Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
Peters, Bilbray spar over taking of public pensions
The mudslinging in the race for California’s newly mapped 52nd Congressional District continues, with the campaign of Democratic challenger Scott Peters bristling at an attack from Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray (currently serving in the 50th District) criticizing Peters for receiving a government pension despite having millions of dollars in personal wealth.
A post on Bilbray’s campaign website entitled “Enron by the Sea: Ten Reasons Scott Peters is Wrong for San Diego,” contrasts a vote while Peters served on San Diego’s city council with his “taking a $1,708 monthly pension as a multi-millionaire.”
“Scott doesn’t keep a penny of his City pension; he pays taxes on it and then gives it back to the City to fund public libraries,” says MaryAnne Pintar of the Peters campaign in a release. “Brian Bilbray collects two taxpayer funded pensions, plus a taxpayer-funded salary, and he knows Scott doesn’t keep his pension, yet he criticizes him for it anyway.”
While the numbers cited by Bilbray would indicate a $20,496 annual pension for Peters, who has not released joint tax returns for himself and his wife, though he did provide a detailed statement of assets, the challenger’s campaign reports that Bilbray receives $28,300 in two government-funded pensions from CALPERS and the County of San Diego. They further point to a 2011 financial disclosure indicating that through his personal assets, as well as his share in a family trust, that Bilbray’s own wealth exceeds a million dollars.