Guardian Endorsements for Senate, Congress, Mayor and City Council

Senate: Dianne Feinstein

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is days away from her 20th anniversary in the U.S. Senate, but she hasn’t shown any signs of aging with regard to her commitment to the State of California.

Feinstein’s sole opponent in a seemingly worry-free election is the largely unknown and underfunded grassroots autism activist Elizabeth Emken. Although the election seems wrapped up, we admire Feinstein’s work to increase funding for education and stem cell research, as well as her efforts to increase the extent of women’s reproductive rights. Emken’s intent to repeal Obamacare and her “drill, baby, drill” energy policy, paired with her obvious lack of policy-making experience make her a concerning alternative to the well-established Feinstein.

Feinstein’s two decades of service show a strong record of voting in favor of education, women’s rights, renewable energy and healthcare accessibility. We don’t have a compelling reason not to support giving Feinstein six more years in the senate. The Guardian fully endorses Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s reelection.

City Council: Sherri Lightner

Incumbent Sherri Lightner, a UCSD graduate, has the local politics background to successfully fill the City Council role. As a member of community councils and having served on the San Diego Council since 2008, Lightner has helped UCSD reinstate lifeguard service at Blacks Beach, enacted a pension plan that saves millions and developed San Diego’s long-term water use policy. She opposes the wholly unnecessary Chargers Stadium as well as the highly unpopular University City Power Plant, which would put an unsightly tower in the middle of residential neighborhoods.

Opponent Ray Ellis has received the endorsements of nearly all the newspapers in the area, but his experience is in business and private organizations, and he lacks the public service record that Lightner, who has the support of both Republicans and Democrats that she beat in the primaries, has built.

Mayor: Bob Filner

While the mayoral debate demonstrates that both Bob Filner and Carl DeMaio have flaws, Filner appears to be the lesser evil. Filner supports comprehensive immigration reform and opposes the tax-heavy Convention Center expansion plan, but his stance on education reform and Prop 30 are his strongest assets. Unlike his Republican opponent Carl DeMaio, Filner supports Prop. 30 — Gov. Jerry Brown’s November tax hike — which would raise sales taxes as well as income taxes on citizens who earn more than $250,000 annually. Voting down the tax proposition would trigger $5.5 billion in cuts from K-12 schools and $500 million in cuts from state colleges. Although Filner’s education plan does focus on less important factors such as before-and-after school programs and free transportation for students, it has many finer points such as establishing a youth development office and creating an internship program for kids to work in city departments. Ultimately, Filner’s education plan and his support of the tax hike will work to ensure that schools will not be stripped of the funding they need from the state.

52nd Congressional District: Scott Peters

The newly redrawn 52nd Congressional District—which now consists of La Jolla, Mira Mesa, University City and Pacific Beach—is the site of a close race between Democrat Scott Peters and Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray, of the 50th District.

Scott Peters, a two-term San Diego City Council member, can stand by his record. In his four-years, he played a part in the completion of Petco Park, in clean-up efforts for San Diego beaches and kept solar turbines jobs in the area.

Peters has stated throughout his campaign that his main goals are job creation and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. He already began working toward these goals — as a chair of the Climate Initiative at the San Diego Foundation, Peters is pioneering efforts to create communities with energy-efficient houses.

His bipartisanship, makes him an ideal candidate for independents, and has earned Peters the support of independent politician Nathan Fletcher.

Critics, especially main opponent Bilbray, have attacked Peters for his involvement in the San Diego pension scandal of 2002. Peters was on the board that voted to increase pension board member benefits by underfunding the city’s pension plan. In penitence for this obvious misstep, Peters has owned up and has been actively involved in city reforms put in place as a result of the scandal.

For these reasons, we endorse Scott Peters as the best candidate for the 52nd Congressional District.