Dumanis “Changes Mind” on Pension Reform

Steve Gramm Steve Gramm 11 Comments


In what can only be described as a San Diego mayoral campaign continuing to sputter while searching for a focus (any focus), yesterday Bonnie Dumanis announced that she flip-flopped her position on the Comprehensive Pension Reform Initiative. She is now in support.

Not only did her position change for no apparent reason other than she figures she can’t win while opposing CPRI, she also used Nathan Fletcher’s rationale for support of the measure.

In both his editorial board interview with the Union-Tribune and in another recent interview with the San Diego News Room, Fletcher emphasized he was only supporting the initiative after a careful review of the facts and diligent research. He said he found that annuity-based retirement systems like those common in higher education do indeed guarantee workers’ retirement while saving money.

Dumanis’ announcement essentially copies Fletcher’s rationale. Puzzling she would follow his lead on this since she claims Fletcher doesn’t have the experience necessary to lead the city.  Aping his position on something as critical as pension reform makes it clear she’s following his lead.  Perhaps she can serve as his deputy mayor?

It is an interesting dilemma that Dumanis is now supporting the measure, given she will be receiving a pension worth up to a quarter million dollars per year. Good enough for her but no one else?  That was not a dilemma for her before, nor did it open her up to charges of hypocrisy from her opponents.

This looks to be very ugly for a campaign that has yet to get on the right track.


Comments 11

  1. Speaking of unions, was at Vons yesterday and saw big signs inside and out that said something like, “Do to current labor disputes, Vons is now hiring for all positions. Please speak with the manager for details.”

    Talk about a warning shot! If I was a union worker, that would make me think twice about striking in a bad economy.

  2. Better late than never I guess. She and Fletcher can’t be happy having to support a measure largely put together by DeMaio. That’s gotta hurt.

  3. Both Fletcher and Dumanis now support DeMaio. So much for him not being able to bring people together!

    DeMaio has succeeded in not only getting people around the table of pension reform, but signing from his song-book.

    What are Dumanis and Fletcher going to run on now? Public safety?

  4. Not to derail the thread but I have to say I don’t “get” the current Labor Council leadership. It is an era of A) high private sector unemployment; B) Public frustration with perceived high public sector compensation; and C) Political irritation with the corsening of political culture/dialogue.

    I think that labor is playing to a VERY small base when they get all “take the barricades against the evil overlords of capitalism” Would seem it be FAR better for Micky K to go to charm school and come out with something like:

    “We know that the chains are hurting in this time of increased competition, industry change, and economic slowdown. But we also know that to survive, full service grocers do and can far exceed non-unionized stores in respect to service, quality, and the kind of customer experience that they will never get in a crowded, dirty, and sensory overloading big box. We have put forward a plan we believe keeps the grocers competitive in this difficulty environment but, critically, ensures staff can make a career with those stores – helping increase service and loyalty so that both management and workers win”.

    That would seem a FAR better message than “We are standing with of labor brothers to fight for ridiculously cheap (for the beneficiary – not the employer) healthcare.”

  5. To add…. MAYBE it is because Lorena and Evan really don’t have much (any?) experience in working in an enterprise exposed to market forces. Say what you will about Jerry B. but I don’t think we should ignore the fact that the US Postal Service, where he worked as a carrier before becoming a shop steward, does operate in a much more competitive environment than a non-profit on-line journalism organization or the office of the Lt. Governor.

    Probably unlike many Rostarians – I don’t have a visceral hate for unions – I think that when they and management work together they can do some pretty amazing things. I think local industry leaders like Solar Turbines or NASSCO or Lockeed-Martin or even SDG&E shows just how successful a firm can be even if it is unionized. But I do worry that when Labor starts to believe they are not PARTNERS with management in the success of the modern firm they have really missed the boat entirely about how the post-industrial work has radically changed.

  6. From the CPRI campaign:

    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Jennifer Kerns

    San Diego District Attorney
    Bonnie Dumanis Endorses Comprehensive Pension Reform

    San Diego — San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis endorsed Comprehensive Pension Reform (CPR) for San Diego today.

    The announcement is the latest high-profile endorsement of the measure, which enjoys 70% public support and continues to gain momentum as it steams toward qualification of necessary signatures to place the measure on the ballot for June 2012.

    “We are honored to have the support of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis today,” said T.J. Zane, Chairman of Comprehensive Pension Reform (CPR) for San Diego. “The fact that so many city leaders are joining the measure underscores not only its merit as sound policy, but also reflects the energy around this political campaign.”

    Comprehensive Pension Reform is now supported by three of the leading candidates for Mayor – City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, and now District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. It was also recently unanimously endorsed by the Board of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

    For more information about Comprehensive Pension Reform for San Diego, please visit:

  7. Erik:

    You surveyed that topic as well as a person could. Some cooperation from both sides could and just might produce sustainability for all concerned.

    Jerry B. used to remind his more left members that about 40% of membership were riding around in pickup trucks with gun racks in the rear window and bumper stickers supporting pro-life. He would not shirk his duty but was always looking for solutions.

  8. Mole – it is stuff like THIS that just drives me BATTY


    Simple economics will tell you that Grocers can not compete with Wal-Mart ON PRICE. Irrespective of labor inputs, full service grocers are simply going to stock more fresh produce and meats than the big boxers and that will cost more money both on the supply chain and in the operations of the buildings. So you have to offer premium service/convenience or you are going to get eaten alive. Now the chains have conveinence down and work hard at it. But you DAMM WELL better COOPERATIVELY WITH MANAGEMENT enhance brand.

    UFWC does get this sometimes. I thought the ads during padre games about 4-5 years go were good. But I don’t think it works to highlight criminality of your employer – cause if customers lose faith it is YOUR laid off members who have a lot more to lose than exec. with golden parachutes and stock holders that will simply dump the security.

  9. I live across the street from a Vons, in a gleaming complex overlooking a golf course. But I also can easily shop at a Walmart nearby, or a Trader Joe’s or a Major Market in Escondido. And Erik is totally correct about the danger of dissing one’s employer. If the labor/management ugliness gets worse, I could well decide to permanently change my shopping habits to avoid it.

    BTW, I like the checkout people at Von’s, and would leave them reluctantly.

    My only complaint about Vons is with the moronic executive management, who require the workers to recite our names when we use a membership card.

    This is supposedly a friendly gesture, but I find it creepy. It reminds me that my name is on their computerized list. I finally got a card that doesn’t mention my name (or even a pseudonym), so I don’t have that irritation.

    The dimbulbs in management who decided to force employees to recite names in this mechanical manner should be shown the door.

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