Campaign 2010

Jun 08, 2010

Dan Lungren’s Long Record of Unparalleled Self-Service

Lungren to Constituent: "I didn’t run for Congress to do anything for you"

Dan Lungren says "he’s working hard for all of us" and declares himself to be "the guy who will literally stay up at night thinking of ways to keep you and your family safe."

But a quick glance through Lungren’s shows record his claims don’t match reality.  After all, Lungren may have worked hard and stayed up nights, but it wasn’t for his constituents – it was for himself.  For years, Lungren’s been putting Number One first:

  • Testified in front of a special congressional committee arguing for a pay increase for himself;
  • Received nearly $12,000 in pay raises since 2005;
  • Actually told a constituent: "I didn’t run for office to do anything for you.";
  • Skirted House ethics rules to take a Hawaii junket whose cost was covered by a special interest group;
  • Lungren even backed an effort to increase the amount of money he could earn on top of his congressional salary; and
  • As AG, he enjoyed a steel-enforced parking space, a private elevator entrance and the knowledge that his staff would exit the elevators upon his arrival so that he could be whisked to his 17th floor office without stopping.  The perks were eliminated by the office’s subsequent occupant.

"With his decades-long career as an elected official, Dan Lungren has an equally lengthy history of putting his interests above any of those he was elected to serve," said Andy Stone, Western Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  "Whether it’s the nearly $12,000 in pay raises he took between 2005 and 2010, his testimony in support of a pay raise for himself, his ethically questionable trip to Hawaii, or remark to a constituent that, 'I didn’t run for Congress to do anything for you,' it’s clear Lungren’s self-serving behavior doesn’t serve the interest of Californians."

Background

  • On his campaign website, Lungren argues that "he’s working hard for all of us" and declares himself to be "the guy who will literally stay up at night thinking of ways to keep you and your family safe." [DanLungren.com, accessed 6/7/10]
  • At a town hall meeting in 2008, Lungren responded to a questioner by saying, "I didn’t run for office to do anything for you." [Sacramento Bee, 10/20/08]
  • Between 2005 and 2010, Lungren’s salary rose from $162,100 to $174,000. [Congressional Research Service]
  • Lungren testified in support of a pay raise in front of a special congressional committee. [Los Angeles Times, 1/4/88]
  • Lungren skirted House ethics rules in taking a lobbyist-funded junket to Hawaii where he also reportedly raised $20,000 at a fundraiser, for which he was criticized by the Sacramento Bee. [ABC News, 5/28/08; Sacramento Bee, 6/8/08]
  • Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who replaced Lungren in office, eliminated Lungren’s "bomb shelter," a double-parking space sealed with a steel door.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Lungren would call from his car en route to the office, the door to the parking spot would rise, and he would park.  Then, alerted to his arrival, department staff would have to get off one of the six office elevators, which would then whisk Lungren up to the 17th floor. [San Francisco Chronicle, 1/12/99]

 

  • In 1981, Lungren voted in favor of a bill to relax a restriction in the House ethics code on the amount of outside income House members could earn in addition to their official salaries. The proposal would have increased the ceiling on a member’s outside earned income from 15 to 40 percent of the member’s official salary. [HRes 251, 10/28/81]

 

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