Congressman Ami Bera, running for reelection in the state of California has come under attacks by his own party men, this time, surprisingly by a group led by an Indian American, “Sacramento Democrats For Truth.” Led by Amar Shergill, a former Bera supporter an Indian-American, the new group has launched an attack on Rep. Ami Bera, D-California, on grounds he has “refused” to provide documentation about his overseas trips and that donors to his campaign had overseas interests.
Bera’s support among local Democrats in his district suffered a blow when local unions refused to endorse him for his vote in favor of President Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact. Bera is now relying on getting enough support at the state party convention Feb. 26-28, to get re-nominated for his third term race. He is unopposed.
California’s District 7 is almost equally divided along party lines and has a significant uncommitted voter base, has proved a tough seat and Bera has won with small margins. Republicans have targeted the district for takeover.
Ami Bera won reelection over a year ago with a razor thin margin. Now with strong opposition from both Democrats, Labor Unions and Republicans, his reelection bid in the November 2016 election has come to be recognized as even harder. The National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) ad has tried to distort Bera’s record of finding bipartisan solutions and protecting and strengthening Medicare and defending against efforts to privatize Social Security.
“Congressman Ose’s DC Republican backers are just repeating the same tired old lies,” said Bera spokesperson Allison Teixeira. “They are resorting to more misleading attacks to try to distract voters from Ose’s partisan record of voting with his political party nearly 95 percent of the time while helping enrich himself and his Wall Street friends, and voting to privatize Social Security.”
According to Rep. Bera’s website, Bera has a clear record of finding bipartisan solutions to our nation’s challenges as a leader of the Problem Solvers’ No Labels coalition, and is one of the most moderate members of Congress. He is also an ardent defender of Social Security and Medicare, recently announcing the support of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) and the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA) because he has been “a leader in the fight to preserve and protect Social Security and Medicare,” and has “a proven record of fighting plans that would end the Medicare guarantee for our seniors.”
In a press release, the Sacramento Democrats For Truth said that despite requests from some party delegates, Bera “has refused to provide documents describing payments for his overseas trips, with whom he meets and his political contributors with more than $1 million in assets overseas.” The group said they had gone through Bera’s campaign finance filings, and remain “troubled by contributions from those that appear to be closely connected to foreign investment funds and foreign nations.”
Bera calls the accusations unfounded and that all regulations relating to foreign trips had been complied with and quarterly filings with the Federal Elections Commission were public. Even Shergill conceded that Bera would get the state party endorsement this coming weekend. “At the state convention, it’s very likely the party establishment will rescue his endorsement and he will get it even though he is rejected by his local Democrats,” Shergill said.
Shergill’s list of 9 contributors to Bera, virtually all of them venture capitalists, showed none of them had given money to SuperPACs with overseas interests. Rather, they had contributed the maximum allowed, $2,700 to Bera and given large amounts to Democratic Party or Democratic candidate SuperPACs.
“All of the Congressman’s contributions are publicly available and disclosed on a quarterly basis, and as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee he complies with all travel disclosure rules,” Congressman Bera’s campaign manager Jerid Kurtz said. “It’s unfortunate that the same detractors that worked against the Congressman since 2014 are continuing to lob baseless accusations,” Kurtz added.