In Debate, Lungren and Bera Spar Over Jobs, Healthcare, Washington Influences

Elk Grove resident Ami Bera and Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River) met in a debate Tuesday in Sacramento.

In the first skirmish of a hotly contested Congressional race, Elk Grove resident and Democrat Ami Bera and Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River) traded jabs over medicare, jobs and outside influences on Washington in a televised debate Tuesday in Sacramento.

The pair are running in California's newly redistricted Congressional District 7, in a race being watched closely by analysts, outside donors, national media outlets and local residents. Their debate, sponsored by News10, The Sacramento Bee and Capital Public Radio, was streamed live online on the websites of those organizations and will be broadcast on television 10 a.m. Wednesday.

One of the first issues to come up was jobs: Bera said the country needs an investment in infrastructure and for banks to lend more freely. Lungren said Congress should stop "the rash of lawsuits [businesses] receive under ADA [The Americans with Disabilities Act]."

Lungren said he would seek a repeal of the federal healthcare reform and would replace it with insurance pools for high-risk patients and the ability to buy health insurance across state lines.

Bera, a physician, said the healthcare reform act "doesn't address the cost of care" and isn't the type of reform he would have sought.

On the issue of global warming, Lungren said the question is "who caused it and is it caused predominately by human activity." He criticized Democrats for trying to "basically ruin the coal industry."

Bera said he would push for the United States to become energy-independent.

Asked about bipartisanship, Bera distanced himself from the Democratic majority: He said he disagreed with the federal Race to the Top program, and was critical of President Barack Obama for "not addressing the housing crisis early enough."

Lungren said he "probably [has] as many pieces of legislation that are bipartisan as any member."

Asked what they thought was "the most dangerous" interest group in Washington, Lungren said he didn't want to see government telling anyone "you shouldn't be talking so much."

"What do you want to do?" Lungren asked. "Do you want to say people don't have the right to petition their government for a redress of grievances?"

Bera quickly replied that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case—which lifted limits on political spending by corporations—was having a dangerous influence on Washington.

At one point in the debate, Bera said he would not fund California's high-speed rail project, and would prefer to see that money invested in levees and other infrastructure projects. Lungren took him to task for changing his position.

"Two years ago, you were for it," Lungren said. "You were for it before you're against it, and maybe later you'll be against it again."

Bera interjected, saying: "That might make a nice TV ad."

Explaining that shift in opinion later to reporters, Bera said the economy has worsened.

"We're deeper in debt than we were two years ago," he said. "There are more important infrastructure projects."

Protestors from both sides demonstrated outside the event, with about 40 Planned Parenthood supporters and Florin residents competing with eight Sac State College Republicans.

Jefferson McGee said he and other Florin residents have been urging Lungren to hold a public meeting in that area for months. Jordan Gurnett, the chair of the Sac State College Republicans, declined to comment but provided a handout saying Bera's "true job now is as a landlord and an investor."

Bera and Lungren Have Competitive History Together

This is the first time the two have debated, and the only meeting scheduled so far, but the candidates are familiar with each other by now: They met in the 2010 election, with Lungren beating Bera by 7 percentage points in Congressional District 3. The race was close in 2010, and it's been close in 2012.

In the June primary election, Lungren edged out Bera by capturing 53 percent of the vote to Bera's 41. But since then, Democrats have eked out a slight lead in the amount of registered voters they can boast in the district, according to California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office: As of May 21, the two parties were virtually tied, with Republicans boasting about 1,000 more registered voters. As of Sept. 7, Democrats hold the lead, with 39.2 percent of registered voters in the district as compared to 38.4 percent for Republicans.

The district includes Elk Grove, Fair Oaks, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Rosemont and other areas.

The Rothenburg Report has the competition between Bera and Lungren listed as a "pure toss-up," and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has targeted it as one of its seven "Red to Blue" races in California. The Sacramento Bee described it in June as part of the 25 seats Democrats need to regain a majority in the House of Representatives. 

The race has seen an influx of high-dollar spending by outside organizations. OpenSecrets.org reports that California's Congressional District 7 has seen more outside spending than any other race in the state, including more than $300,000 in opposition of Bera and $1.2 million opposing Lungren.

A March episode of "This American Life" looked at the influence a $680,000 ad campaign had on Bera's campaign the last time the two candidates faced each other. This time, it will likely be much more than that. In addition to the outside spending, Bera has raised nearly $2 million during this election cycle, while Lungren has raised $1.7 million.


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Think Free September 28, 2012 at 05:16 PM
The Gothic idea that we were to look backwards instead of forwards for the improvement of the human mind, and to recur to the annals of our ancestors for what is most perfect in government, in religion and in learning, is worthy of those bigots in religion and government by whom it has been recommended, and whose purposes it would answer. But it is not an idea which this country will endure." ~ Thomas Jefferson
M.Legison September 28, 2012 at 05:23 PM
It wasn't the best invective, but maybe definitions change over time. I have used grease ball, hairball, slime ball interchangeably for years and the reference never involves ethnicity but rather questionable behavior or decorum. My first thought was to quote Mark Halperin on his recent MSNBC off air but really on air assessment of Obama but I went this direction. Knowing the current definition can be construed as an ethnic slur, I wouldn't choose it again. Thanks.
Cody Kitaura (Editor) September 28, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Think Free, please keep this discussion mature and civil. Thanks.
M.Legison September 28, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Jim, welcome to the Elk Grove Patch. It is good to see one who has the ability to spell and write a complete sentence. My suggestion is to lower your expectations, and as we on the right are a small minority, be prepared for uber snark from a few regulars. You will learn who to ignore. The editor tries hard and is very fair. I can imagine this forum improving as a few people from both sides have been writing lately without the repeated use of "ummmm," "shame," "Marxist," "racist," "bigot," "Hitler," and other predictable phraseology often used by hackish posters. Stick around and thanks.
Think Free September 28, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Cody, you really must be having a love affair with M Legison. You allow him to call someone and Greaseball, but when I say Whitey. You tell me to keep the discussion mature and civil. Also I agree, that using slurs when you are having a conversation, (also calling the other posters on here unintelligent because they cannot spell to M Legisons standards). No one should be allowed to demean someone in this thread!
Mark Paxson September 29, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Yes ... M. can call other commenters ingorant, un-American, and anti-Christian, and say that they lack integrity simply because they disagree with he/she/it, but never ever suggest that he/she/it is clueless or pathetic. I don't envy Cody's job here, but there certainly seems to be a double standard. That said, I don't think any comments should be deleted -- leave them up here for the record to be clear. All he/she/it's comments to the contrary, that he/she/it used "greaseball" is a very telling comment and I'd like to see it stay.
Mark Paxson September 29, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Yes, M., suggesting that Ami Bera was acting like a d*ck would have been so much better.
Mark Paxson September 29, 2012 at 04:10 AM
And, one last comment for the night ... " I can imagine this forum improving as a few people from both sides have been writing lately without the repeated use of "ummmm," "shame," "Marxist," "racist," "bigot," "Hitler," and other predictable phraseology often used by hackish posters. Stick around and thanks." Seriously, this is beautiful. Very well stated to avoid all of the names you call people in your predictable right-wing phraseology ... you hackish poster, you.
M.Legison September 29, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Think Free September 29, 2012 at 06:24 AM
Ric B September 29, 2012 at 08:03 AM
@ Jim H. Do YOU know the meaning of DEMOCRACY?Do you?You know what, elections have consequences!The war of ideas on WHETHER or not to have a social safety net at all, was already fought & your side lost!One need only to look at the situation/QUALITY OF LIFE,before the FDR/DEM/LIBERAL social safety net.The American people soundly rejected the lazy-(un)faire(european)model of stratification of incomes & pull yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps(which many people didn't even have shoes,let alone a job) you are on your own(but false)sense of empowerment, because you were not a part of the elite,controlling class, which gave the USA & the rest of the world economies cyclical boom& busts cycle(read depressions).It was the Liberals who stopped this cycle from repeating over & over! Now it's true the vast majority of Americans today have no clue of these times(my parents lived thru the depression),but many of us know history & are on guard for those of your likes who wish to drag us back to the haves & have more era.If you don't like Social Security & am certain you will do the honest thing & return your portion to help offset the deficit;such is the real patriot that you are!Having a stable system,which helps(being a Judeo-Christian ethical society) us be our brother & sisters' keeper, allow for the freedom,responsibility,self-reliance you speak of to have gainful emploment,upward mobility,pay taxes into a shared risk pool of insurance with a guranteed payoff.SSI is a floor in retirement.
Ric B September 29, 2012 at 08:27 AM
@ the Ponzi scheme guy! You are being disengenious at best! Social Security is not a Ponzi Scheme! It is not a fradulent investment! It is a guaranteed,defined,benefit retirement plan supported by the individual's taxes, matched by the employer, over the course of a worker's lifetime. Ponzi schemes are get rich,quick,schemes with high rates of return.(if it sounds to good to be true, it's too good to be true!) Are you really trying to convince people they can get rich quick thru Social Security? You relying on Rick Perry(johnny-come-lately) logic is about as bright as a bump on the log. He can't even balance his own state budget without taking "Obama Bucks". You so-called tea-party/conservative types are a joke! In regards to modifying S/S/I. Let's look at the facts. Fact Social Security is/has been running a surplus! Modifications have been made in the past(Reagan) with raising taxes included. Because we are all big boys here, so if you take your marbles & go home(good riddance I say) then the adults will handle it! The cut-off of income threshold is aprox.,what 106k? Remove that cap & there is a source of revenue to go to helping extending solvency. That is the goal, right? Or you just want to REPEAL it too(like Obama Care)?How about when the economy starts going stronger again(housing is already coming back), just 1% increase in GDP will alleviate a big portion of the problem(revenues).Then a blue ribbon panel can be formed(level headed) & make headway on adding solvency!
Ric B September 29, 2012 at 08:47 AM
@ No Name(m legison) who throws out false accussations at us, what,who, how did you put it "regulars" who don't know how to spell or make complete sentences, to be ignored. Who use terms like racist,shame,bigot,etc.(if the shoe fits, where it baby!) You also stated some people also use the term(s) Marxist, Hitler etc. I have read your comments where YOU are the one using these terms, (Marx/Hitler) in reference/comparison of liberals & there politics/ideology/programs! What you do is criticize(attack), usually w/out reference to common known facts(no your opinion does not make it so), make false equivolency arguments & comparison(s) to socialist/liberal, communist/democrats, Marxist(unions), Hitler(Obama administration policy(ies). When confronted with facts to refute your point of view you get personal. Fine! What I know this about you is, You CAN'T take what you dish out! Your arguments are weak, like your tea. Your pity party & brown nosing to the editor is transparent! I love my competition. But guess what your NOT it!
Ric B September 29, 2012 at 08:56 AM
@ Mark; Touche! Simply, touche! Here! Here!
Ric B September 29, 2012 at 09:27 AM
Lungren is a Traveling SnakeOil Charmer!(originally from LA!)In regards to repealing ObamaCare,which will take away people's insurance who are now covered(children/young adults up to 26yo on parents insurance), putting the donut-hole back in Medicare Part D for seniors prescriptions meds, remove(reinstitute) insurance industry lifetime caps, repeal pre-existing condition protection(s),take away preventive medicine(exams,procedures,etc), women's abiltity to have equal medical/insurance coverage. Lungren would do all this 1ST!!! Then try to pass his plan,(which not even the repug leadership has signed off on),which would need to pass the House of Representatives,then the Senate,then the President!This is not gonna happen people!He then puts forward a 1/2 baked idea of insurance pools for high risk patients,& abilty to buy insurance across state lines.Insurance pools are covered ALREADY in insurance exchanges(ObamaCare),& other provisions which prevent insurance co. from denying coverage! Stop with madness already!If it's true the repugs wanted insurance reform(still keeps the insurance co in charge you realize?)then why didn't they do it when they had all the cards under Bush(Pres),Senate(Repug control 4yrs),House(Repug 6yrs).Facts are Facts they did nothing but increase insurance industry control & did ASOULETLY NOTHING to bring down costs,or regulate insurance premiums or stop the abuses of medical insurance providers.They got their way,remember(HMO'S)?Defeated "HillaryCare"!
M.Legison September 29, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Ric B--do you call in to Art Bell on Coast to Coast often with "sightings?"
Ric B September 30, 2012 at 04:28 AM
@ Legion-Son; Exactly, how did you know? You have me all figured out. But I only called in once when I say you snatched up. What I'm trying to figure out is why they brought you back. Rejected?, Did not compute?, Just too weak, or you drank all their kool-aid & tea; lock,stock & barrell! You probably argued with them why they weren't using petroleum products to fuel their craft & using a tax loophole to write it off their taxes! Thanks for making my point & being true to form! Very predictable.
Ric B September 30, 2012 at 04:47 AM
@ Legion-Son; How about addressing the issues/facts on Lungren in my last post? I dare you! Come on big guy. Are you up to it? I'm waiting for the all-knowing conservative(Daddy party,Father Knows Best) viewpoint on how they are gonna bring down medical costs/regulate the insurance industry abuses/cover the 40million w/out insurance etc,etc,etc. Right, you can hear a pin drop. Quick, redirect, attack(personally too) throw out a talking point! The Repugs are moraly bankrupt & out of even "conservative" ideas. You don't get it. We don't need any more headache medicine(tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts). We need solutions.NOT PROPOGANDA/BUMPER STICKER SLOGANS! Conservatives need to understand their roles already. You are reactionary(ies). The war of ideas has already been won by liberals. Women(empowerment)=progressive idea, social safety net=progressive ideas, full citizenship rights =progressive ideas/implementation, etc. etc. This is liberalism/progressivism in ACTION! Identify a societal inequality & try to address/remedy it. Isn't this country better off when all groups are included to reach the American Ideals identified in the Constitution/Preamble/Bill of Rights/Amendments. Come on guy have a heart. Free yourself from your conservative (un)founded fears. Embrace change/growth!
Ric B September 30, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Lungren Restricts free speech at town hall meetings! Lo and behold! So Lungren believes & is quoted by the Sac Bee; Asked what they thought was "the most dangerous" interest group in Washington, Lungren said he didn't want to see government telling anyone "you shouldn't be talking so much." "What do you want to do?" Lungren asked. "Do you want to say people don't have the right to petition their government for a redress of grievances?" Yet at his town hall mtng he cut off the last 7 speakers(myself included) to ask their gov't representative questions/grievances. I say Practice what you Preach! Follow the $$$. Look at Lungren's biggest campaign donors. Big Oil, Big Developers,Big Suppliers(who pollute;Syar) and ladies & gentlemen the KOCH BROS.(INDUSTRIES) with ties to ALEC(American Legislative Exchange Council). IT IS TIME TO PULL BACK THE CURTAIN ON THE CONSERVATIVE SO CALLED SMALL GOV'T MANTRA!!!! FOLLOW THE MONEY!
M.Legison September 30, 2012 at 05:51 AM
This was addressed previously. IF you DRESSED and Acted like!!!!!!!! yoU Right, then he probably tagged you as a crank and figured you'd get your $11 per hour paid demonstration fee either way.
Think Free September 30, 2012 at 06:38 AM
11$ an hour fee?. Who was supposed to pay me? Credo cheap b.......... didnt pay me
M.Legison September 30, 2012 at 06:51 AM
I was playing Mrs. Breitbart outside and one of the demonstrators admitted she was being paid. She was from Santa Rose I think. I assume it was Credo. http://www.takedownlungren.com
Ric B September 30, 2012 at 07:19 AM
@ Thy name is Legion - Now you've gone to far with your accussations! I am a disabled veteran, who lives in Arden/Arcade(in the district). For your information my attire has nothing to do about "constitutional right to free speech" idiot! If that's the case since when does biker garb(leather/bandanas/tattoos,which I have none on my body whatsoever nor a piecered ear) pass for acceptable attire? I wore a baseball cap that said STP/a blue airforce teashirt which is one of my favorite shirts to wear & blue jeans, you loudmouth blowhard. I waited patiently the whole time in line to ask my ? & give my 2 cents. I am sick & tired of you teaparty/conservative types acting like you own this country. And get to decide who is a patriot or not etc! The tea party is over! So get over yourself already! Astroturf fake! Did you even go to a townhall meeting at all? Oh & the holy than thou attitude about who's voice is to be heard or not. Alot of the teaparty types get outside district Republican political $$$ to include Sacramento's own Tea Party Express. So give it a rest, Breitbart wanna be. BTW good riddance to the foul piece of garbage!
Mark Paxson September 30, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Ric B -- don't hold your breath. M. is a classic example of the Republican credo of attacking the source rather than arguing the facts.
Think Free September 30, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I have credo as my mobile service, I belong to Take Down Dan Lungren, which is supported by Credo. No one gets paid. One of you is not being honest
Think Free September 30, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I understand now, It is hard for Republicans to understand that people do this for free, giving of themselves for free. Kind of like when Br Bera has volunteered at the free clinics or when you volunteer for a community action I wonder if Dan Lungren or his minion are capable of understanding this.
Think Free September 30, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Great news. Today The Sacramento Bee has endorsed "Ami Bera"
Katheryn September 30, 2012 at 09:11 PM
The following is an article on NOISE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT in the Temecula Patch September 2012, and you would be wise to read the article and watch the videos. http://temecula.patch.com/articles/citizen-reader-shares-mining-sounds A good friend sent this email and said the following, "Do you think this is what happens when a mining operator/Developer seems to be in control of your elected politicians and the appointed officials these same politicians put in positions of authority. Do you think government employees have to follow the instructions of these same politicians in order to keep their government jobs? Do you wonder if someone would be fired if they didn't do what the politicians wanted them to do?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m_HypxyudI&feature=relmfu Have you seen the MaryAnn Edwards video featuring the Aberhill Ranch Boys and Girls Club with Castle & Cookes aggregate mining operation in the background it's across the street. Paul Jacobs may be onto something? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhckrqXX-L4 Another video of the Alberhill Ranch Boys and Girls Club which puts things in prospective: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e12kTmWvn7U&feature=related
Ric B October 01, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Romney/Ryan/Lungren are going down! Down with the Aristocracy! Watch the rats start jumping ship!!!
Think Free October 01, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Does ANYONE read three paragraphs with links on this side And it has nothing to do with the subject


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