Scott Peters (politician)

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Scott Peters
Scott Peter's Official 113th Congressional Portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 52nd district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Duncan D. Hunter
Member of San Diego City Council
from the First District
In office
December 2000 – December 2008
Preceded by Harry Mathis
Succeeded by Sherri Lightner
Personal details
Born (1958-06-17) June 17, 1958 (age 56)[1]
Springfield, Ohio
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lynn E. Gorguze
Children 2
Residence La Jolla, California
Alma mater Duke University, New York University School of Law
Occupation attorney
Website Scott Peters
Representative Scott Peters

Scott H. Peters (born June 17, 1958) is an American politician who has been the United States Representative for California's 52nd congressional district since 2013.[2] He is a Democrat. The district includes coastal and central portions of the city of San Diego, as well as the suburbs of Poway and Coronado.[3]

Peters previously served two terms on the San Diego City Council from 2000 to 2008, and he was the first person to hold the post of President of the City Council (2006–2008). He also served as a Commissioner for the Unified Port of San Diego before becoming a member of Congress.

Early life, education, and legal career[edit]

Peters was born in Springfield, Ohio in 1958. He was raised in Michigan. His father was a Lutheran minister and his mother was a homemaker.[4][5][6] In an interview, Peters said that he took out student loans and participated in his school's work-study program, through which he was given jobs answering phones and cleaning pigeon cages.[4] He received his undergraduate degree from Duke University.[7]

He served as an economist on the staff of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),[8] then earned a law degree from the New York University School of Law.[7] Peters served as a deputy city attorney in San Diego from 1991 to 1996.[6] Prior to his election to the City Council, Peters worked as an attorney in private practice and practiced environmental law. He gained notability in a lawsuit against a local shipbuilder.[9]

California government career[edit]

California Coastal Commission[edit]

In 2002, Peters was appointed to the California Coastal Commission.[10] He served one three-year term on the Commission. A coalition of environmental groups gave his votes an environmental score of 31% in 2002, 52% in 2003 and 40% in 2004.[11][12] He was "involuntarily retired" in 2005 when new State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez did not renew his appointment.[13]

City Council (2000–2008)[edit]

Elections[edit]

Scott Peters in 2011

In 2000, he ran for the San Diego City Council's 1st district. In the open primary, he ranked second with 24% of the vote, qualifying for the November general election. Businesswoman Linda Davis ranked first with 32% of the vote.[14] In the November election, Peters defeated Davis 53%-47%.[15]

In the 2004 open primary, he came in first with 48% of the vote. Businessman Phil Thalheimer ranked second with 31% of the vote.[16][17] In the November election, Peters won re-election to a second term, defeating Thalheimer 55%-45%.[18]

Tenure[edit]

In 2004, San Diego city residents voted to change the structure of city government from a council-city manager form of government to a mayor-council form of government, which made the mayor the city's chief executive officer.[19] Serving as a member of the city council during this time, Peters was elected to chair the transition committee in charge of this project.[20]

In 2005, Peters was elected by his fellow council members to serve as the first President of the San Diego City Council,[21] which under the new form of government made him the chief officer of the city's newly defined legislative branch. In 2008, San Diego's mayor vetoed a 24% pay raise for the city council which Peters and four other members of the council had voted for themselves.[22][23]

Peters was a member of the San Diego City Council during the San Diego pension scandal.[24] In 2002, he voted with the majority to underfund the employee pension system.[25][26] The ensuing investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission cleared Peters and the other council members of fraud, but the Kroll Report investigation called them "negligent." The city spent $7 million defending officials involved in this case, including $631,000 defending Peters.[27][28] During the 2012 congressional election campaign, his Republican opponent, Brian Bilbray, made the scandal a major theme against Peters.[29]

Peters cited a reduction in sewer spills and beach closure days as accomplishments during his city council tenure. He stated that the city averaged one spill per day when he was elected in 2000, but that, during his terms in office, the incidence of such spills fell by 80%.[30] He was involved in the push to ban alcohol from the city's beaches, as well as to ban smoking from public beaches and parks.[31][32]

2008 City Attorney election[edit]

Having reached the end of his eight-year term limit on the city council, Peters ran for San Diego City Attorney in 2008, challenging incumbent City Attorney Mike Aguirre. In the open primary, state legislator Jan Goldsmith ranked first with 32% of the vote. The incumbent ranked second with 29% of the vote, qualifying for the runoff election. Peters ranked third with 20% of the vote and did not advance to the November runoff.[33] He later served as deputy county counsel for the County of San Diego.[34]

In 2008, Peters was criticized by the Voice of San Diego for excessive water use. Citizens were urged to curb their water use due to a drought. Peters was revealed as a heavy water user and said he would try to conserve but ended the year having consumed more than 1 million gallons of water for his home, which sits on a 34,848-square-foot lot near Mount Soledad, and for an adjacent landscaped parcel.[35]

Port Commission (2009–2012)[edit]

Peters was a port commissioner from 2009 through 2012, serving as chair of the Port Commission in 2011. He was sworn in as a commissioner in January 2009, after having been appointed by the San Diego City Council.[36][37] He represented the City of San Diego on the Port Commission, making decisions regarding the uses of San Diego Bay and its adjacent waterfront land.[38]

Peters was chosen by his fellow commissioners to serve as chair of the board of commissioners for 2011.[39] In January 2011, he said one of his top priorities was to have the South Bay Power Plant in Chula Vista decommissioned to make room for better use.[39] In the year Peters served as chair, the board of commissioners reached a deal with the former operator of the plant for its demolition.[40] The Port also conducted community outreach over a period of six months to gather ideas for improving San Diego’s waterfront “front porch” between the airport and Seaport Village.[41]

U.S. House of Representatives (2013-present)[edit]

2012 election[edit]

Peters ran for the newly redrawn California's 52nd congressional district in 2012. Incumbent Republican Representative Brian Bilbray of the 50th district was drawn into the 52nd district due to redistricting. Eleven candidates filed to run. In the open primary, Bilbray ranked first with 41% of the vote. Peters ranked second with 23% of the vote, qualifying for the November general election ballot. He narrowly edged out State Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, a fellow Democrat, who earned 22% of the vote. The other candidates all received single-digit percentages.[42] During the primary, Peters received the endorsement of the retiring incumbent Representative, Bob Filner.[43] On election night the vote was too close to call, but Peters' small lead increased each day as more absentee, vote-by-mail, and provisional ballots were processed. On November 16, Bilbray conceded the race to Peters.[44] Peters officially defeated Bilbray 51%-49%, a difference of 6,956 votes.[45]

Scott Peters in the 2014 San Diego LGBT Pride Parade.jpg

2014 election[edit]

In the June 2014 primary, Peters was opposed by three Republicans. Peters was the top vote getter in the primary with 42%. Under California's "top two" primary system, he faced the second place finisher, former city councilman Carl DeMaio, in the November general election.[46] After a hotly contested campaign the vote was too close to call on election night, but Peters pulled ahead as additional ballots were counted, and DeMaio conceded three days after the election.

Peters is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic candidates.[47] In August, Peters was endorsed for re-election by the United States Chamber of Commerce, a relatively rare action by the Chamber of Commerce, which usually endorses Republicans.[48][49]

In a poll conducted by SurveyUSA for U-T San Diego and 10News during September 11-15, 2014, DeMaio and Peters were in a virtual dead heat with Peters polling at 47% and DeMaio at 46%.[50] The same poll taken October 2-6 was again described as a dead heat, with DeMaio showing a 3-point lead over Peters - within the margin of error.[51] An earlier Survey USA poll showed Peters leading by one point.[51]

On election night the result was too close to call, with DeMaio ahead by 751 votes. Over the next few days Peters pulled into the lead. By Friday Peters had a lead of 4,491 votes and the Associated Press said he had won.[52] The final result was Peters 51.59% and DeMaio 48.41%.[53]

Documents released after the election stated that the initial accuser of DeMaio met with Peters' campaign manager before going public with his accusation of sexual harassment, that he gave her some internal DeMaio campaign documents, and that the Peters campaign copied some of the documents before turning them over to police.[54][55] Peters' campaign received the documents on 5 June, and turned it over to police on 9 June; Peters later said his campaign "immediately turned over to the police."[56]

Tenure[edit]

In April 2013, Peters voted for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a bill that would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[57]

In May 2013, Peters voted against repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).[58][59] In October 2013, Peters was one of nine Democratic co-sponsors of HR3425, an unsuccessful proposal which would have delayed any penalties under the PPACA until four months after the program's website is fully functional.[60]

As of October 2013, Peters had voted the same way as Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner on 9 out of the 16 times that Boehner has chosen to cast a vote.[61] The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says Peters voted with the Chamber position on key bills 69% of the time.[48]

Peters says he would prefer that Congress develop a strategy to deal with climate change, but that in lieu of congressional action, he would support President Obama's moves toward bypassing Congress and looking for an international climate change deal.[62]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucuses[edit]

Peters is a member of the House Democratic Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition.[63] He is also a member of the No Labels Caucus.[64][65]

Personal life[edit]

Peters lives with his family in La Jolla.[8] He and his wife, Lynn E. Gorguze, have a daughter and a son. Lynn is president and CEO of Cameron Holdings,[66] and his family has a net worth of $112 million.[67] As of 2014 Peters is the sixth wealthiest member of Congress.[67]

Peters' campaign website reports that he has been affiliated with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, CleanTECH San Diego, and the UCSD Chancellor’s Community Advisory Board.[8]

Electoral history[edit]

United States House of Representatives elections, 2014[68]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Scott Peters (incumbent) 98,563 51.56%
Republican Carl DeMaio 92,590 48.44%
Totals 191,153 100.0%
United States House of Representatives elections, 2012[69]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Scott Peters 151,451 51.2%
Republican Brian Bilbray (incumbent) 144,495 48.8%
Totals 295,946 100.0%
Democratic gain from Republican

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rep. Scott H. Peters". Congressional Bill Tracker. Real Clear Politics. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "New San Diego congressional members sworn in: Juan Vargas, Scott Peters to begin terms". 10news.com. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "California State Congressional District 52". HealthyCity, based on CRC Certified Map. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Scott Peters Thinks He Can Take Down Brian Bilbray". San Diego CityBeat. November 30, 2011. 
  5. ^ Bell, Diane (Mar 5, 2014). "Dad of Congressman gives House prayer". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Scott Peters (D)". Election 2012. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Kaper, Stacy (Nov 16, 2012). "California, 52nd House District". National Journal. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Scott Peters campaign website. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  9. ^ Rodgers, Terry (2000-03-04). "Five known only locally seek Mathis' seat". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. B-1. 
  10. ^ Sharma, Amita (November 10, 2009). "Peters’ Coastal Commission Appointment In Jeopardy". KPBS. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ http://public.surfrider.org/files/cccvote/2003CCCVoteChart.pdf
  12. ^ http://public.surfrider.org/files/cccvote/2005CCCVoteChart.pdf
  13. ^ Matt Potter (12 May 2005). "Clowning around". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "San Diego County Primary Election, March 7, 2000". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "San Diego County General Election, November 7, 2000". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "San Diego County Primary Election, March 2, 2004". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "San Diego County". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "San Diego County General Election, November 2, 2004". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  19. ^ City of San Diego Official Website City Ordinance 2006-45. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  20. ^ Vigil, Jennifer (Apr 28, 2005). "Peters to lead council's strong-mayor transition". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  21. ^ Vigil, Jennifer (2005-11-23). "Peters is named first president of City Council". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. B3. 
  22. ^ "SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Metro -- Sanders vetoes council's 24% pay raise". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  23. ^ "Lawyers, Guns and Money". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  24. ^ "Pension troubles: A timeline". San Diego Union Tribune. March 2006. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  25. ^ "SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Metro > San Diego's Pension Crisis -- Pension troubles: A timeline". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  26. ^ "SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Metro > San Diego's Pension Crisis -- Calculated risk runs into harsh reality". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  27. ^ Alison St John. "SD Spends $7 Million on Legal Fees in Pension Debacle". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  28. ^ http://legacy.utsandiego.com/news/metro/pension/images/060808kroll_05partiesresponsible.pdf
  29. ^ "TV ad wars begin in Peters-Bilbray contest". North County Times. September 11, 2012. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Election 2012: Who is Scott Peters?". La Jolla Light. January 1, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Alcohol Banned for One Year at San Diego Beaches". FOX News. 2007-11-06. 
  32. ^ Watkins, Thomas (2006-06-13). "San Diego Bans Smoking at Beaches, Parks". The Washington Post. 
  33. ^ "County of San Diego Direct Primary Election, Tuesday, June 3, 2008". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  34. ^ Carless, Will (Mar 31, 2008). "THE RACE FOR CITY ATTORNEYScott Peters, Lawyer". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  35. ^ Davis, Rob. "Peters Hasn't Curbed Water Use". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  36. ^ Unified Port of San Diego: Commissioner Profiles.
  37. ^ City of San Diego, Appointment Process Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  38. ^ Port of San Diego: About Us. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  39. ^ a b Unified Port of San Diego: New Board Chairman Scott Peters Declares 2011 the Year of Innovation. January 11, 2011.
  40. ^ "Demolition of power plant finally OK'd". San Diego Union-Tribune. October 26, 2011. 
  41. ^ "Citizens waterfront ideas include beach, barge". San Diego Union-Tribune. October 11, 2011. 
  42. ^ "Registrar of Voters Confirms Race Results". La Jolla Patch. June 24, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  43. ^ Cadelago, Christopher (1 May 2012). "Saldaña endorses Filner after Peters demures". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  44. ^ "Rep. Bilbray concedes race to Democratic challenger Scott Peters". latimes.com. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  45. ^ "Presidential General Election, Tuesday, November 6, 2012". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  46. ^ Walker, Mark (June 3, 2014). "Peters, DeMaio head to November". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  47. ^ Livingston, Abby (Mar 5, 2013). "http://atr.rollcall.com/dccc-announces-26-members-on-frontline-incumbent-retention-program/". Roll Call. 
  48. ^ a b Nichols, Chris (September 3, 2014). "Peters gains U.S. Chamber nod". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  49. ^ Trageser, Claire (September 3, 2014). "U.S. Chamber Endorses Scott Peters In San Diego’s 52nd Congressional Race". KPBS. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  50. ^ http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/sep/16/scottpeters-carldemaio-poll-52ndcongressionaldistr/ Poll: Scott Peters and Carl DeMaio tied], U-T San Diego, 16 September 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  51. ^ a b Walker, Mark (October 7, 2014). "Poll: DeMaio has 3-point lead over Peters; GOP challenger's lead is within poll margin of error, making race a virtual tie". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  52. ^ Claire Trageser; Laura Wingard (7 November 2014). "Peters Up Nearly 4,500 Votes Over DeMaio; AP Declares Peters Winner". KPBS. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  53. ^ "General Election, Tuesday, November 4, 2014". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  54. ^ Ash, Allison (10 November 2014). "Carl DeMaio claims court documents prove Scott Peters had stolen campaign documents". KGTV. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  55. ^ Moran, Greg (7 November 2014). "Peters' aide met with DeMaio's accusor". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
    Adams, Andie (12 November 2014). "DeMaio Accuser Arrested, Suspected of Pushing Mom". KNSD. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
    Lewis, Scott (11 November 2014). "What we Know about Scott Peters' Role in the DeMaio Scandal". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
    Spagat, Elliot (9 November 2014). "AP Interview: DeMaio Concedes Calif. House Race". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  56. ^ Wendy Fry; Lynn Walsh (8 November 2014). "Search Warrants Reveal Bosnich Gave Peters Confidential Campaign Docs". KNSD. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
    Jaffe, Alexandra (20 October 2014). "Gay GOP House candidate: Harassment allegations driven by my sexuality". The Hill. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  57. ^ Potter, Matt (Apr 22, 2013). "Peters got $2600 from Microsoft Office president in weeks before CISPA vote". San Diego Reader. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  58. ^ Sam Baker (11 June 2013). "NRCC hits Calif. Dems over ObamaCare rates". The Hill. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  59. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 154". House.gov. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  60. ^ Kasperowicz, Pete (October 21, 2013). "Nine Dems propose mandate delay". The Hill. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  61. ^ Giroux, Greg (October 28, 2013). "Some Democrats Vote With Boehner Touting Independence". Bloomberg. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  62. ^ Joseph, Cameron (2014-08-27). "Vulnerable Dem backs Obama on climate change move". The Hill. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  63. ^ "Rep. Scott Peters, New Democrat Coalition Demand Comprehensive Immigration Reform by September 30". Press release, Congressman Scott Peters office. August 5, 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  64. ^ "Problem Solvers list: House". Nolabels.org. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  65. ^ Lewis, Scott (May 13, 2014). "A Reader’s Guide to Scott Peters". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  66. ^ "Cameron Holdings Management Team". Cameron Holdings. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  67. ^ a b Long, Katie (January 9, 2014). "Most Members of Congress are Millionaires". Slate. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  68. ^ http://www.sdvote.com/voters/results/election.xml
  69. ^ 2012 general election results

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Duncan D. Hunter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 52nd congressional district

January 3, 2013 – present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Scott Perry
R-Pennsylvania
United States Representatives by seniority
406th
Succeeded by
Robert Pittenger
R-North Carolina