As former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio prepares to unveil a list of congressional members who he describes as “double dippers,” a national website claims the list was plagiarized from a report they published more than a year ago.
DeMaio is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Peters (D – 52nd District) for what’s considered a swing seat in the House of Representatives.
In a preview for his Monday press event, DeMaio shared the report with the Wall Street Journal. He told the paper the number of members receiving congressional salaries at the same time they are drawing on pensions from previously held positions in public service highlights the need for pension reform.
He names Scott Peters as one of the pols on the list.
Hours later, the National Journal accused DeMaio of “lifting” their report published last June including font style and abbreviations.
One difference - that DeMaio's version includes Peters while the National Journal version did not, the website notes.
DeMaio spokesperson Dave McCulloch issued a statement Monday explaining how the candidate compiled the list.
DeMaio has issued reports on Double Dipping in Pensions since 2004, according to McCulloch, and used “publicly-available data including Member Financial Interest Disclosures and the previous reporting done by National Journal.”
He pointed out that DeMaio’s report did not include those congressional members drawing military pensions.
“Though it took a different approach to the topic than we did, we applaud the previous work done by National Journal and should have recognized their previous reporting in our report,” McCulloch said.
The WSJ reports Peters donates the pension he receives from his time on the San Diego City Council.
Peters’ Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Lyon called the claims made by DeMaio outrageous.
“Mr. DeMaio is well aware that Scott does not keep a penny of his city pension but rather donates it – and then some – right back to the city to fund the public library system,” Lyon said.