The battle to challenge Brian Bilbray in the suddenly Dem-friendly CA-52, with Lori Saldaña going on the attack early and often trying to pin the city’s pension problems on fellow Democratic candidate Scott Peters. She managed to convince out of towners like PCCC to echo the attacks, and now there’s mail going out to support Bilbray that recycles the hit. The only problem? Well… it isn’t true. Oops.
About a week ago, attorney Frank Vecchione wrote a letter to Saldaña. As he outlines, Vecchione was front and center for all the litigation surrounding the problems with city’s pensions, and he isn’t buying what Saldaña is trying to sell. The entire letter makes for an interesting read, but here are a few sections that stand out:
My office represented a former San Diego city employee and member of the SDCERS retirement board with regard to an onslaught of litigation stemming from the mutual decision of the City of San Diego and the SDCERS Board to modify an existing agreement between the two regarding the retirement system funding rate.
I recently received some materials and mailings disseminated by your campaign which are negative “hit” pieces directed at Scott Peters. I understand negative campaigning is part of politics. However, the allegations continued within the material which your campaign has directed at Mr. Peters is so rife with misinformation and blatant falsehoods that I consider it appropriate and necessary to respond.
Scott Peters did not “underfund the city’s pension plan by $1.5 billion.” The decision to “underfund” the pension plan originated in 1996 pursuant to a proposal by then City Manager Jack McGrory with the concurrence of Mayor Susan Golding…No one was sued. No one was prosecuted. More importantly, Scott Peters was not on the City Council in 1996. He was elected to the Council in 2000.
But Vecchione wasn’t done.
I am not affiliated with the Peters campaign nor do I represent him in any capacity. I do believe the allegations in your campaign materials are false and could easily be deemed defamatory and libelous with regard to Mr. Peters and many others who would be tarnished by these untrue statements…I thought you would appreciate an accurate recitation of the facts to assist you in understanding that you are relying on misinformation, which serves no one in the democratic process, and may reflect poorly on your campaign.
This may not surprise people who actually know what happened in the pension meltdown. But it certainly doesn’t reflect well on Lori Saldaña’s campaign just a few days before the election.
by Lucas O’Connor