DeMaio Was for Pension Bonds Before He Was Against Them
City Councilman Kevin Falconer and other local backers of Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio pressed forward yesterday with attacks aimed at challenger Congressman Bob Filner. Earlier in the day they were beating the drum about Filner’s earlier advocacy of pension obligation bonds as a solution to San Diego’s financial crisis. The Congressman has maintained in recent statements that voter approval of last June’s Proposition B makes the bonds unnecessary.
The DeMaio campaign went silent on that subject when local Dems unearthed evidence that the City Councilman also had a past history of supporting such bonds. A 2004 report from DeMaio’s Performance Instititute (funded by U-T San Diego publisher Doug Manchester), DeMaio offered a blanket endorsement of the reforms proposed by the City’s Pension Reform Committee, which included issuance of $600 million in pension obligation bonds to address the City’s unfunded pension liabilities:
“The City’s Pension Reform Committee has been meeting and deliberating over a series of reforms to the Pension System. Based on the minutes and votes from the meetings of the Committee, the San Diego Citizens’ Budget Plan offers a blanket endorsement of their reforms – likely to be presented before the City Council on June 29, 2004…
“…The Pension Reform Committee will likely propose that the City use Pension Obligation Bonds (POBs) to address the current liability in the Pension Fund. The current proposal is to issue a $200 million POB this year, and instruct the City Manager to find an additional $200 million in FY 2006 and $200 million in FY 2007.” (pg. 21)
“This is just one example of the overwhelming hypocrisy and dishonesty with which DeMaio approaches this election,” said Filner in a statement released to the press, “DeMaio himself supported these bonds when he was fronting for Doug Manchester, but now he’s attacking me for previously supporting them. Apparently, DeMaio has no shame and no memory.”
The Terrorist Junkets Angle
Having failed at this round of attacks, the DeMaio campaign shifted gears, calling a press conference outside his campaign headquarters in Murphy Canyon to denounce Congressman Filner’s participation in Congressional junkets funded by “special interests”.
With the exception of a trip to Chicago for an appearance on an Oprah Winfrey show focusing on past civil rights activists, the Filner campaign pointed out that all the “special interests” were in fact non-profit groups. The Democratic candidate pointed out that none of the trips were paid for by corporate interests, saying that the only thing he was guilty of was “to trying to understand the world, trying to make sure that we have relationships with other countries,”
DeMaio provided the media with a list of 14 Filner trips spanning 12 years, saying that they amounted to over $38,000 of travel aimed at influencing the Congressman’s positions.
NBC7 news quoted DeMaio:
“Now we’ve seen a pattern of behavior here, where after these trips paid for by special interests, the Congressman has done special favors, and carried legislation, and intervened on important matters … it certainly raises a very bad appearance of influence by these special interest groups. And we want to have elected officials free of even the appearance of special interest influence.”
The DeMaio campaign made a special effort to point out to the news media that two of the ‘junkets’ totaling $15,000 in expenses were made to Paris and “paid for by a terrorist-linked organization.”
The organization turned out to be the Colorado Iranian-American Committee, linked to an organization that was once on State Department’s roster of “Foreign Terrorist Organizations.” It was dropped from the list after years of bi-partisan lobbying by major political figures because of its participation in a pro-democracy insurgency against Iran’s ruling regime.
Filner told NBC7 that the trips to France were for human rights conferences, saying :
“Joining me at these conferences by the way, were such ‘radical leaders’ as the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, the mayor during 9/11 … the first secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, who I worked with in Congress actually. The attorney general for George W. Bush, Michael Mukasey. The chief of staff for President Bush, Andrew Card.”
We’d like to suggest a one word answer to DeMaio’s future media fanfares from the Filner campaign: “Malarkey”
School Board Republican Calls DeMaio Education Plan ‘Lip Service’
Scott Barnett, school board vice president with the San Diego Unified School District and lifelong Republican, made it unanimous Wednesday, becoming the fifth and final member of that board to endorse Congressman Bob Filner’s mayoral bid.
Barnett said he hesitated to get involved in the mayoral race, but Councilman Carl DeMaio’s education plan tipped him over the edge.
“As a parent, as a school board member and as a taxpayer, as a Republican, I believe the candidacy of Carl DeMaio is a clear and present danger to the citizens of San Diego,” Barnett said. “I believe we do have a stark choice, and the best choice for San Diego is Bob Filner.”
He went on to say DeMaio’s October 3rd release of his education plan, proved that he had virtually no knowledge of San Diego Schools and was merely lip service and void of any real content.
“I can guarantee you my teenage daughters know more about what’s happening at San Diego Unified than Mr. DeMaio, and I’m pretty confident my dog Milo has been on more school sites than Mr. DeMaio as well,” Barnett told the news media.
He went on to stress that Filner has made it clear that he opposed a mayoral take-over of the board of education, and has instead vowed to work with the resources of the city to improve education funding, starting with Proposition Z, a city initiative aimed at providing financial support for deferred maintenance and upgrades to San Diego schools.
Local Conservs Pull the Plug on Tea Party Judicial Candidate
The Lincoln Club, a prominent conservative political action group with ties to downtown business interests, took the unusual move this week of reversing its endorsement in a local judicial race.
The Board of the Lincoln Club voted to drop its endorsement of El Cajon attorney James Miller, Jr. and instead gave its blessings to the candidacy of veteran prosecutor Robert Amador. Just two weeks ago the group donated $2500 to Miller’s campaign, so this move is seen as highly unusual.
The decision came in the wake of the discovery that Miller had misrepresented his credentials in seeking their endorsement. Miller, they said in a statement, had misled the club about being removed from the county’s list of pro-tem, or fill-in, judges.
“Mr. Miller failed to mention the adverse action on the club’s questionnaire and later misrepresented the facts when asked to comment on the allegations in private. Such conduct does not meet the high ethical standards that Lincoln Club members believe are required for judicial officers.”
The issue of qualifications has been central in the race for seat # 25 on the Superior Court. Earlier this year the San Diego County Bar Association rated Miller “lacking qualifications” and Amador “well-qualified.”
Miller has been endorsed by the San Diego County Republican Party and local tea parties. An April fundraiser for the candidate featured former Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, primary sponsor of SB 1070, the state’s notorious anti-illegal immigration bill. His campaign has been built around his outsider status and the high number of former prosecutors who’ve made the transition to the judicial bench.
Amador, also a Republican, is supported by much of the legal community’s establishment, including prominent local democrats.
Tweet of the Day:
New @carldemaio release calls Filner: “Embattled Congressman Bob Filner.” Isn’t DeMaio the one “embattling” him?
— Liam Dillon (@dillonliam) October 11, 2012
(For the record, Dillion is often critical of Filner)
Quote of the Day: “He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends..” - Oscar Wilde
On this Day: In 1938 Filming began on “The Wizard of Oz.” In 1960 Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev pounded a shoe on his desk during a dispute at a U.N. General Assembly. In 1970 Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” debuted on Broadway.
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Fallbrook (102 S. Main, at Alvarado) 10 am – 2 pm, Imperial Beach (Seacoast Dr. at Pier Plaza) 2 – 7:30 pm, Kearny Mesa (No. Island Credit Union pkg lot 5898 Copley) 10:30 am – 1:30 pm, La Mesa Village (Corner of Spring St. and University) 2 – 6 pm, Rancho Bernardo (Bernardo Winery parking lot 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte) 9 am – noon, Southeast San Diego(4981 Market St. West of Euclid Ave. Trolley Station) 2 – 6 pm
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