Ad Sets the Record Straight on Pension History
San Diego – The Scott Peters for Congress campaign launched its second television ad of the general election campaign this week; it sets the record straight about Peters’ work to end the City of San Diego’s 30-year practice of underfunding its pension fund for City workers.
The ad, called “Another Day,” features quotes from San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders acknowledging Peters as a partner in “bringing meaningful reform to the City’s pension system,” including his role in negotiating a plan that “helps taxpayers save almost $23 million annually.”
“This ad helps set the record straight,” said Peters’ Communications Director MaryAnne Pintar. “Scott Peters was not on the City Council that started the practice of underfunding the pension fund, but he was President of the City Council that stopped the practice.
“Scott worked to fix the pension problem in San Diego and helped set the City on a path toward financial reform,” she said. “Brian Bilbray chooses to focus on a pension vote that occurred a decade ago to distract from his record in Washington today,” she added.
The ad compares Peters’ record of reform to Washington on Bilbray’s watch: “Trillions added to the national debt. While Bilbray receives two taxpayer-funded pensions, and votes himself perks, pay raises and taxpayer-funded health care – for life. Congressman Bilbray – what’s wrong with Washington.”
Despite the barrage of half-truths being pumped out of the Bilbray campaign, Peters has repeatedly acknowledged it was a mistake to vote to continue the City’s 30-year-old practice of underfunding the City’s pension fund. The practice that began in the 1980s under then-Mayor Pete Wilson; Peters’ vote occurred in 2002. He then worked to correct it by bringing in outside auditors, adopting their recommendations, and making it illegal to underfund the pension in the future.
Based on these and other reforms, a Securities and Exchange Commission monitor ultimately said that the practices established in San Diego under Peters’ leadership were “a model that others can look to,” and that the SEC would look to “encourage other municipalities to similarly move in the direction San Diego has led.”
And a recent article published in U-T San Diego about other California cities forced into bankruptcy, pointed out that the reforms instituted while Peters was City Council President helped San Diego avoid the same course.
For the background and facts about San Diego’s pension fund history, please check out http://truthaboutpensions.