New DeMaio Game Show Ad Hits Scott Peters for Spiking Pensions

Carl DeMaio Carl DeMaio 35 Comments


How Scott Peters Helped Create Government Millionaires With His Pension Spiking Scheme

San Diego – The DeMaio for Congress campaign today released a new ad titled “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire: Government Edition” which spoofs the popular game show by highlighting how Congressman Scott Peters helped create millionaires out of government employees by voting to spike their pensions.

Yes, Scott Peters helped make millionaires out of government employees.

“Scott Peters voted to spike government employee pensions even though he knew San Diegans could not afford it,” said Dave McCulloch, spokesperson for the DeMaio campaign. “Because of Scott Peters’ pension scheme, many government employees now get pensions higher than $100,000 a year and some even became millionaires,” McCulloch added.

According to a 2010 study released by Californians for Fiscal Responsibility, several retired San Diego city government employees will receive up to $6 million in retirement checks from the city retirement fund. DeMaio’s ad features those examples, including a city librarian – who, in retirement, earns more than $234,000 a year in government pension checks.

In 2011, the Union-Tribune even documented a massive 71% boost in the number of city employees receiving $100,000 or more annually in government pensions. The pension spiking was approved by Scott Peters while he was on the San Diego City Council and almost bankrupted San Diego. To pay for his pension scheme, Scott Peters slashed San Diego neighborhood services – including the elimination of after-school and childcare programs for the city’s most needy and slashing library hours by as much as 40% in some of our most needy neighborhoods.

The ad, available on the campaign’s YouTube account, will begin its public rotation this week with a significant online video buy and associated social media platforms. Tomorrow: Peters Pension Scheme Week continues…with another startling revelation on the crisis Scott Peters caused by spiking government pensions.



Comments 35

  1. Hey HQ,
    I’m interested in the truth. Please detail the untruths in the ad, OK?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. SS,

    Start with the fact that the “librarian” was actually in charge of the entire library system – kind of like calling the CEO of Starbucks a barista. More important is the theme: When exactly did Scott Peters vote to spike pensions? He definitely made some bad votes when it came to the Pension (as did others including a current Republican Assemblyman), but I don’t remember him voting to allow pension spiking. That was in place lonng before Peters was ever elected.

  3. Scott Peters voted for pension spiking by virtue of his votes to underfund the pension system. It was a comprehensive bill that also allowed early retirement. Take a look at Scott Peter’s financial disclosures, he is much younger than normal retirement age, and he himself gets income from SDCERS. Thus, he not only voted to undefined pensions, but also voted for pension spiking.

  4. (as did others including a current Republican Assemblyman)

    That Republican Assemblyman admitted he made a mistake and signed a pledge to not increase the taxpayers’ contribution to public employee pension plans, over two years ago. I can live with someone who learned from his mistakes.

    DeMaio signed that pledge over two years ago, too. Reform is necessary to preserve the pension system..and social security…and Medicare.

    Peters could take this issue off the table by admitting his mistake (like that Republican Assemblyman did) and committing to the type of reform DeMaio proposes. It’s that easy,

    I’ll bet Peters won’t do it.

  5. UB,

    Do you even know what the term “pension spiking” means? The words have a very specific meaning so let me help you. From Wikipedia:

    “The process whereby employees inflate their compensation in the years immediately preceding retirement in order to receive larger pensions than they would otherwise be entitled to receive.”

    This “process” was going on long before Councilman Peters was elected.

  6. And yet, Peters is committed to the same old tired mantra of no changes in social security or Medicare. Peters has a math problem which results in dramatically higher payroll taxes or runaway inflation. The man IS the problem in DC, not the solution.

  7. I am well aware of what pension spiking is. Scott Peters took his own pension early, so the vote in 2002 is consistent with the “preceding years” part of your Wikipedia definition. Voting to increase benefits and then taking your pension 6 years later, all while being much younger than 65 is part of the problem.

  8. Brian,

    Are you backpedaling from your comment that Peters could “take this off the table by admitting his mistake” since he clearly did just that?

  9. Union Buster,

    Since you know what “pension spiking” is, do you agree with me that Councilman Peters never voted for it and the ad is factually inaccurate?

  10. “I would like you to tell Pete Wilson that he is responsible for pension spiking or, even better, go on the Roger Hedgecock show and tell the host that it is his fault.”

    Where do I sign up?

  11. Brian – Please enlighten us, how does Carl DeMaio plan to change Social Security and Medicare?

  12. Brian,

    What about Ronald Reagan and the California budgets he signed as Governor?

    The luxury of hindsight is a beautiful thing. Virtually every city, county and statewide elected official over the last 50+ years consistently voted for and/or signed budgets that made it easy for pension spiking to occur. Should this have disqualified all of them from ever serving in office again?

  13. I thought you wanted help calling out Pete Wilson, HQ.

    I never said politicians don’t make mistakes; I said the good ones admit them and learn from them. Peters hasn’t–he needs to be retired.

    I’m pretty sure that Grover Cleveland, perhaps the greatest Democratic President ever, made some bad votes too but I thought he was was brilliant. Here’s the rub — neither Reagan nor Cleveland nor Wilson is running for office.

    Scott Peters is. He blew it.

  14. Brian,

    Just to refresh your memory:

    Scott Peters responding to a question from a La Jolla Light reporter in 2012 (

    “We did make mistakes early in my term, with respect to the pension, did these same kinds of things that the city had been doing for decades, then realized that they were mistakes…”

    Peters not only admitted his mistake, but he worked with Mayor Sanders to correct it. I hate that Politicos will keep repeating an attack even when it has been proven false. I thought you were better than that.

  15. Just to refresh your memory, Peters talked about pension reform just like, in 2012, he talked about entitlement reform. When pressed for a plan, Peters offers general but math-challenged statements.

    Do you know who championed the voter-led pension reform? DeMaio

    Not only did Scott Peters blow it, he’s a toddler at the big kids table when it comes to fixing the mess he supported. I’m glad he now recognizes that.

  16. Brian,

    I am sorry that I tried to interject facts in the middle of your rant. I will endeavor not to do that again.

    By the way, when are you going to answer Sam Ward’s question above?

    By the way, part II, The Peters/Sanders plan saved the City tens of millions of dollars while Demaio’s voter-led “pension reform” has actually cost the city millions. Don’t believe me, ask any actuary.

  17. Sam,

    Brian won’t answer you, because the answer will cost DeMaio the senior citizen vote and therefore the election.

  18. I don’t know about the rest of this discussion, but I think Peters needs to go because while in congress:

    -Peters voted against a “Secure the Border” bill even though Americans agree we need a secure border and his district is so close to the border problems. (HR 5230)
    -Peters voted to allow gun bans where people who want to defend their family from crime. (H. Amend. 1098)
    -Peters voted to keep America dependent on foreign energy coming from countries that hate us and don’t respect civil rights. (HR 4899)
    -Peters voted to arm Syrian terrorists. (H. Amend 917)

  19. Michael Schwartz – HR 4899 opens the California coast to more offshore oil drilling. Has Carl DeMaio come out in support of the bill?

  20. I think we need to call in outside expertise on this closely contested race. I look to the most respected organization I know of that will always support what’s in the best interest — well, in THEIR best interest. Of course, I refer to the labor unions — especially the public employee labor unions.

    None will give a dime to DeMaio. Most will be spending big bucks on Peters.

    Trust their judgement. When it comes to picking their favored sycophant, the unions are never wrong. Union bosses thoroughly vet their selections.

    We should all thank them for their unerring guidance in this matter. Let them direct your voting to the right choice. You can’t go wrong.

  21. Hi Sam Ward, I do not know where Carl DeMaio stands on that bill. I just know that Peters voted against it.

    So…time to get a new congressman.

    Here’s a bit more about the bill from the House Committee on Natural Resources:

    Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act (H.R. 4899)
    Status: Passed the House on June 26, 2014 with a bipartisan vote of 229-185. Awaits consideration by the Senate.

    • The Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act will help ease the pain at the pump by expanding production of America’s own energy resources.
    • According to AAA, the national average price of gasoline is $3.68 – double what it was when President Obama took office. High gasoline prices further squeeze middle class families, increase the costs of goods and services such as groceries, and force businesses to cut costs and raise prices. Rising gasoline prices are a drain on our economy and families shouldn’t have to choose between filling up their cars and putting food on the table.
    • The Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act would harness the oil and natural gas resources we have right here at home. Responsibly developing these resources not only addresses rising energy costs, but helps create good-paying American jobs, strengthens our economy, and improves our energy security.

  22. Micheal – re: your reference to H. Amend 917 – you do understand that “Syrian” is not a synonym for “terrorist” right? H. Amend 917 was defeated on a bi-partisan voice vote.

    Going back to H.R. 4899 – if it’s your position that anyone who opposes opening up the California coastline to more offshore drilling shouldn’t be in Congress, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to know DeMaio’s position.

    Brian Brady – still waiting . . . .

  23. Sam, your assertion is that the weapons in Syria would be used by duck hunters then? Does ISIS have a rod and gun club that Peters is trying to help? I wish he was as supportive of my right to keep and bear arms as he is of Syrian civilian’s right to keep and bear arms.

    And please point out exactly where I said I did not want to know Carl’s position?
    What I am far more concerned with is that Peters was in a position to influence the bill and vote for a bipartisan bill that is a big step forward to energy independence. But…he didn’t. He just voted with Pelosi (like he does so often). I will say that I am not as concerned with how Carl DeMaio would have voted on a bill that passed while he was not elected into congress, because I know how he will act during the formation of future bills after he is elected into congress: like a leader.

    Carl’s track record proves he won’t just blindly follow Party leadership in an election year like Peters appears to have.
    It makes it look like the only job Peters is concerned about is his own.

  24. Micheal – I get it – you think that anyone who opposes opening up the California coastline to offshore drilling shouldn’t be in Congress. I think it’s odd that this is a litmus test for you yet you do not know where Carl DeMaio stands on the issue. Enough said.

    Contrary to your assertions, H. Amend 917 would have barred all funding for arms in the Syrian conflict. It was a sloppy blunderbuss approach to a complex conflict. That is why Scott Peters, Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa and broad majority of the House (121 Republicans and 123 Democrats) voted against it.

  25. Still waiting, Sam:
    And please point out exactly where I said I did not want to know Carl’s position?

    Also, do you believe that the voters in California’s 52nd district are as lock-step with Pelosi’s views as Peters’ congressional voting record would indicate?

  26. Micheal – If you want to know what Carl DeMaio’s position is on these bills, you should ask him and report back. I actually suspect that he’d fail your litmus test. And yes, I think that the majority of voters in the 52nd District would oppose expansion of offshore drilling in California.

    Brian Brady – still waiting . . . .

  27. HR 4899 was estimated to create 1.2 million jobs each year across the country and to generate $8 trillion in economic output. The oil and gas industry pays good wages to working class Americans. Surprising that Scott Peters would vote against good paying jobs for Americans and his minions would defend his anti-jobs vote here on this site. It’s a shame, really. But it makes sense in a way since the only jobs Democrats seem to care about these days are minimum wage service jobs.

  28. Dave,

    Are you certain about your numbers? By my math, if 1.2 million jobs created $8 trillion in economic output, that would mean that each job was worth $6.7 million to the economy. I know oil drilling jobs pay well, but…

  29. Sam, I’ll make you a deal. If after Carl is elected he votes to keep the United States totally reliant on countries who hate us for energy like Scott Peters did….I’ll buy you a Coke.

  30. Michael,

    “he votes to keep the United States totally reliant on countries who hate us for energy like Scott Peters did…”


    1. In 2013, the U.S. produced 67% of the oil we used. ( I don’t think we hate ourselves.

    2. Starting in 2011, the U.S. has actually been a net exporter of oil ( If we just used what we produced here, we wouldn’t need to import any oil.

    3. Of the oil we do unnecessarily import, the country that provides us with by far the most is Canada. Of the top 10, only Venezuela could truly be said to “hate us.”

    4. Peters consistently votes to increase our portfolio of renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal). Add this to the fact that we already produce more oil than we need right here in the U.S.A., and your statement about Peters voting to keep us “totally reliant on countries who hate us for energy” is demonstrably false.

    One last point, I would love to see Carl DeMaio run an ad criticizing Congressman Peters for voting to prevent drilling for oil off the California Coast. I am sure the Peters campaign would even be willing to pay for the ad if DeMaio wanted to run it.

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