Ami Bera the Democratic nominee for the 3rd Congressional District, is taking his recent attacks on Republican Rep. Dan Lungren's state pension to the airwaves.
The Bera campaign has launched a 30-second television spot slamming Lungren for accepting payments from the state pension he earned during his time as attorney general while also taking a congressional salary. The ad, titled "Spiked," also targets a pay raise during Lungren's last month in the attorney general's office that resulted in an increase in his pension.
That salary increase, approved by the Citizens Compensation Commission, upped the pension benefits Lungren is eligible to receive through the California Legislative Retirement System by more than $11,000 a year.
Lungren spokesman Rob Stutzman criticized Bera's ad for mischaracterizing the congressman's pension.
"I think it's telling that Dr. Bera kicks off his campaign with a misleading attack. The ad says that Lungren spikes his pension, he did not," Stutzman said, noting that the citizens' commission is responsible for setting state lawmaker salaries.
He accused Bera of dodging discussion on significant issues in the news, citing as examples health care reform, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's job performance and a proposal to build a mosque and community center near the site of Ground Zero in New York City.
Bera campaign manager Lucinda Guinn said in response that Lungren could have rejected the pay raise approved by the commission.
The spot will run on broadcast stations in the Sacramento area. It is the first television ad of the heated CD3 contest, a top target for Democrats.
Watch the ad below. The transcript of the spot is posted after the jump.
Narrator: The LA Times says Dan Lungren is plagued by ethics issues. And criticized for being a Washington insider. There's more...listen to this:
TV Announcer: The former California attorney general spiked his state pension just before leaving office.
Narrator: Double dipping ...nearly 230-thousand dollars a year with taxpayer funds. And if that wasn't enough...In Congress, Lungren supported raising his pay six times. Dan Lungren...Spiking his pension, raising his pay and "plagued by ethics issues." Heard Enough?
Dr. Bera: I'm Ami Bera and I approve this message.
This post was updated at 9:49 a.m. with comments from Rob Stutzman. Comment from Guinn added at 3:47 p.m.