19 CA members of Congress take pensions

19 CA members of Congress take pensions

demaioFormer San Diego city councilman and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, who brought comprehensive pension reform to San Diego, is taking his fight to Capitol Hill.

A new report published by the GOP congressional candidate identified 102 members of Congress that receive public pensions on top of their congressional salaries. That’s nearly one in five members of Congress that double, and in some cases, triple-dip from taxpayer funds.

“I’m perfectly fine being the skunk at the party,” DeMaio, a frequent critic of government waste, told the Wall Street Journal.

The report, Congressional Pension Double-Dippers Club, was first published by the Wall Street Journal today and immediately sparked controversy inside and outside the Beltway. The single biggest recipient of a government pension on top of a congressional salary is Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, who takes home a whopping $253,323 per year from the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

California politicians named in report

Unsurprisingly, with the largest congressional delegation, California topped the country with 19 members on the list, including both of California’s Democratic U.S. Senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. Boxer receives a meager $4,445 pension a year from the Marin County Employees Retirement Association, while Feinstein collects $54,925 every year from the city and county of San Francisco.

Of the 17 Democrats and two Republicans on the list, Rep. John Garamendi, D-Solano, received the highest pension — $88,000 per year. He is a former state legislator (vested before their pensions were canceled with Proposition 140 in 1990), lieutenant governor and insurance commissioner.

“Garamendi’s multiple government pensions tally up to over $88,800 a year,” the report notes. “It’s hard to be a double-dipper, but even harder to be a triple and quadruple dipper!”

Other notable California politicians that collect pensions on top of their salary are Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove; Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose; and Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, all of whom are locked in competitive races in June.

Rep. Scott Peters donates pension to charity

DeMaio’s report also singled out his congressional opponent, Rep. Scott Peters, a first-term incumbent that represents the 52nd Congressional District.

“Rep. Scott Peters is a multi-millionaire and the 6th wealthiest member of Congress,” the report states. “Despite the fact that the City of San Diego’s Pension System is billions in debt, Peters took his pension early – and has received over $100,000 since he turned 50.”

The Peters campaign immediately shot back that the Democrat has donated his pension to local charities.

“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,” said Kate Lyon, Peters’ deputy campaign manager, in a Monday morning press release. “Yet in his most recent attack, he failed to reveal this in a shameful attempt to hoodwink the press and deceive the voters.”

DeMaio says the purpose of the report is to “take Pension Reform to the national level – starting with major reforms to the pensions received by Members of Congress.” The GOP candidate is proposing that 1) any government pension be deducted from the regular congressional salary and 2) members of Congress be moved from the lavish Congressional Pension Program to a combination of Social Security and a 401(k) system.

Controversy: McCain excluded, copied from National Journal report

As with all pension reform proposals, the report was accompanied by controversy. One complaint: DeMaio’s report excluded Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain.

“McCain received more than $70,000 in pension benefits from the U.S. Navy in 2012, according to a financial disclosure obtained by National Journal,” the UT San Diego’s Joel Hoffmann reports. “DeMaio left McCain off his similar list of pension-receiving legislators, saying in a footnote that military pensions are excluded.”

Since the report was published, DeMaio apologized to National Journal, a publication for Capitol Hill insiders, after portions of the report were taken without attribution from a 2013 report on congressional pensions.

“[H]is ‘report’ looks like little more than a copied-and-pasted version of a National Journal database that accompanied a cover story last June on congressional double-dipping,” National Journal’s Shane Goldmacher wrote. “National Journal reviewed the financial disclosure forms of every member of the House and Senate to create the database and reveal that nearly one in five members of Congress are collecting taxpayer-funded retirements atop their $174,000 salaries.”

Dave McCulloch, a spokesman for DeMaio’s campaign, said that the candidate has been drawing from publicly available databases and news reports ever since he began fighting for pension reform in 2004.

“As Carl takes his pension-reform efforts national, the campaign expanded his list to include members of Congress, using publicly available data including Member Financial Interest Disclosures and the previous reporting done by National Journal,” McCulloch said.

California Politicians on the Pension Double-Dip List

Member of Congress Party District Amount Pension System
Boxer, Barbara D California Senate $     4,445 Marin County Employees Retirement Assoc
Capps, Lois D California-24 $   68,768 Multiple
Cook, Paul R California-08 $   40,695 Multiple
Costa, Jim D California-16 $   11,205 Multiple
Eshoo, Anna D California-18 $   11,728 County of San Mateo, CA
Farr, Sam D California-20 $   19,280 California Public Empl Retirement System
Feinstein, Dianne D California Senate $   54,925 City & County of San Francisco, CA
Garamendi, John D California-03 $   88,800 Multiple
Honda, Mike D California-17 $   50,014 Multiple
Lowenthal, Alan D California-47 $   46,941 California Public Empl Retirement System
McClintock, Tom R California-04 $     9,579 Multiple
Napolitano, Grace D California-32 $     6,356 California Public Empl Retirement System
Negrete-McLeod, Gloria D California-35 $     3,348 CalPERS
Roybal-Allard, Lucille D California-40 $     2,501 –
$     5,000
California Legislators Retirement System
Speier, Jackie D California-14 $     6,000 California Legislators Retirement System
Vargas, Juan D California-51 $   20,304 San Diego City Employees Retirement Syst
Waters, Maxine D California-43 $     5,720 California Legislators Retirement System
Waxman, Henry A D California-33 $    5,000 –
$  15,000
California Public Empl Retirement System
Peters, Scott D California-52 $  20,298 SDCERS


Write a comment
  1. Ted Steele, Manager
    Ted Steele, Manager 13 May, 2014, 14:49

    Did they each earn the pensions? If so— no story here.

    Shuffle back to your cubicles.

    Reply this comment
  2. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 13 May, 2014, 15:29

    Did they each earn the pensions?

    LOL.. they “earned” them like GED cops/FF earn $10 million 3%@50 pensions.

    Reply this comment
  3. Ted Steele, Manager
    Ted Steele, Manager 13 May, 2014, 16:29

    If they earned them and they are lawful and you are still against them— I just don’t know what to tell ya little buddy. Any other lawful conduct you are against that you would have a dictator abolish? Maybe democracy is just the wrong form of gov for you?

    Like most of the other doomers out here– in 1776 they would all be loyalists.

    This is just too easy…..

    Reply this comment
  4. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 13 May, 2014, 16:59

    I suppose Carl DeMaio is going to donate his public pension to charity if he gets elected to Congress?

    Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 13 May, 2014, 17:12


    Unfortunaetly not one doomer postef is qualified to get a government pension.

    Reply this comment
  6. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 13 May, 2014, 17:16


    Regretfully you are mistaken

    They need to get back to their cherry flavored snow cone station at the Adelanto brownfield used as a community little league baseball park.

    Reply this comment
  7. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 14 May, 2014, 00:51

    Hey John! Are you now using the report Carl “The Plagiarist” DeMaio lifted directly from National Journal and didn’t even bother to reformat?

    Reply this comment
  8. Wolfman
    Wolfman 14 May, 2014, 11:00

    What Pensions if so how much

    Reply this comment
  9. BG Stine
    BG Stine 14 May, 2014, 11:08

    Although this reports talks about Congressional folks what about our own Governor Jerry Brown???

    I could be wrong but I believe Brown is PRESENTLY collecting one pension as former Governor under an old pension system. He also collects another pension as former Attorney General. He also collects a third pension from Oakland and he will get even another fourth pension as present Governor under a newer system.

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler 14 May, 2014, 11:24

      Actually, he doesn’t receive a pension now because he’s still employed by the state. But Brown will receive a large pension should he ever retire:

      But I’m expecting that, after his term as governor ends, he’ll run for secretary of state again, or for attorney general again, or for treasurer, or for…

      Reply this comment
    • S Moderation Douglas
      S Moderation Douglas 14 May, 2014, 13:02

      You might have him mistaken for Texas governor Rick Perry:

      “Perry makes a $150,000 annual gross salary as Texas governor. Now, thanks to his early retirement, Perry, 61, gets a monthly retirement annuity of $7,698 before taxes, or $6,588 net. That raises his gross annual salary to more than $240,000.”

      He said he would be “foolish” not to take it.

      At least we don’t have to worry about him drawing a Texas pension while serving as US President cause no matter how much lipstick you put on a pig, he still can’t fly.

      Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 14 May, 2014, 16:18

      Prove it if you think JB is already collecting one pension. I think I recall reading several years ago that he had pensions for the different positions he has held in CA Government, but will not be collecting any pensions until he retires–at which time he will collect whatever pension(s) he has earned.

      Reply this comment
  10. Eric
    Eric 14 May, 2014, 12:28

    i used to laugh at Jerry
    Brown when i as younger.. he is a pretty good politician as far their lott goes.. I admire his results and would love to have a person of his stature running teh show here in Nv. If you ever want to get rid of him he could come here.. Bet he’d do a better job than uncle Sandoval and his cronies..
    Cant wait to get back to California…

    Reply this comment
  11. Donkey
    Donkey 15 May, 2014, 07:01

    Cher wrote a song about the RAGWUS feeders: “…Thieves, thieves, tramps and thieves……” 🙂

    Reply this comment

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