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Filner Releases Pension Plan

Aired 4/30/12 on KPBS News.

Congressman Bob Filner has finally put it in writing. The San Diego mayoral candidate has released his pension plan.

— Congressman Bob Filner is the only one of the four major mayoral candidates who does not support Proposition B. That would eliminate city pensions for most new hires and replace them with a 401(k).

San Diego Congressman Bob Filner

Above: San Diego Congressman Bob Filner

But until this weekend Filner had not put his own plan down on paper. It calls for capping pensions at under six figures, putting half of any projected surplus toward the pension debt and looking into taking out bonds to pay the debt down sooner.

“We can, in fact, refinance our debt at a much lower interest rate and put $500 million into the general fund over the next 10 years,” he said. “(That) can fix potholes, keep libraries and rec centers open, hire new police officers and do things we haven’t been able to do as a city without new taxes.”

Filner said the County of San Diego has used this method three different times with its pension system. He projects the city could save $753 million over 15 years.

But Councilman and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio said Filner’s plan amounts to paying off one credit card with another. He said it continues bad financial practices from the past.

“Instead of reforming the benefits in the pension system, they went deeper into debt. They kicked the can down the road. And this proposal continues that tradition,” he said.

DeMaio is leading the charge to pass the 401(k) initiative.

District Attorney and mayoral candidate Bonnie Dunamis also slammed Filner’s plan. In a statement she wrote:

"Bob Filner continues to kick his rusty pension can down our crumbling roads. Debt for future generations is not a solution to our pension problems. Voters clearly want real pension reform and they want it now. Mr. Filner continues to fail to provide the leadership San Diego needs to put our financial problems behind us."

But Filner said the interest rate on the pension debt is projected to be about 7.5 percent. He estimates the city could take out a bond to pay off some of that debt at 6 percent interest or less, which he says would save millions of dollars over time.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 30, 2012 at 7:28 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

I find it hypocritical that Dirty Carl claims to be so frugal with tax payer's money yet his entire career - both the public *and* private parts - were centered on this filthy man making a personal fortune off of the public dole.

From 2003 – 2007 Dirty Carl was founder and principal, American Strategic Management Institute Inc., primarily training private contractors to take advantage of government outsourcing.

Dirty Carl, like his well connected Republican friends including Newt Gingrich, likes to use the right wing talking point "government doesn't create jobs"

Pretty rich considering **government has created every job DeMaio has ever had!**

And by the way, when I say newt and Dirty Carl are well connected, I'm nt exaggerating. The two go way back.

In 1994 after attending Georgetown University, DeMaio catches the eye of Newt Gingrich and begins working in Washington, contributing to Gingrich's Contract with America.
 
From 1994-1999 Filthy Carl was Director, Planning, for the Congressional Institute, the brainchild of Congressional leaders like Newt Gingrich.

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Avatar for user 'hopeheadsd'

hopeheadsd | May 1, 2012 at 2:12 p.m. ― 2 years, 3 months ago

Peking_Duck,

I dont understand. What does your comment have anything to do with Filner's plan except further justify your narrow political position?

Regardless of political affiliation, this Filner plan does not look good for San Diegans as its borrowing to keep borrowing. Any basic financial fundamentals would dictate that. Moving forward and actually breaking the mold of crappy deals and poor business practices, this 'plan' is clearly a legacy type plan that has no teeth.

This will not win the election for Filner, no matter how hard he spins it. Nor do I think DeMaio will win any votes because its the only agenda item he is pushing at the moment.

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