Why I Support CPRI

D.A. Bonnie Dumanis D.A. Bonnie Dumanis 6 Comments


This morning I announced my full support for the Comprehensive Pension Reform initiative which will appear on the June ballot next year. I was pleased to sign the petition to place the initiative on the ballot, and I encourage every voter in the City of San Diego to do the same.

I’m very proud to stand with Mayor Sanders, City Councilman Kevin Faulconer and many others in support of this initiative. They worked very hard, along with the Lincoln Club and the Taxpayers Association to hammer out these reforms. It’s a testament to their vision and their ability to build consensus that pension reform is on its way to the voters for their approval.

I’ve been very clear that I have supported the vast majority of the proposed ballot initiative on pension reform. At the same time, I had real concerns that some first responders would no longer receive a benefit they can count on. For that reason, I could not fully support the measure.

I continue to believe, like a lot of people, that public safety employees deserve a safety net due to the unique nature of their work to protect each of us. As we’ve seen recently, they put their lives on the line on a daily basis. And sometimes they don’t come home.

After continuing to review the pension initiative and researching the options, I’ve determined that such a safety net is possible…with no additional cost to the taxpayer.

In addition to my support today for the Comprehensive Pension Reform Initiative, I am also supporting the option of an annuity, which would come during the implementation phase of reform.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been meeting with a variety of pension experts and stakeholders to ensure the city can legally craft an annuity option, something that is permitted in Section 150 of the proposed ballot initiative.

This annuity option would provide a fair benefit for first responders who enroll in the program, but costs taxpayers nothing more than what’s already provided for in the initiative. The projected savings from the reform initiative would also not be affected.

Annuities are commonly used by business in the private sector. Under this option, the funds deposited into an employee’s defined contribution pension account may be used to purchase an annuity—shifting the risk to the provider of the annuity and offering employees a guaranteed minimum benefit.

Workers could choose to put more of their own money into the annuity if they want to raise the level of their pension benefit, but with no additional cost to the city.

When the initiative passes — and I believe it will — we’re going to need a Mayor who has the leadership experience to make sure the reforms are implemented.

As Mayor of San Diego, voters will decide — and I will deliver.

I’ll take pension reform from plan to reality because it is a critical component of my vision to restore our city’s financial health.

We need real reform, with real savings, that’s really going to stick.

Our city can’t afford for pension reform to be derailed by city hall special interests or political infighting. It takes a committed leader to ensure those obstacles don’t impede its success.

That’s the kind of experience and leadership I will bring to the mayor’s office, along with “fair and real” pension reform to the City of San Diego.


Comments 6

  1. 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:

  2. Below is some speculation but then in #3 some informed economic prognostication. Fair disclosure (we all should be doing this), I have given to Carl and will give more.

    1) From a fundraising perspective she probably HAD to do it. Irrespective of the wonkishness of the debate – the initiative is a winner among most/all of usual suspects that give to San Diego campaigns and My guess is that team Bonnie were finding her position a key objection raised during dialing for dollars

    2) I think her support is meaningless. This campaign is and will be driven by Carl. Her support will be welcome but do you HONESTLY think her name will be prominently featured on the mail? At the press conferences?

    3) And Gayle – I hope you think a bit about the fiscal calendar when forecasting front runners. Now he will never say so but Carl is just SO MUCH advantaged by the recent slow down. Sometime in September, or at latest November, Jay Goldstone is going to drop the “We are short, fellas” revenue projections bomb. No structural deficit solution in 2012. More anticipated service cuts. No happy days are hear again. Back to angry pissed off San Diego voter who get to look forward to more threats of service cuts, more discussion about things like the stadiums. Potential shortfalls on library fundraising. While smoothing is going to help a bunch, don’t expect another excess earning windfall from SDCERS if the market peters along about 1000 points off its previously 2011 high. It won’t be the bleakest of five year forecasts and early budgets but it can’t be good unless the city really does find several tens of millions under the seat cushions.

    Now in that gloomy environment who is going to attract voters. The DA with the hundred thousand dollar pension and no private sector experience; the state legislator who says the Mayor’s job isn’t to manage, the spend like drunken sailor Dem who hasn’t asked for votes from most San Dieagans for 25 years, or the bomb thrower – who may piss off all the workers on SS Titanic (oops, meant San Diego) but will be the main guy with a “if we do this we can fix it all” message? Good times and modest recovery favored Mr. Sunshine Nathan. But “lost decade” like economic activity is definitely going to help Carl get elected. God speed after that cause it will be rough sledding.

  3. One must assume that before “seeing the light,” the Dumanis handlers did some polling, and now know full well how popular CPR is. IF it gets on the ballot, it will pass.

    For further proof, only only need watch the union goon squads in action, intimidating potential supporters into retreating without signing the CPR petition. Trust our public employee labor unions to also know full well what happens if CPR gets on the ballot, in spite of the fact that the unions will easily outspend the proponents of the measure.

  4. As we move forward over the next year I do hope, we will be giving our candidates time to discuss TRUE vision in SanDiego. The pension will be resolved by the time the next mayor is elected. Granted this is a litmus test and I believe Bonnie handled this correctly. Carl has been involved in the issue for years and what Bonnie showed was her ability to research the information, support the majority of the electoral and brought people to the table. I find it funny how people keep using Nathan and Bonnie as examples of how he brings REPUBLICANS to the table but the woman standing with Bonnie today is not a Republican. I have seen Roberta Spoon over the years in SD in many different roles for socially liberal groups, defending our constitution and making hard financial decisions. Bonnie 100% brought a new person to the table. I like the fact she is not serving party lines. I will be watching closely to see if she will win my vote.

    On a side note. I truly enjoy reading the opinions on this site. I agree and disagree with some of the ideas but I do like the dialog and no attacks.

  5. Erik,

    So what you are saying is that as long as the future looks bleak and the public is angry and scared, Carl will probably win the Mayor’s race? Sounds about right to me.

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