By Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

Attorney Bradley Phillips, right, representing Molly Munger, argues Monday against state officials giving Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative top placement on the November ballot.

The Buzz: Health care debate fuels ads, robocalls in CD 7

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

An upcoming vote to repeal the federal health care law is fueling a new round of political ads in a heated Sacramento County congressional race.

Wednesday's vote is seen largely as a maneuver to energize voters opposed to the law, as any effort to repeal the overhaul cannot pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.

But supporters of the law are also seeking to capitalize on the effort in the 7th Congressional District, where Democrat Ami Bera is challenging Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched robocalls to independent voters last week, alleging that Lungren "wants to put insurance companies back in charge of our health care" by getting rid of the law. It followed up with a paid Web ad on YouTube highlighting provisions for preventive care and pre-existing conditions that would go if the law is repealed.

Meanwhile, the American Action Network, a nonprofit advocacy group that does not have to disclose its donors, is sending voters in the district a mail piece urging Lungren to continue to fight for repeal. The group, which is spending $1.2 million on an "issue advocacy" campaign calling for repeal across the country, also ran an ad in Sunday's edition of The Bee.

– Torey Van Oot

BY THE NUMBERS

The number of California state workers retiring for the first half of 2012 is down from last year, according to CalPERS data. Through the middle of June this year, 5,612 CalPERS members had retired, compared to 5,903 during the same period last year.

– Hannah Madans

WORTH REPEATING

"Are there more lawyers or reporters in Dept 31 in Sacramento Superior Court this a.m.? My count says the lawyers."

JON COUPAL, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, via Twitter, describing the courtroom scene Monday in the Jerry Brown/Molly Munger ballot order case.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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