FREMONT (KCBS) – A tightly contested East Bay Congressional race is getting nastier and nastier by the day as the two candidates are at odds over Social Security benefits.

Fremont Congressman Pete Stark’s children are collecting Social Security benefits and his challenger, Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell, wants to change the law so they can’t.

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KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Stark is 80 and eligible for Social Security but he’s also worth $27 million and earning a government salary. He’s not collecting his benefits but since he could, his minor children, ages 11 and 16, are getting Social Security checks.

Swalwell said this is outrageous.

“He’s clearly gaming the Social Security system here,” he said.

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Swalwell said if he’s elected, he’ll vote to change the law.

“We need to close this rich kid loophole and make sure that the children of millionaires are not collecting Social Security,” Swalwell said. “I want to make sure it’s funded to protect all future generations.”

Stark’s campaign manager Sharon Cornu said that’s outrageous and accuses Swalwell of aligning himself with the Romeny-Ryan plan to change Social Security.

“All Americans pay into it and all Americans benefit from it,” she said. “This is a means test and this shows Mr. Swalwell doesn’t understand how Social Security works.”

Swalwell denies it’s a means test, saying instead, it would disqualify kids whose parents earn too much.

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