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Carl DeMaio has challenged Bob Filner to a “Lincoln-Douglas style debate on pension reform,” according to a San Diego Daily Transcript article posted to his website.

“I’m challenging (Filner) to a Lincoln-Douglas debate, man-to-man, one-on-one, to compare our reforms in Proposition B on how we save our city billions of dollars to whatever plan he wants to produce,” says DeMaio. “But he cannot be excused from producing a plan.”

Filner, a Democrat, is the only one of four mayoral candidates including Republicans DeMaio and Bonnie Dumanis along with newly-declared political independent Nathan Fletcher to oppose Proposition B, which would block new city hires from receiving pensions, instead offering them 401(k) retirement plans. The measure would also freeze pensionable pay for existing employees for five years.

According to DeMaio, the plan would save the city about $1 billion. Filner says the measure alone doesn’t guarantee any savings at all. The Voice of San Diego’s Fact Check Blog reports that there’s truth to both claims, finding that all of the savings under Prop B come from the portion of the proposal that calls for cutting existing employees’ pensionable pay – this, however, is not a mandate but an opening bargaining position the city would take during union negotiations, and it’s not guaranteed the unions would agree to the proposal as it stands.

The part of the plan that moves new employees from a pension system to 401(k) accounts would actually cost the city $13 million more over the next 30 years in 2012 dollars ($56 million when factoring in inflation) as compared to keeping the existing system in place.

DeMaio also said at a press conference yesterday that Filner promised to provide his own plan on pension reform 10 months ago, but has yet to deliver. He announced his intention to repeat his challenge to Filner at every debate and forum he attends going forward. A release had originally billed the event as a “debate-style press conference,” with both Filner and DeMaio in attendance, although Filner’s campaign had never agreed to participate.

When reached by the Transcript, Filner’s office declined to comment on the challenge.

In related news, a video supporting Filner was posted yesterday to YouTube, attacking Republicans as being responsible for creating the pension problem in the first place. The clip touts Filner’s “Pension Reform Plan,” though no specifics are addressed.

The video does not appear to be officially endorsed by Filner. Calls to his campaign office were not immediately returned, though updates will be posted if further information becomes available.

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Burwell April 6, 2012 @ 9:19 a.m.

Richard Nixon was the one in 1968 and 1972. Carl DeMaio will be an even bigger one in 2012.


SurfPuppy619 April 6, 2012 @ 9:20 a.m.

The pension issue is over. The word is out, public penisons are taking haircuts and there is no sense in a debate over it at this stage.


InOmbra April 6, 2012 @ 8:27 p.m.

Woop him, Bob. Woop his a***!. DeMaio is a fake. He is an undocumented illegal alien, and not one from the Planet Earth. He's from the alien world known as The Planet of Washington Lobbyists.


Visduh April 6, 2012 @ 9:27 p.m.

If Filner doesn't like this measure he should come out with his own detailed approach. But he's not going to do that, 'cause he's in the thrall of the public employee unions. Whether this current mess was the doing of "Republicans" or not is now immaterial, it needs attention and not soon, it needs attention yesterday. This emphasis on party affiliation in the local non-partisan elections is a diversion. Those national party labels don't have much relevance in our local elections. GOP members along with Dems have been "felony dumb" about all sorts of local efforts, giveaways, and corporate welfare for decades.

I'd like to see this local coverage of the city elections drop those constant mentions of party affiliations for the rest of the season. Hey guys, look for some other way to describe the candidates.


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