Campaign 2010

Nov 07, 2013

DeMaio Puts First Responders At Risk, Fails at Backpedaling Attempt

Eighteen months ago, Carl DeMaio wrote the measure that prevents new city firefighters’ families from getting a death benefit if their loved one is tragically killed in the line of duty.

Instead of helping to solve the problem he created, DeMaio is dodging his real record of cutting firefighter benefits and is now furiously trying to backpedal.

As NBC San Diego reported this week, new firefighters and lifeguards are serving San Diegans without a death benefit because Carl DeMaio’s Proposition B eliminated the protection for their families. While Carl DeMaio engineered this irresponsible policy, he has quickly tried to blame the very people who saw the problem ahead of time and tried to protect first responder death benefits.

“Carl DeMaio’s priorities and values simply don’t reflect the people of San Diego, who value the lives of their first responders and treat their families with the respect they deserve – and want to fix this problem with Proposition B,” said Matt Inzeo of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Carl DeMaio engineered and trumpeted Proposition B, and he promised to help fix it. But here we are 18 months later, with no attempts from Carl DeMaio to clean up his mess and the reality dawning that DeMaio’s agenda hurts real working families.”

BACKGROUND:

DeMaio Authored Pension Plan That Denies Death Benefits to San Diego’s First Responders. “Typically, firefighters’ pensions allow for death benefits to their families should a tragedy occur. When voters approved Proposition B, known as pension reform, city officials vowed that firefighters would never face the situation of being without that benefit. But today, new firefighter Hobie Porterfield worries about his son and wife should something happen to him while he’s on duty. That’s because there’s no clear structure for paying out death or disability benefits post Proposition B. […] In June 2012, voters approved Proposition B, which meant new city hires said goodbye to pensions and hello to 401K definite contributions plans, which are more like retirement plans for private sector employees. What was also taken off the table were death and disability benefits with the voter-directed mandated that the city would negotiate with labor unions to put those protections back into place.”  [NBC 7 San Diego, 11/05/13]

  • Firefighters Have “Long Been at Odds with DeMaio, Who Has Led Calls for Cuts in their Pay and Pensions.” “Firefighters have been at odds with DeMaio for years as the councilman has led calls for pay cuts and pension rollbacks. In June, city voters overwhelmingly approved a DeMaio-backed initiative, Proposition B, that eliminates guaranteed pensions for most new hires, including firefighters, and gives them a 401(k)-style plan instead.” [San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/02/13]
  • DeMaio Pushed to Eliminate Pensions for All New Hires Including Firefighters. As City Councilman, Carl DeMaio helped craft Proposition B.  Major Jerry Sanders wanted a measure that would replace pensions with 401 (k) only for nonpublic safety workers, however, Carl DeMaio pushed “for a stricter plan that called for eliminating pensions for all new hires.” The two sides ultimately compromised and the result was Proposition B that eliminated pensions for all new hires except police officers. [San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/18/12]