Ten angry men: George C., Kirk, the Duke, Jack, Bobby D., Ray Burr, Robert Ryan, Clint, Lee Marvin, and Moe
Scott Marks 1 p.m., May 24
City Council President Scott Peters has taken big bucks from organized labor in his attempt to get elected city attorney. He has wasted little time repaying the favor. In the letters section of today's (May 25) New York Times book section, Peters attacks Roger Lowenstein's book, "While America Aged: How Pension Debts Ruined General Motors, Stopped the NYC Subways, Bankrupted San Diego, and Loom as the Next Financial Crisis." Lowenstein's "dire description" of San Diego's sytem is "outdated and inaccurate," insists Peters. Thanks to the city council, the system "is now funded to the level of other healthy municipal pension systems," claims Peters."Lowenstein paints 'big labor' as the boogeyman in this story but the recovery of San Diego's pension system is due in large part to concessions made by employee groups." Such poppycock. He doesn't mention, of course, the phony accounting that permits some to claim the pension system is better off. "The current amortization rate for the pension ignores the mandate of the voters to use a 15-year rate of amortization, rather than a 20- or 27-year rate. The impact of this is it allows the debt to be paid over a much longer period of time," says Councilmember Donna Frye. The City says it can't use the 15-year amortization schedule. "This is just one example. The majority of trustees of the retirement board approved a proposal for employees to receive service credits that underfunded the system by over $140 milion." When there is an opportunity for the public to learn of the manipulation techniques -- say, the long amortization schedue -- Peters blocks discussion. "Whether he agrees with it or not, he owes it to the public to put it on the docket , and he hasn't."