a $1 BILLION national GOP jjuggernaut - one Billion with a B. the voters of the 52nd need to and will change representatives this fall. I think Scott Peters is prepared to restore sense and sanity to our representation in Washington, and to get things done for San Diego. DON'T VOTE BILBRAY!

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Avatar for user 'AlexSachs'

AlexSachs | May 30, 2012 at 12:59 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

In reply to Philosopher, San Diego will have a Latina/Latino in Congress - either Jian Vargas or Denise Moreno Ducheny. While I generally support women and candidates of color, this fact about Lori is not a compelling reason to vote for her. While a white male, Scott still comes from a social justice background that highly values diversity and lifting up our society as a whole.

In addition, anyone who has tried to work with Lori knows that she is contentious. Is too bad. She is also incredibly thin skinned, she could not even withstand some mild, muted potential criticism from her natural allies at City Beat. the GOP $1 billion juggernaut will NOT let Bilbray's seat be lost without an ugly, ugly fight, one I don't think the thin skinned Ms. Saldana is prepare to withstand. Thanks.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | May 30, 2012 at 3:26 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

AlexSachs: "While I generally support women and candidates of color..."

So you're (generally) a sexist and a racist? How sad that you feel completely comfortable in stating that and other incredibly racist statements like
"While a white male, Scott still comes from a social justice background..."

It is amazing how time changes everything. It is now the left that is discriminatory, prejudiced, and bigoted.

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