The latest installment of CityBeat's election column, Turds & Blossoms, wherein we rate campaigns and candidates and award them turds or blossoms for their latest foibles and triumphs.
Twice in roughly a week, quotes from San Diego City Councilmember and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio were removed from stories by U-T San Diego reporter Craig Gustafson after DeMaio’s comments were called out for being inaccurate. Since we issue turds (or blossoms) only to political campaigns, Gustafson gets neither (though, we’d argue that the quotes should have stayed and DeMaio should have been asked to justify what he said).
However, DeMaio, who’s made a number of appearances in this column, gets more stinkers. On Feb. 13, in a story about a complaint issued by the state’s Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) against the city for how Mayor Jerry Sanders has handled a pension-related ballot measure, DeMaio told Gustafson that PERB regularly sides with labor unions. That’s not true: According to PERB’s annual reports, roughly two-thirds of the 3,898 unfair-labor charges filed in the last five years were either dismissed or withdrawn. And, on Feb. 21, after a hearing related to the PERB complaint, DeMaio claimed that labor unions have “delayed and dodged pension reform.” Again, not true. Legally, the city can’t touch vested pension benefits, but it can—and has—worked with its labor unions to reduce pension benefits for new hires. And, last year, the Mayor’s office and the labor unions negotiated a reduction in retiree healthcare benefits that will save the city roughly $700 million over the next 25 years. But no one sticks to talking points like DeMaio—truth be damned. And, for that, we give him a deuce for his double-dose of fictions.
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