With 20 days left before Election Day, accusations between the candidates for California’s 52nd Congressional District are heating up, with Democrat incumbent Scott Peters claiming Republican challenger Carl DeMaio crossed an ethical line.
At a press conference Wednesday, Peters said an ad on behalf of DeMaio suggests the current congressman did something illegal. The issue comes a week after DeMaio accused Peters of running ads that were false and deceptive.
“It’s an assault on my integrity, my wife’s integrity. It almost suggests illegal behavior,” Peters said.
He called on DeMaio to speak out against the campaign ad, which was paid for by the Republican Party, just as he spoke out about a video run on his behalf by the Democratic Party.
“The one with kids holding up signs, and I objected to them using kids,” said Peters. “I thought it was the wrong thing.”
DeMaio told NBC 7 the ad in question was paid for by a political action committee and was not approved by him.
The Republican added he is prohibited by law from getting involved with the PACs.
“What I will say is I don’t believe these outside super PACs are healthy things for politics,” said DeMaio, “but this is outrageous. Mr. Peter is running ads under his own control, falsely accusing me.”
He claimed Peters is trying to portray him as a Tea Party extremist who wants to cut Medicare and is against student loans and equal pay for equal work.
“For him to stand in front of a camera and say he’s an innocent bystander here is breathtaking, and it’s what we see from politicians,” said DeMaio. “They say one thing and do another. My ads are all positive and I’m proud of that.”
According to Peters, people can come after him on his record because in a campaign, voters have to contrast the candidates and understand their differences.
“There’s nothing illegal about being in the Tea Party. It’s not an assault on his integrity. What I’m saying is that’s a fair attack” said Peters. “If he said my political views are extreme, if he said I was a communist, that would not be an attack on my personal integrity. That would not be suggesting he’s breaking the law. That why that’s different.”
As for those who want the whole truth and nothing but the truth, both candidates say voters should look closely at their political records.