Rep. Scott Peters addresses supporters late on Election Day. / Photo by Dustin Michelsond

San Diego Rep. Scott Peters is in front of an enormous choice. It’s one that could sway one of the most consequential legislative dramas in decades that includes tax credits, child care and education, climate change and — importantly — pharmaceuticals.

VOSD Podcast hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña wonder in this week’s show: What is the point of Peters?

In much of his political career, he’s been a leader — one of the guys who shows up somewhere and naturally fills a leading role. As Lewis detailed in a column this week, though, that has not been the case during Peters’ time in Congress. But the new multi-trillion-dollar spending package by Democrats puts Peters’ purpose in focus as he’s a key lawmaker to decide how the U.S. government can haggle the prices of pharmaceuticals, which is a big deal for Peters’ district, constituency, donor base and for this huge federal effort to revamp social spending.

Looking Out For ’22

A new initiative was announced this week to put a measure on the 2022 ballot to increase sales tax and put that new money toward regional transportation improvements.

This might sound super familiar to some, as SANDAG did just that in 2004 with the sexily named TransNet. But it failed — falling billions of dollars short of its goal.

But looking ahead to the 2022 election, this one is kind of different, according to Keatts. This time a citizens group comprised of labor, transportation and environmental folks, are getting things prepared to put this to voters as a citizens initiative. That means, theoretically, it could pass with a simple majority and might be an easier path to victory.

On the show this week, we discuss a few other ’22 measures on the horizon and the possibilities with this proposed measure. Plus if others are looking to put something on a 2022 ballot, you should get on it now.

And Finally…

Lewis laid out some fresh football drama on the podcast. A recent ESPN story noted that St. Louis, after losing The Rams to Los Angeles ended up with a billion dollars for its loss. (Wow lots of “billions” and “trillions” in this podcast. Big money is weird.)

This is striking in comparison to San Diego’s own sports plight, of course, as we lost our beloved team to Los Angeles, the San Diego Chargers. For our trouble we got, uh, nice weather?

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Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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