Battle for the Center in CA-52–with Help from Karl Rove

Battle for the Center in CA-52–with Help from Karl Rove

SAN DIEGO — Like stores stocking Christmas decorations in August, campaign ads in California’s 52nd Congressional district have begun making appearances especially early in the high profile battle for a seat held by freshman Democrat Congressman Scott Peters (right, above) and contested by Republican Carl DeMaio (left, above).

Peters took on incumbent Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray in 2012, winning the seat in the November 2012 general election. Now Republican Party heavyweights are targeting the 52nd to win back the seat, and television campaign ads are flying across the airwaves.

One of the ads in question is funded by outside organization Crossroads GPS, headed up by former Bush administration aide and political strategist Karl Rove. Both DeMaio and Peters publicly denounced the ad for different reasons in a 10 News report.

The Crossroads ad focuses on “Washington’s out-of-control spending” and calls for viewers to call Peters and tell him to support H.R. 522, the Balanced Budget Accountability Act. It goes on to condemn Congressman Peters for contributing to Washington’s spending problems.

Another ad, posted to the Peters campaign’s YouTube page, focuses on DeMaio and the Tea Party:

“It’s laughable that Scott Peters had to resort to deceptively splicing video clips completely out of context in order to call the gay, pro-choice government reformer an ‘extremist’,” Dave McCulloch, spokesperson for the DeMaio campaign, told Breitbart News. “Scott Peters’ tactics show why Washington is broken and why Peters must go.”

DeMaio also pointed out in the 10 News report that he was not the Tea Party choice in the primary. In California’s primary, DeMaio won out over other candidates in the field and now faces Congressman Scott Peters in one of the most high profile Congressional races in the country. Both Republican and Democrat forces have targeted this race.

An ad posted to the DeMaio campaign’s YouTube page, focuses on Peters’ pension controversy:

Peters’s campaign provided the following statement to Breitbart News regarding the ads: 

The simple reality is that Carl DeMaio is not the moderate consensus-builder he’s pretending to be. He spent his entire time on the City Council refusing to collaborate with anyone to solve the city’s problems, which is why even the city’s Republican mayor threw up his hands in disgust at DeMaio’s antics. 

It’s a destructive, Tea Party approach to governing, which might explain why DeMaio gave that rousing speech to a local Tea Party group in which he called the Tea Party the “conscience of the accountable-government movement.

Both candidates have raised campaign funds in excess of $2 million as of June 30 campaign finance reports. Rove’s Crossroads GPS has also reportedly pledged over $700,000 in television ad buys promoting DeMaio and attacking Peters. 

Recent finance reports show PAC contributions to both campaigns include business and ideological interests; however, Peters has also received funding from the labor industry, according to

Photo: File/AP


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