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Without Papa Doug, need Peters fear GOP?

National Republican Congressional Committee prepares to hit La Jolla Democrat with TV ads

Scott Peters
Scott Peters

Back in February, the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee issued a 14-member "Frontline" list of its most threatened House incumbents.

La Jolla congressman Scott Peters was featured prominently.

"Each one of these members knows what it takes to win tough elections: working hard, standing up for your district, and not taking anything for granted," said a February 12 statement by campaign committee chairman Ben Ray Lujan, carrying an implicit pledge of big special-interest money to come.

Video:

"Scott Peters puts us at risk" spot

Now, keeping its own promise to spend heavily to unseat Peters next year, the National Republican Congressional Committee has rolled out what it says will be a six-figure TV and internet campaign in the coming weeks against Peters and two other House Democrats.

Citing "a source with knowledge of the buys," Roll Call says Peters, along with Brad Ashford of Nebraska and Rick Nolan of Minnesota, will be hit "on national security issues."

Noting that Peters is currently in a "safe" district, according to its polling, the Roll Call item says that "Republicans have yet to recruit a top-tier candidate to take on Peters, a prolific fundraiser who survived a bruising re-election battle in 2014 to win a second term."

Carl DeMaio
Douglas Manchester
Irwin Jacobs

That fight, against ex–San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio, was marked by a mud-throwing clash of the titans in the form of GOP real estate mogul Douglas Manchester, then-publisher of U-T San Diego and a key DeMaio ally, versus Qualcomm Democratic billionaire Irwin Jacobs, a Peters supporter and major donor to local non-profit news and opinion operations.

The down-and-dirty confrontation resembled another political proxy war Manchester and Jacobs waged against each other just a year earlier, in which the Manchester-backed GOP Lincoln Club sent out hit pieces with a phony photo of Republican-turned-Democrat Nathan Fletcher preparing to board an executive jet with drink in hand.

Qualcomm executive Fletcher, backed by Jacobs, was running for mayor against GOP city councilman Kevin Faulconer, and Manchester's paper pulled no punches in its successful mission to elect the Republican.

"I was outraged to learn that the Lincoln Club of San Diego — a supposedly pro-business political group — would fund a political hit piece that unfairly and incorrectly attacks one of San Diego’s largest employers,” wrote Jacobs's son Paul, then-CEO of Qualcomm, in an October 2013 letter to the Republicans.

"Is the Lincoln Club so desperate and out of constructive ideas that they are resorting to attacks on private employers, forsaking their supposed principles and lying to serve a political agenda?"

Similarly, last year, Peters forces complained that the U-T had unfairly trashed their candidate.

“We had an extremely cozy relationship with the U-T San Diego that always struck me as something that was frankly unethical,” ex-DeMaio aide-turned-foe Todd Bosnich was quoted as saying by TV station KNSD regarding the DeMaio-Manchester relationship. For their part, DeMaio supporters accused the Jacobs-backed, San Diego State University–controlled KPBS public broadcasting operation of playing last-minute dirty pool.

Manchester’s U-T hands claimed vindication this June when ex-staffer Bosnich pled guilty to a federal charge related to having made up an email threat saying he would never work in politics again if he revealed he'd been sexually harassed by DeMaio.

Either way, the race was not a sterling moment for some media outlets, according to many observers, including Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Morian.

Now, with Manchester's sale of the U-T to Chicago-based Tribune Publishing in May, the back-room intrigue of the paper's coverage could head in another direction, putting the Peters seat further out of the reach of Republicans.

Austin Beutner, the paper's new publisher, who has the same role at the Los Angeles Times, worked under Democratic president Bill Clinton and has backed his wife Hillary for president, though the U-T has lately downplayed Beutner's influence over its editorial pages.

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Scott Peters
Scott Peters

Back in February, the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee issued a 14-member "Frontline" list of its most threatened House incumbents.

La Jolla congressman Scott Peters was featured prominently.

"Each one of these members knows what it takes to win tough elections: working hard, standing up for your district, and not taking anything for granted," said a February 12 statement by campaign committee chairman Ben Ray Lujan, carrying an implicit pledge of big special-interest money to come.

Video:

"Scott Peters puts us at risk" spot

Now, keeping its own promise to spend heavily to unseat Peters next year, the National Republican Congressional Committee has rolled out what it says will be a six-figure TV and internet campaign in the coming weeks against Peters and two other House Democrats.

Citing "a source with knowledge of the buys," Roll Call says Peters, along with Brad Ashford of Nebraska and Rick Nolan of Minnesota, will be hit "on national security issues."

Noting that Peters is currently in a "safe" district, according to its polling, the Roll Call item says that "Republicans have yet to recruit a top-tier candidate to take on Peters, a prolific fundraiser who survived a bruising re-election battle in 2014 to win a second term."

Carl DeMaio
Douglas Manchester
Irwin Jacobs

That fight, against ex–San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio, was marked by a mud-throwing clash of the titans in the form of GOP real estate mogul Douglas Manchester, then-publisher of U-T San Diego and a key DeMaio ally, versus Qualcomm Democratic billionaire Irwin Jacobs, a Peters supporter and major donor to local non-profit news and opinion operations.

The down-and-dirty confrontation resembled another political proxy war Manchester and Jacobs waged against each other just a year earlier, in which the Manchester-backed GOP Lincoln Club sent out hit pieces with a phony photo of Republican-turned-Democrat Nathan Fletcher preparing to board an executive jet with drink in hand.

Qualcomm executive Fletcher, backed by Jacobs, was running for mayor against GOP city councilman Kevin Faulconer, and Manchester's paper pulled no punches in its successful mission to elect the Republican.

"I was outraged to learn that the Lincoln Club of San Diego — a supposedly pro-business political group — would fund a political hit piece that unfairly and incorrectly attacks one of San Diego’s largest employers,” wrote Jacobs's son Paul, then-CEO of Qualcomm, in an October 2013 letter to the Republicans.

"Is the Lincoln Club so desperate and out of constructive ideas that they are resorting to attacks on private employers, forsaking their supposed principles and lying to serve a political agenda?"

Similarly, last year, Peters forces complained that the U-T had unfairly trashed their candidate.

“We had an extremely cozy relationship with the U-T San Diego that always struck me as something that was frankly unethical,” ex-DeMaio aide-turned-foe Todd Bosnich was quoted as saying by TV station KNSD regarding the DeMaio-Manchester relationship. For their part, DeMaio supporters accused the Jacobs-backed, San Diego State University–controlled KPBS public broadcasting operation of playing last-minute dirty pool.

Manchester’s U-T hands claimed vindication this June when ex-staffer Bosnich pled guilty to a federal charge related to having made up an email threat saying he would never work in politics again if he revealed he'd been sexually harassed by DeMaio.

Either way, the race was not a sterling moment for some media outlets, according to many observers, including Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Morian.

Now, with Manchester's sale of the U-T to Chicago-based Tribune Publishing in May, the back-room intrigue of the paper's coverage could head in another direction, putting the Peters seat further out of the reach of Republicans.

Austin Beutner, the paper's new publisher, who has the same role at the Los Angeles Times, worked under Democratic president Bill Clinton and has backed his wife Hillary for president, though the U-T has lately downplayed Beutner's influence over its editorial pages.

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Comments
8

Can anyone name any major thing that Congress has done since Peters has been there? They have not done one thing that makes life better for me. It is time to replace the clowns we got there and get some people who will get things done.

Aug. 18, 2015

Sunglasses please! Look at the big toothy smiles on all those men. Do politicians and CEOs go to a special smile school to learn that? Do they have a special orthodontist to make their teeth so white and straight?

"Oh, the shark has pretty teeth, dear / And he shows them, pearly white…"

"Daily in life I watch men whose every smile is an artifice, and every wink is an hypocrisy." WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY, The Virginians.

I would like to think Peters' priorities are aligned with mine, but how would I find out? And would he actually act on those priorities if pressured to do otherwise? Others, including the current occupant of the White House have proven a big disappointment.

Aug. 18, 2015

That seat is not a safe Dem seat. If it were, the GOP big guns would not be preparing to run a massive advertising program. When Bilbray held the seat, the DNC had it on a hit list for a swing, and they pulled it off. Rather this is a swing seat that can be crucial for controlling the House. Both parties spend massively to try to get their candidate elected, and as long as voter registration by party is close, Both sides of the aisle will continue to pour large funds into an attempt to get their guy elected. Can't we all just use the showers to get clean. Most fail to

Aug. 18, 2015

DINO Peters has the Chamber of Commerce locked up, what does he have to fear from the Republicans?

Aug. 18, 2015

Hmmmm… Doesn't Jeb Bush also have the Chamber of Commerce, not to mention all the mainline media, locked up? No worries then!

Aug. 19, 2015

Constituents like Dem Scott Peters very well indeed. He battles effectively to retain his Congressional seat in a middle-of-the-road district; he flies round-trip cross-country to touch home base and then returns to D.C. where he votes pretty much A-okay; he doesn't have to worry about extreme GOP challengers like vanquished Carl DeMaio or hybrids from his own party like Nathan Whatever; Papa Doug IS gone and the daily paper is in the hands of a Hillary-lover from LA and Irwin Jacobs is a friend. Was there a story here? Oh, right, a lot of TV advertising. But people don't watch much TV anymore and they hate ads, so I would guess Peters is in good shape.

Aug. 18, 2015

When Scott Peters worked with Todd Bosnich and the stolen Demaio campaign material, it ruined his reputation forever.

Aug. 19, 2015

Politicians have reputations? Good ones I mean.

Aug. 21, 2015

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