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Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
Now in the final hours before the Primary election, candidates in tight races are doing all they can to be left standing on Wednesday. Attack ads are more personal and party lines have blurred.
This is evident in the race for the 52nd Congressional District where Republican Brian Bilbray is facing stiff opposition from Democrats Lori Saldana and Scott Peters.
Newly redrawn boundaries have weakened the hold that Republicans once had on the district and the race has become more about which two candidates can move on the general election. That means all gloves are off and candidates are attacking one another and supporting those they feel they can beat in November.
Late last month, liberal Super PAC, Progressive Kick began running ads on cable networks criticizing Democrat Scott Peters for flip-flopping on his support of entitlement programs. The ads urged voters to vote for Lori Saldana, the more progressive candidate, according to Progressive Kick.
The Super PAC wasn't the only group voicing their support for Saldana. According to Scott Peters' campaign, Republican opponent Brian Bilbray also campaigned for Saldana by sending pro-Saldana, anti-Peters mailers to households.
Over the weekend, Pintar responded to the attack-ads both from Republicans and Democrats.
"...Bilbray left no room for doubt about which Democrat he most fears facing in a general election match up. He sent an anti-Scott Peters/Pro-Lori Saldaña mailer to Democratic households using the same rhetoric the Saldaña campaign has been using for weeks.”
Pintar also responded to statements questioning Peters' progressive credentials.
"[Peters] is the son of a civil rights leader and a lifelong Democrat who wants to defeat Bilbray and get the Congress working again for the middle class. At the City and at the Port, Scott already has a record of standing up to protect benefits that workers earned over a lifetime of work. He has a 100 percent pro-choice rating from Planned Parenthood, and has publicly supported marriage equality since 2000. The idea that he is not “progressive” is ridiculous. Yet, the attacks from our Democratic opponent and her out-of-town allies have been as vicious and false as the attacks from our Republican opponent. In fact, the rhetoric is so identical, it could be perceived that the two campaigns are actually working together.
"And for Democrats who want to win this seat, which we need to take back control of Congress, these anti-[Peters] attacks are attempted political suicide. [Peters] is by far the stronger general election candidate.
Pintar also responded to allegations that Peters would support cuts to entitlement programs to help balance the national debt.
"It is not at all accurate. [Peters] is on record repeatedly stating that he opposes cuts to these benefits because our seniors have earned them after a life time of hard work. [He] recognizes that we do need to reduce costs in the Medicare program, but that does not mean cutting benefits. If we ensure the solvency of Medicare in that way, we also ensure that it is available for seniors who have earned it. That does not mean cutting benefits. [Peters] has made this clear many times in [Saldana's] presence; she knows this and is being intellectually dishonest with the voters. It speaks volumes about her integrity. The voters should not reward her distortions with their support.