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With all the City's other problems, the pension woes have seemingly dropped down the "Do" list. But Mike Aguirre, former city attorney, will go to the City of San Diego budget committee today and point out some numbers. The present value of future benefits was $7.2 billion in June of 2009, the last available data. When Jerry Sanders became mayor, it was $5.9 billion. That's a huge increase. The market value of assets of SDCERS was $4.4 billion in June of 2008 and dropped to $3.5 billion in June of 2009. The City's contribution has gone from $50 million in 2001 to $250 million. Now, the pension contribution is 40% of payroll. The funded ratio in June of 2009 was 66.5%. The worst it got under former Mayor Dick Murphy was 65.8%. Aguirre wants to see the City pick up the lawsuit he pursued unsuccessfully. He would like to see benefits frozen until assets catch up with liabilities. He would like to see a defined contribution plan; the defined benefit plan realistically has to be shelved. Of course, City unions argue that the benefits are cemented into the charter. The same argument is used at the state level -- the benefits are supposedly cemented in the constitution. Aguirre argues that the charter and the state constitution can be changed.

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Comments

JustWondering July 21, 2010 @ 10:51 a.m.

San Diego has made lots of changes on a going forward basis and recent court rulings (PSC purchases) have affirmed those changes.

With the close of SDCERS fiscal year the system will most likely report between 10-12% annual return, slightly down from the 15-20% return growth reported during its third quarter ending in March.

What important to note is SDCERS pays interest on vested monies using a composite index hovering just under 3% and long term annuity rates are capped at 5 percent. That is way down from the "actuarial rate of return" assumptions of 8 and 7.75% made just a few years ago.

Thus SDCERS is making money on its investments and saving the taxpayers dollars they are legally obligated to pay. In addition, the over the last couple of years City is no longer diverting a portion of the investment returns, ones it labeled as the "waterfall" and illegally diverted to pay for retiree health care.

SDCERS is a long term investment with a 30-40 year time horizon. The annual system valuation is just one barometer of measurement. SDCERS' long term health is the issue. On a going forward basis, 20, 30 or more years from now, the reduction of benefits is having a positive effect.

Will there be pain while the City works on fixing the problems its leaders, both political and managerial created? You betcha. The trick is to make sure the city continues its reforms and never, ever, has the opportunity to tamper with the system in the future.

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SurfPuppy619 July 21, 2010 @ 12:09 p.m.

With the close of SDCERS fiscal year the system will most likely report between 10-12% annual return, slightly down from the 15-20% return growth reported during its third quarter ending in March.

LOL...more spin than a merry-go-round.

The notion that ANY pension sytsem could return double digit ROI for more than one quarter in todays market is 100% absurd-as are most of JW's pie in the sky comments about the pension system working properly and being sustainable.

Calpers had a 2.41% ROI from 89-99,and that does not even include all of the market loses from 2008-2009.

Stanford, Northwestern and the University of Chicago have all said a 4% ROI discounted rate over the next 5-15 years is about right for risk averse pension funds, with 5% being the upper end.

But not SDCERS, they are much smarter than everyone else in the pension fund business and are going to get a "15-20% return", at least according to head cheerleader/fraudstir enabler JW!

Fine JW, you take the big bets, but I will let you and your co-conspirators backstop those wild get rich quick schemes.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2010 @ 2:23 p.m.

Response to post #1: You are making some optimistic assumptions. Increasingly, economists are realizing that growth is going to be very slow for several years, and the possibility of another calamity threatens. Investment returns --in domestic and foreign stocks and bonds, real estate, hedge funds, venture capital, etc. -- may be quite unimpressive for several years. You and your fellow city employees must accept the fact that your pension system is far too generous for San Diego to afford: you retire too early with excessive benefits. It has to change. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 21, 2010 @ 2:26 p.m.

Response to post #2: The air is still going out of the balloon. Somebody tell SDCERS. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 21, 2010 @ 2:32 p.m.

SDCERS has averaged 8.21% on its returns over the past 20 years as of June 30, 2009. So they are smarter, and paid substantially less than those folks running the County's Pension System.

Even as bad as the first half of calendar year 2009 was, the latter half saw a rebound and that's just "averaged" returns puppyman. Yes it's true SDCERS has had some good years, and some bad years. Everyone does and that's why they have a 20, 30 and 40 year time horizon. But you've always been the pessimist with the glass half empty remarks. Problem is many if not all of your predictions have been wrong.

What's wrong pup, made some bad investments choices yourself? My investments returned well exceeded what SDCERS made for the same period; 7-1-09 to 6-30-10, earning about 23%. And for the five years, about 15% annually overall.

But my risk tolerance is much higher than SDCERS. Nevertheless they still rate in the top two percent of pension funds when measuring overall performance.

Oh, by the way, while I thinking about your bad attitude, why as a taxpayer would you wish them anything but great success with their investments. Every dollar they earn from investments REDUCES the city's actuarially required payment.

Let's hope they meet and substantially exceed my prediction.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2010 @ 2:53 p.m.

Response to post #5: Over the last five years the SDCERS total fund made 4.29% a year -- not impressive when compared with other similar funds. Over the last three years, the return was minus 1.56% annually -- also not impressive. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 21, 2010 @ 4:02 p.m.

Don Don Don... your bias is showing...

Cherry pick returns all you want. But at least make it apples to apples.

Compare SDCERS to others public pension system returns over the same periods and SDCERS still out performs its peers, and most if not all market indices.

That's why I posted the return averages for the last 20 years. It more relevant for a pension system making long term investment decisions and you know it.

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SurfPuppy619 July 21, 2010 @ 4:08 p.m.

Oh, by the way, while I thinking about your bad attitude, why as a taxpayer would you wish them anything but great success with their investments. Every dollar they earn from investments REDUCES the city's actuarially required payment.

Let's hope they meet and substantially exceed my prediction.

By JustWondering

LOL..the only way the city pension fund and your pie in the sky return rates will meet those bogus expectations is when you close your eyes and drift off into FANTASYLAND.

As for your preposterous comments that the system will be in the top 2% for returns, keep dreaming buddy, keep dreaming. You're so caught up in your own little fantasy world that there is nothing that can wake you up from your dreams of the life styles of the rich and famous.

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SurfPuppy619 July 21, 2010 @ 4:13 p.m.

That's why I posted the return averages for the last 20 years. It more relevant for a pension system making long term investment decisions and you know it.

Oh poor JW, what am I going to do with you???.........Have you ever read ANY financial disclosure forms for any investment???

They ALL have a disclosure that goes something like this;

"Past performance is no indication of future success"

Back in the 1960's, 70's, 80's, 90's and 2000's the largest corporation in th world, GM, said they were rock solid and had NO financial troubles (sort of like how you're comparing the city pension funds pat performances right now), guess what happened to GM in 2008??????

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JustWondering July 21, 2010 @ 5:48 p.m.

Puppy you really are delusional. Have you missed some of your meds?

Emotional and nonsensical responses is exactly what SDCERS does not need. Long term investment planning takes discipline. Not willy-nilly diatribes about GM.

According to SDCERS 2009 CAFR the system's performance put them in the top 2% of all public pension plans. (Page 2 2009 SDCERS CAFR, Investment Results)

Furthermore as published in SDCERS 2008 CAFR, SDCERS earned a 16.5% return for FY07. As of June 30, 2008, SDCERS' annualized total return was +7.78% over the past three years, +10.77% over the past five years, and +7.96% over the past ten years. (2008 SDCERS CAFR, page 2, Investment Results)

The actuarial assumption for investment returns for the same period was 8%. So SDCERS met the expectation.

So puppy, calm.... calm.... calm, good boy.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2010 @ 7:38 p.m.

Response to post #7: I got the information from the most recent quarterly report from Callan, consultant to SDCERS. And over the last five years, the SDCERS portfolio performance compared to peers is not impressive at all. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 21, 2010 @ 7:40 p.m.

Response to post #8: As stated above, the last five years have not been good compared with peers' performances. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 21, 2010 @ 7:43 p.m.

Response to post #9: The 20-year return did not prove to be prescient in forecasting the most recent five. Remember: reversion to mean. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 21, 2010 @ 7:46 p.m.

Response to post #10: I'm not sure this jibes with Callan data. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 21, 2010 @ 8:05 p.m.

You're certainly welcome to read the SDCERS CAFRs for yourself.

On a side note. the SDUT published a piece today, a sort of mea culpa, tongue in cheek, admission about the ballpark study being biased. http://www.signosandiego.com/news/2010/jul/21/wdog-will-study-chargers-stadium-benefits-be-next/

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SurfPuppy619 July 21, 2010 @ 8:21 p.m.

Puppy you really are delusional. Have you missed some of your meds?

I feel delusional after trying to get thru that thick head of yours that these pension scams don't work.

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Don Bauder July 22, 2010 @ 7:59 a.m.

Response to post #15: Yes, somebody sent that U-T piece to me. The newspaper seems to be awakening to the fact that the role it formerly played -- cheerleader to the establishment's theft of money for downtown projects-- may not fly with the public these days. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 22, 2010 @ 8:01 a.m.

Response to post #16: Why don't you two just have a shootout? That's how disputes were settled in the West. (And among aristocrats; remember Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton?) Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 22, 2010 @ 8:29 a.m.

Don that's how things were settled in the "old west", you remember, the frontier days, when you were just a young whippersnapper.

Beside that, we're living in the 21st century blogosphere. We're supposed more civil, and civilized.

I'd never ever hurt a puppy even if our surfpuppy isn't trained, and messes all over the house. How could anyone shoot a puppy with a screen avatar like his.

While it's true our puppy is prone barking, his bites are merely love nips. With proper care and feeding puppies are easily controlled.

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Don Bauder July 22, 2010 @ 12:51 p.m.

Response to post #19: Yes, I was just a young whippersnapper in the Old West. I will never forget the day when Billy the Kid was hanged. I was so sad. He was my uncle -- a much misunderstood man. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 22, 2010 @ 3:14 p.m.

Must have been a different Billy... the most famous one was shot by the sheriff in Fort Sumner on July 14, 1881. Ruled a justifiable homicide the next day. Government was much more efficient in the good ole days.

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Don Bauder July 22, 2010 @ 8:22 p.m.

Response to post #21. One time I had occasion to look up Billy the Kid. Apparently, there were several by that name. They may all have been hanged. Best, Don Bauder

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BradleyFikes July 23, 2010 @ 1:06 a.m.

On a side note. the SDUT published a piece today, a sort of mea culpa, tongue in cheek, admission about the ballpark study being biased.

I posted about that story today at SD Rostra, giving due credit to Don and Richard Rider, who pointed out last week the issues with the study that the Union-Tribune talked about this week. That's an excellent example of blogs beating the traditional media. Maybe that caused the new U-T management to think twice. They can't let that continue if they wish to remain the most significant news source in the county.

It's also worth noting that the story was written by the paper's Watchdog investigative team, which has a mandate to guard the public trust. That sets up a tension between that team and the U-T's more boosterish faction, most notably its editorial board, author of last week's awful, cringe-inducing advertisement for Petco Park's economic stimulus. (Stuff like that is why I think newspapers shouldn't publish unsigned editorials. Let those who stand behind such ill-informed cheerleading put their names to it.)

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BradleyFikes July 23, 2010 @ 7:19 a.m.

The U-T is pushing the sales tax hike on A-1:

Tragedy renews sales-tax debate Rate hike would end policy of ‘brownouts’

A proposed sales tax increase for the city of San Diego was going nowhere just two weeks ago, but the tragic choking death of a 2-year-old boy has given city leaders a newfound sense of urgency and possibly enough support to put the proposal on the November ballot.

The City Council will decide Tuesday whether to ask voters if they want a half-cent sales-tax increase that would raise an estimated $103 million annually and erase a budget deficit that forced the city to cut many basic services, most notably the decision for “brownouts” that idle up to eight fire engines a day to save on overtime.

Bentley Do choked on a gum ball and died Tuesday night. City paramedics didn’t arrive at his Mira Mesa home until 9½ minutes after receiving the 911 call. Authorities said the delay in response was due to the city’s brownout plan although it’s impossible to know whether Bentley would have survived had paramedics arrived sooner.

While the boy’s death has brought renewed focus on firefighter and paramedic response times, it remains to be seen whether there are enough votes on the eight-member council — six are required — to place the sales-tax measure on the ballot. . .

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jul/23/tragedy-renews-sales-tax-debate/

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MURPHYJUNK July 23, 2010 @ 7:50 a.m.

Is Mike Aguirre doing this for financial gain, out of his moral sense or revenge?

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Don Bauder July 23, 2010 @ 8:25 a.m.

Response to post #23: There may be a broader issue here than just the U-T playing catch-up. The new U-T management may realize that for decades, the preceding management was simply a tool for the downtown real estate establishment. Money kept being poured into downtown through the redevelopment scam, while the neighborhoods, infrastructure, fire protection, libraries, maintenance, etc. suffered. The Reader has always been the major voice getting this message across. So the U-T may realize that it will lose even more readers if it doesn't start helping expose the truth that is destroying San Diego: the real estate industry runs the place, while everything else rots. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 23, 2010 @ 8:29 a.m.

Response to post #24: The irony is that the U-T smeared Donna Frye in her mayoral run by proclaiming -- falsely -- that she said a tax increase was a first priority. She had never said any such thing. She had said it was a second or third priority. Now the City is so hopelessly broke that the inevitable is finally being considered. Remember that in 2004, when San Diego was forced to reveal its economic problems, it warned that services might have to go down or taxes up. Nobody listened then. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 23, 2010 @ 8:35 a.m.

Response to post #25: I doubt that there is any financial gain in the cards for Mike Aguirre as he raises these issues. I don't know that revenge is a motive. He would definitely like to see the City pick up his pension lawsuit that got stymied while he was in office. To do that, Goldsmith would have to eat a lot of crow. So would Sanders. They will resist to the very end. They put their own egos above the interests of the City. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 23, 2010 @ 8:42 a.m.

The City Council will decide Tuesday whether to ask voters if they want a half-cent sales-tax increase that would raise an estimated $103 million annually and erase a budget deficit that forced the city to cut many basic services,

The old sales tax increase to fund basic muni services.

Yes, the sales tax was 6.5% 20 years ago, but today it is close to 9% and over 10% in some parts of CA, and they want to raise it every chance they can.

Please, it is not a tax for basic services-it is a pay and pension tax for over comping gov employees.

They need to put a hard cap on all gov jobs and let the market catch up to the comp-which would be in 10-20 years down the road if not longer.

Oakland is trying the same thing because they have cops who are making $100K per year and retiring with a pension over $100K per year and they contribute ZERO towards their own pension, nothing.

Guess what, no county or city in this state is going to vote for a tax increase in a depression (especially San Diego) while gov employees are comped like Kings and Queeens. A sales tax hike is DOA.

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SurfPuppy619 July 23, 2010 @ 8:46 a.m.

Donna Frye in her mayoral run by proclaiming -- falsely -- that she said a tax increase was a first priority. She had never said any such thing. She had said it was a second or third priority

I love Donna, but her position on the sales tax was the only reason I voted against her.

I would rather the city file BK and wipe out the crooked contracts than get suckered into a sales tax hike for ingrate public employees who have a sense of entitlement.

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Don Bauder July 23, 2010 @ 10:16 a.m.

Response to post #29: You are correct in saying that the administration's sales spiel for the tax will no doubt be different from the actual use of the funds. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 23, 2010 @ 10:18 a.m.

Response to post #30: But it wasn't her position on the sales tax. The U-T, deliberately lying, said it was her primary position. Speaking of lying, Sanders said he would never raise such taxes and is now surreptitiously hyping them. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd July 23, 2010 @ 10:25 a.m.

Speaking of overpaid city employees, anyone else read about what the Bell City Manager makes up there? Almost $800,000.00 per year. Holy cow on a stick, I about fell out of my chair.

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/16/local/la-me-0716-bell-residents-20100716

Apparently, San Diego isn't the only city with overpaid employees.

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JustWondering July 23, 2010 @ 1:01 p.m.

Don way too much revisionist history there... the record of both candidate's position in 2005 much clearer.

In 2005 during a post election interview Frye said, She wasn't sure if her sales tax proposal worked against her. She added, "I always believe telling the truth is the best way to do it," she said. "If it did have a role (in the defeat), I would do it again."

Earlier, in September 2005, she unveiled her "AAA fiscal-recovery plan", including calls to aggressively expand powers of the Mayor's office. It included asking voters for exclusive rights to negotiate benefit rollbacks and asking for power to take the city into bankruptcy if talks fail.

The most significant piece of her plan was the “possibility” of asking voters for a temporary half-cent increase in the sales tax. Frye, choosing her words carefully, said she would not rule out a sales tax increase, but only after the city restores credibility with the public and its pension troubles. Frye stressed she would only consider a tax measure if it was tied to a specific need, such as new parks or public safety.

Meanwhile Sanders accused Frye of pushing a $1.1 billion tax increase, but his own tax rhetoric was not any clearer.

During the primary campaign, he indicated taxes might be a “distant option”. Saying that made him vulnerable attacks from Steve Frances who accused him, and Frye, of preparing to raise taxes if elected.

Late in the primary, Sanders sought clarify, finally declaring, "No taxes." He explained he was against tax increases for the current crisis, but said, (DRUM ROLL PLEASE) taxes might be an option in the future if voters want to raise funds for things such as infrastructure repairs. Now coming up on five years later, San Diegans will, most likely, get the chance to decide if they want to tax themselves....

Yes, you're correct it may not have been her first priority, but she made a terrible tactical/political error. Especially in San Diego, one of the most tax-adverse communities in California.

Oakland, Los Angeles and Sacramento collect between 38 percent and 79 percent more per capita. San Diegans walk away with more in their pockets after paying city taxes than people in every other big California city except Fresno. More specifically, the city gets 2.4 cents of every dollar of household income, about half of what Oakland and Los Angeles collect.

Making matters worse, San Diego city councils have flip-flopped time and again on the question of boosting taxes -- deciding one week to put measures on the ballot to charge for trash pickup or parking at the beach, for example, only to reverse themselves a week or month later, cowed by an outraged public.

If I may quote a former San Diego City executive who worked for years in the Manager's office. "San Diego has always had a champagne appetite [for services] and a beer budget [when it comes to paying for them]."

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SurfPuppy619 July 23, 2010 @ 5:37 p.m.

Oakland, Los Angeles and Sacramento collect between 38 percent and 79 percent more per capita. San Diegans walk away with more in their pockets after paying city taxes than people in every other big California city except Fresno.

And Oakland is technically bankrupt, as is Los Angeles, as is San Diego.

So I guess since high taxes are no cure to fixing the pension mess then we might as well keep taxes low, let the munis fail and then start the contracts all over from scratch.

BTW-in Oakland , one of the MAIN reasons they have sky high taxes is because they have the 3%@50 pension scam, the entire OAK PD makes over $100K in base salary, and the cops do not contribute even ONE PENNY towards their retirement. Nothing. Zero. Nada. 100% "picked up" by the city.

Oakland just laid off 80 cops b/c the cop union was the ONLY union that would not offer help in closing the red in their budget. Oakland also has a HUGE sales tax increase on the ballot in November-it will fail and when it does another 200 cops will be laid off.

I said earlier in this piece, CAP all gov pay and benefits for 10, 15, 20 years, or maybe longer, and wait for the private sector to catch up to the gov comp levels.

Hey JW, you need to can the public employee "raise taxes" mantra, no one is buying that product today. We are not getting a good value for our taxes as it is, and we will get even less value if the poor saps paying for your gold plated Cadillac pensions are stupid enough to raise their own taxes to fund your lavish life style.

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SurfPuppy619 July 23, 2010 @ 5:41 p.m.

If I may quote a former San Diego City executive who worked for years in the Manager's office. "San Diego has always had a champagne appetite [for services] and a beer budget [when it comes to paying for them]."

No, what San Diego has is a Champagne budget to fund an apple juice (or was it sugar water) muni employee force.......

JW is trying to use the City of Bell, "Home of the $800K City Manager " play book, the old "We need to pay good wages to get the best people" line.

That might work at one of your Cop beach parties JW, but the public is not buying that line anymore.

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SurfPuppy619 July 23, 2010 @ 5:45 p.m.

Just received the following email from Carl DeMaio-I'll see you all at City Hall the 26th;

Carl invited you to ACTION ALERT: Voice your opposition to a Sales Tax Increase and says;

"We need your help to stop a sales tax increase! Please add this event to you page to help spread the word! Thanks -Carl".

ACTION ALERT: Voice your opposition to a Sales Tax Increase Monday, July 26 at 2:00pm Location: City Hall, 12th floor

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Don Bauder July 23, 2010 @ 7:43 p.m.

Response to post #33: Absolutely. There are overpaid public sector employees all over -- federal, state, local. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 23, 2010 @ 7:48 p.m.

Response to post #34: She may have made a tactical error in telling the truth -- especially in San Diego, which isn't used to the truth. But it was inexcusable for the U-T to say that she made a tax increase the linchpin of her campaign. It clearly was not -- not even close. I hope that under the new regime, the Union-Tribune becomes more responsible -- or less irresponsible -- in relating candidates' positions. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 23, 2010 @ 7:52 p.m.

Response to post #35: The two major causes of San Diego's financial crisis are excessive wages/benefits of City employees, and corporate welfare projects. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 23, 2010 @ 7:55 p.m.

Response to post #36: Yes, cap employee pay and benefits, but ALSO get rid of the corporate welfare projects. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 23, 2010 @ 7:58 p.m.

Response to post #37: You're too hung up on one issue: excessive pay and benefits. You have to look at the other things, such as one that I am hung up on: corporate welfare projects that line the pockets of developers while draining taxpayers. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 23, 2010 @ 8 p.m.

Response to post #38: That's an ad, but I guess our administrator will let it run. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 23, 2010 @ 8:15 p.m.

That's an ad, but I guess our administrator will let it run.

Well, it is a more of a civic pow wow, don't know if I would call it an ad.

I agree with you 100% on the corporate welfare-I have been beating that drum since Spanos and Golding suckered us into that $78 million welfare scam on Jack Murphy-the difference is the corporate welfare fraudstirs like Spanos/Moores/Burnham and crew don't post their talking points here like JW does. That is the only reason I am focusing on JW.

I agree with you and JW 100% on the corporate welfare scams, there is no place in a municiplaity-any muni in America- to give away hundreds of millions/billions in taxpayer money to billionaires.

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Russ Lewis July 24, 2010 @ 1:30 a.m.

Is a "fraudstir" someone who stirs fraud?

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Don Bauder July 24, 2010 @ 6:49 a.m.

Response to post #45: I knew you were in the anti-corporate welfare camp. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 24, 2010 @ 6:50 a.m.

Response to post #46: Those who commit fraud may spend time in stir. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 24, 2010 @ 9:16 a.m.

Is a "fraudstir" someone who stirs fraud?

Fraudstir, Fraudstur, Fraudster or Fraudstear, I am sure you will find the correct spelling.

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Founder July 24, 2010 @ 10:17 a.m.

Regarding #48 & #49

-- Rich Enrichment --

I'd add that Fraud certainly causes a stir, it's sadly done often and seen to occur,

no matter where you may go even in San Diego!

Folks are attracted to the Rich, like a dog in heat is to a bitch.

Make friends and hope to gain some more power, even if they have to build a tower.

Thinking more of their own desire and greed, instead of all those voters they pledged to lead!

The only way to keep Leaders in line, is to put some in jail from time to time.

Deep Throat always said, "Follow the Money", stealing from the Public is not funny!

Too many deals done behind closed doors is just too tempting for all these whores.

Make a random voter "in" on every single decision then we would not have to see so much graft on television!

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Founder July 24, 2010 @ 10:39 a.m.

Regarding #50

-- Germane German --

Hey MSG You've confused me,

is "Schadenfreudestir" German for "Shyster"?

(How did I do this time, did I make that word rhyme?)

I am sure I'm not the only one, were you serious or having fun?

I just tried checking with Google all I got was doggie Strudel!

Since you are in the know tell us all if that's so.

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MsGrant July 24, 2010 @ 10:48 a.m.

pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others....in San Diego's case - "let them eat cake".

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Founder July 24, 2010 @ 11:03 a.m.

Regarding #53

now I do see, it's clear to me,

a $weet treat, of Rich deceit.

What you say, makes my day!

Here's Thanks to You, for speaking true!

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Visduh July 24, 2010 @ 12:49 p.m.

Response to #29:

Don't be so sure that any city, and especially San Diego, is going to reject a sales tax hike now. It was only about two years ago that tax averse Vista got suckered into a sales tax boost, slipped past the voters in a low turn-out election, and containing a goody for each of several pressure groups.

Handled properly, a sales tax boost could be successfully pursued in San Diego, if the proper buttons were pushed, and a big part of the electorate could be convinced that it would cost them little or nothing, i.e. that "somebody else" would pay it, but not them.

Rather than brown out fire stations, the city could reduce the crew size from four firefighters to three. But then that would set a dangerous precedent, and the firefighters union would do everything possible to prevent it.

Just don't EVER fall for the notion that tax boosts are "temporary". They rarely sunset. Actually, when sales taxes were first imposed in the US, during the 30's, they were called "temporary." And they started very low, as low as 1%, and collected tax in increments of less than a full cent--anyone remember seeing sales tax tokens? It is very difficult and unlikely that a tax boost in SD would ever end.

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SurfPuppy619 July 24, 2010 @ 3:42 p.m.

Just don't EVER fall for the notion that tax boosts are "temporary". They rarely sunset

There is no such thing as a "temporary tax".

The Loma Prieta earthquake is the best example when a half cent "temporary sales tax" was enacted to fix the damage, or course that half cent "temporary sales tax" never went away.

Vista, National City and La Mesa ALL passed a pension sales tax increase within the last 2 years. That will NOT happen in San Diego and I doubt those sales tax increases could be passed again in those three cities.

The Cadillac pension genie is out of the bottle, and no one is going to fall for any kind of tax increase, be it sales or parcel.

I also expect all the school districts to lobby for parcel taxes again, even in this recession, like they always do every 2 years. It is just what they do to increase their pocket books.

All this city, and any other city, has to do to get out of the red is cap all salary and benefits, or even lower them to the market level- and the red ink will be gone.

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Don Bauder July 24, 2010 @ 5:38 p.m.

Response to post #49: No. 3 is the one. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 24, 2010 @ 5:40 p.m.

Response to post #50: Freudian Fraud. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 24, 2010 @ 5:42 p.m.

Response to post #51: That is a wonderful poem. But fraud exists EVEN in San Diego? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 24, 2010 @ 5:44 p.m.

Response to post #52: Better than T.S. Eliot. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 24, 2010 @ 5:47 p.m.

Response to post #53: I thought French history would pop into this colloquy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 24, 2010 @ 5:49 p.m.

Response to post #54: Rich deceit. Good observation. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 24, 2010 @ 5:51 p.m.

Response to post #55; When it started, the federal income tax was quite low, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 24, 2010 @ 5:53 p.m.

Response to post #56: I have never voted against a school bond or a school tax. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 25, 2010 @ 8:15 a.m.

Response to post #65: Or rats' feet over broken glass in our dry cellar. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 25, 2010 @ 8:13 p.m.

Response to post #67: People have forgotten it for the last couple of weeks. Somebody will remind them. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource July 26, 2010 @ 10:40 a.m.

I'm still trying to figure out how a $288 million loan-and-interest forgiveness by the San Diego City Council to itself while not wearing its Redevelopment Agency Hat was supposed to improve the pension situation.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with your earlier blog comment assessment elsewhere that while it is off the agenda for now, the City Council loan forgiveness move will probably resurface later.

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Don Bauder July 26, 2010 @ 11:24 a.m.

Response to post #69: The loan forgiveness subject will have to resurface. The fiscal miseries guarantee it. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 26, 2010 @ 6:52 p.m.

WOW! Donna sticks it to, or sticks up for the voters! Guess it all depends on your position.

After specifically complaining about the media twisting her proposal for tax increase way back in 2005, FRYE voted NO today all but ending the chances of the question going before the electorate in November....

Maybe FRYE and Sanders should get the act together...Sanders apparently spend the weekend convincing the School Board President to pull the Parcel Tax...looks like the voters will not have to vote for either now.

FRYE said without more reforms tied to a seven year 1/2 cent sales tax she could not support it. Instead FRYE suggested we lock all the interested parties up in a a real big room until they figure out a solution or come out singing KUM-BY-YA...

OK OK I made the KUMBYYA part up.

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Founder July 26, 2010 @ 7:34 p.m.

Adding to #71

No Way Jose!

Enough folks went and with some good Councilmember help the tax increase did not pass muster Despite Ben Hueso's last ditch attempt to get Donna Fry to change her vote, the measure did not get the 6 required votes!

We should all thank:

Donna Fry donnafrye@sandiego.gov (for having True Grit) and Carl Demaio carldemaio@sandiego.gov (for his Great Charts!) and Anthony Young anthonyyoung@sandiego.gov (for Being realistic) +++ Some great comments were made to the City Council (said before the vote was taken):

"What Planet are you folks from"

"If you had guts, you'd also also put a measure on the ballot to recall the entire City Council..."

"Add a lot of taxes to the Rich and leave US little voters alone!

"You are allowing the Police & Fire Unions to run this City!"

"Get a PLAN!"

"Don't build the Library (ground breaking tomorrow)"

"A freight train is coming"

Two Freight trains are coming"

"Get serious".

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Don Bauder July 26, 2010 @ 7:55 p.m.

Response to post #71: For six years now, several people, including yours truly, have said that the City should get all the employee labor unions in a room and tell them that they have two hours to approve big pay and pension cuts, or we walk across the street and declare bankruptcy the same day. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 26, 2010 @ 7:57 p.m.

Response to post #72: Sorry I wasn't there to hear the comments. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 26, 2010 @ 8:45 p.m.

Don to clarify, Donna was referring to plan to balance new revenue sources with citywide reforms. She wanted ALL players, I mean she suggested literally all. Hueso argued the council was elected to lead and it was their job.

Many of those who spoke against the measure were convinced the sky would fall if the city enacted the 1/2 cent increase.

Hueso, in frustration, responded at the end of couple of hours of debate and after the vote said, a the 1/2cent increase would add ten cents to a $20 dollar purchase. If people felt compelled to drive 5 10 or 30 miles to another jurisdiction to save a dime in sales tax on a $20 purchase there was nothing he could do.

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SurfPuppy619 July 26, 2010 @ 9:57 p.m.

FRYE said without more reforms tied to a seven year 1/2 cent sales tax she could not support it.

Hahahhaha...."7 year" tax increase my butt, once that 1/2 cent goes in it will NEVER leave. It is nothing more than an employee pension tax.

JW, looks like your pension funding is now facing an uphill battle.

BTW, I did get another messege from Carl DeMaio on Facebook this morning asking to show up at 2PM at City Hall, but didn't want to spam the Reader TWICE with the same meeting.

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SurfPuppy619 July 26, 2010 @ 10:03 p.m.

Hueso, in frustration, responded at the end of couple of hours of debate and after the vote said, a the 1/2cent increase would add ten cents to a $20 dollar purchase. If people felt compelled to drive 5 10 or 30 miles to another jurisdiction to save a dime in sales tax on a $20 purchase there was nothing he could do.

Tell Hueso to go borrow that 10 cents from the county then (and since it is "only 10 cents" then the city won't be missing out on much if it isn't there!), since Bonnie Dumbass and her lackey of a sheriff both received 5 figure RAISES today, in the middle of a depression, when every muni in the state is in the red, the city is technically bankrupt and the state is also, oh.....and the states U-3 Unemployment Rate is 12+%.

Even if that sales tax was on the ballot it would never pass anyway, so why waste the time, effort and money.

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SurfPuppy619 July 26, 2010 @ 10:06 p.m.

Some great comments were made to the City Council (said before the vote was taken):

"What Planet are you folks from"

"If you had guts, you'd also also put a measure on the ballot to recall the entire City Council..."

"Add a lot of taxes to the Rich and leave US little voters alone!

"You are allowing the Police & Fire Unions to run this City!"

"Get a PLAN!"

"Don't build the Library (ground breaking tomorrow)"

"A freight train is coming"

Two Freight trains are coming"

"Get serious".

OMG are those FUNNY!!!!!!

I especially liked the first one "What planet are you folks from?" Classic!

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Founder July 27, 2010 @ 11:17 a.m.

Regarding # 75--># 78

  1. My favorite quip was when Donna Frye said, "she wanted ALL players, I mean she suggested literally all (like everyone in this room referring to the Hall) to be on figuring out what the City should do". Hueso then argued the Council was elected to lead and it was their job... A silence, then someone said, "Then Do It!" to much muffled laughter and applause...

  2. The hall actually got a little rowdy when it became clear that the Council was grasping at straws instead of leading the way toward financial freedom!

  3. I also agree that a "Temporary Tax would be nothing but a "Forever Tax" used to soften the BLOW to the 2 Big Unions when the ax falls, which will be ASAP if SD is lucky.

Anybody know the amount of the Daily Debt that the City is now racking up?

Remember, "Waiting To Pay = The Cost of Delay"...

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Don Bauder July 27, 2010 @ 1:49 p.m.

Response to post #75: I think it is urgently important to trim the pay and pensions of city workers. However, it is equally important, if not more important, to end the abuse of redevelopment downtown by the establishment -- in other words, to end corporate welfare, which is draining the city as much or more as excessive employee pay and benefits. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 27, 2010 @ 1:51 p.m.

Response to post #76: You are right. Sales tax increases don't sunset, despite all the claims to the contrary. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 27, 2010 @ 1:53 p.m.

As Doctor FRANK-KAN-STEIN said in Mel Brooks' 1974 Classic "Young Frankenstein".... It's ALIVE..IT'S ALLLLLIIIIIVEEEEEEEE....

The city of San Diego’s sales tax discussion has been revived once again as City Councilwoman Donna Frye reversed course Tuesday morning and asked for a special session to discuss the issue further.

With no more regularly scheduled Council sessions before the August 6th cutoff for ballot issues, a special two-day council meeting would likely be held Thursday and Friday or Monday and Tuesday. Private talks between Frye and City Council President Ben Hueso are underway.

Hueso may have done Frye a favor by ending yesterday's Council on the tax and moving it to the back room, where most politicians are more willing to deal.

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Don Bauder July 27, 2010 @ 1:54 p.m.

Response to post #77: Bonnie Dumanis, certain of another term, can afford to accept a fat raise. The public does not seem to be aware of her dismal record in office. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 27, 2010 @ 1:56 p.m.

Response to post #78: Those were good comments. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 27, 2010 @ 1:59 p.m.

If I may....

"Come, Bauder, come! The game is afoot. Not a word!

There's sleuthing to be done!

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Don Bauder July 27, 2010 @ 2 p.m.

Response to post #79: Despite the financial woes, now evident to more and more San Diegans, Andrea Tevlin, the allegedly independent budget analyst, submitted a report claiming that CCDC raising its cap could be a good thing. Ha ha. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 27, 2010 @ 2:02 p.m.

Response to post #82: It is up to your side, JW, to make some meaningful concessions. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 27, 2010 @ 2:05 p.m.

Frye said she was interested in "establishing financial benchmarks in the ballot that need to be met in order to trigger the tax."

Who knows if it's legal to do so, under California rules I suspect not, but if nothing else it is at least novel and showing a lot more leadership than our beloved Mayor has over the last five years.

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Founder July 27, 2010 @ 3:33 p.m.

Regarding # 82+

Pretty $CARY and it's not even November!

Now that I said that, perhaps this is what she meant when she said thet she wanted everyone in the room to be included! Two days of whining and moaning from our 2 BIG Unions on one side and the tax payers shouting, "Declare Bankruptcy" on the other, live goes on in Sane Diego!

One thing is for sure, the parking fees should be comp'd for any and all the folks that show up because it is going to be a long, long two daze!

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SurfPuppy619 July 27, 2010 @ 4:56 p.m.

As Doctor FRANK-KAN-STEIN said in Mel Brooks' 1974 Classic "Young Frankenstein".... It's ALIVE..IT'S ALLLLLIIIIIVEEEEEEEE....

The city of San Diego’s sales tax discussion has been revived once again as City Councilwoman Donna Frye reversed course Tuesday morning and asked for a special session to discuss the issue further.

Put it on the ballot-see what happens.

A sales tax will go down by at LEAST a 2-1 margin. This isn’t La Mesa, El Cajon or National City- and this isn’t the go-go 2001-2007's either.

So bring the sales tax ballot initiative on-I am giving Vegas odds on that, anyone want that action?

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SurfPuppy619 July 27, 2010 @ 4:58 p.m.

The Veags betting line was sarcasm.

I don't want to run afoul of our LE buddies here, JW may try to pin a bad rap on me to try to silence my voice of reason.

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JustWondering July 27, 2010 @ 5:16 p.m.

Johnny Vegas offering Vegas odds, on a ballot issue for heaven sake. Quoting one of yesterday's public comments: What planet are you from?

I appreciate Ms. Fyre's change of heart even if it turns out a measure cannot be crafted at this late date.

The city's problems affect all of us. A vote by the people, the ones paying the tax, is the right way for a democracy to address this issue.

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Founder July 27, 2010 @ 6:40 p.m.

Regarding # 92

-- City Fat Frye --

Regarding Donna's very sudden change of heart, when it comes to the budget, she's throwing a dart...

Maybe this is her way, of getting a real BIG say.

The Mayor, Big Ben and all of the rest, will finally have to give voters their Best!

Despite what the two Big Unions can say, here is a deadline that won't go away.

Either which way it goes, we'll find out, what she knows,

Some may just yell, while others think this Budget is real funny, but voters are finally getting some real work, for our money!

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JustWondering July 27, 2010 @ 7:12 p.m.

Now were going to need a play card for this Abbott and Costello routine on the tax measures... Richard Barrera, president of the school board, surprised almost everyone this afternoon by saying that he would NOT ask the rest of the board to pull a proposed parcel tax to support schools off the ballot.

One question...WHO IS ON FIRST?

Frye has put forth nine conditions to support a ballot measure for temporary tax increase. Under the condition presented, if the Council approves it for the ballot, I believe it will pass.

And if the voter are presented with two tax increases there's a good chance both will fail.

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Founder July 27, 2010 @ 7:40 p.m.

Regarding # 94 I'd call that the revolving door!

or

Double Trouble

More!

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SurfPuppy619 July 27, 2010 @ 9:20 p.m.

Johnny Vegas offering Vegas odds, on a ballot issue for heaven sake. Quoting one of yesterday's public comments: What planet are you from?

LOL...this coming from one of the biggest scammers in gov employment!

Like I said;

"JW may try to pin a bad rap on me to try to silence my voice of treason."

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JustWondering July 28, 2010 @ 7:20 a.m.

I KNEW WE FINALLY, SOMEDAY, IF WE WAITED LONG ENOUGH, would read the TRUTH from one of Surfpuppy's comments.

It came in comment #96 above on July 27, 2010, at 9:20 PM Pacific Time.


"JW may try to pin a bad rap on me to try to silence my voice of treason."

There it is folks. Typed out on a by his own fingers, as controlled by his own brain, the truth, as ugly as it may be, Surfpuppy a.k.a JohnnyVegas a.k.a. BillyBob Henry and whatever aliases he uses, is, using his words, the voice of "treason."

Oh I know he'll respond and claim it was a typo. We've all made them from time to time. Heck I suspect Don too may mount a defense of the Pup.

I just find this statement, this one of more than 3000 and ever growing comments under the Surfpuppy619 moniker, as well as the thousands under his previous SD Reader accounts, to be the most revealing.

A Freudian slip, where he's typing one thought, but the truth, yes the truth, finally and unconsciously slips out.

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Don Bauder July 28, 2010 @ 8:15 a.m.

Response to posts #88-97: I don't think Donna Frye had a "change of heart." She has always said she would not favor a tax increase without significant reforms. I believe it was her intention all along to force the issue -- to force the power structure to admit the problems (which it was forced to admit publicly six years ago) and then come up with some kind of a move. Personally, I think everything will get bobbed down in a tower of babble and bankruptcy will be the answer. But let's see if San Diego is capable of handling this one. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 28, 2010 @ 8:56 a.m.

I just find this statement, this one of more than 3000 and ever growing comments under the Surfpuppy619 moniker, as well as the thousands under his previous SD Reader accounts, to be the most revealing.

A Freudian slip, where he's typing one thought, but the truth, yes the truth, finally and unconsciously slips out.

By JustWondering 7

Hahahah...............yet another metldown from the toothless wonder, who is "justwondering" through life on the dime of others, trying to silence the voice of "REASON" so the scammers of San Diego can act with impunity............gotta love it!!!

Like I said, you're truly a souce of laughter who lives in his own little Fantasyland and knows the end is near on his pension scam.

I will get a lawn chair and some popcorn for this sales tax meltdown, and then watch while JW tries to "spin" more tall tales!

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SurfPuppy619 July 28, 2010 @ 8:59 a.m.

The Veags betting line was sarcasm.

I don't want to run afoul of our LE buddies here, JW may try to pin a bad rap on me to try to silence my voice of reason.

By SurfPuppy619

BTW-this is the original post-which I copied and pasted in your "doctored" version.

Nice try-FAIL.

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JustWondering July 28, 2010 @ 10:07 a.m.

Doctored? Like Dr. Freud?

Puppy you can't even laugh at yourself, or recognize satire when you read it. The irony here is the self proclaimed "voice of reason", types "treason". That has to make you laugh out loud.

You get SO worked up over all of this, it's bad for your blood pressure.

It's just blogging on small local San Diego weekly paper, that from time to time finds diamonds in the rough, like you.

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SurfPuppy619 July 28, 2010 @ 10:54 a.m.

Hahahh...JustClueless, you're having such a meltdown over me laying out your scams that you don't know how stupid you look.

Your blood pressure is probably going through the roof after all the beat downs I have given you over your scams, but you keep coming back for more. And that's what I like about you, you take the smack downs I give you and like it.

Just pay up your rent buddy, that pension check is getting a major haircut-soon.

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Don Bauder July 28, 2010 @ 1:56 p.m.

Response to post #88: If everybody gets to arguing that such a ballot measure is illegal because it introduces too many topics, then we can be assured that nothing will be done. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 28, 2010 @ 1:58 p.m.

Response to post #89: Each day could be longer than 24 hours. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 28, 2010 @ 2:03 p.m.

Response to posts #90-102: Talk about polemic! This is a good issue. Somehow I knew it would ignite SP and JW. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd July 29, 2010 @ 1:41 p.m.

"Frye-Gloria Sales Tax Proposal further waters down reform -- does not meet Frye's own criteria from Monday night."

~ Carl De Maio on Twitter about 5 minutes ago

Makes me wonder just how much compromise that De Maio is willing to make. This sounds like nothing more than politics as usual.

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 9:08 a.m.

Response to post #106: DeMaio does not seem to be willing to compromise. Somebody should ask him: why do you favor the convention center expansion? Best, Don Bauder

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