San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria Proposes Change in City Pension Law to Permit “Quadruple Dipping” at Taxpayers’ Expense
Former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio blasts the practice as “an outrageous abuse of taxpayer funds”
At a time when the city faces a massive budget shortfall and city politicians are seeking to overturn the 2012 voter-approved pension reform measure, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria has drafted a special law to grant his Chief Operating Officer the ability to “quadruple dip” at taxpayers’ expense. (See attached Civil Service Commission Documents)
Under current city statutes, a government employee who is drawing a taxpayer-funded pension is prohibited from working more than 720 hour per fiscal year as a taxpayer-funded employee. This limitation is meant to prevent the pension abuse known as “double dipping” whereby a city employee is getting a full taxpayer-funded pension while also drawing a full taxpayer-funded salary. The law is also designed to protect the city’s pension fund tax-exempt compliance with Internal Revenue Code regulations.
Mayor Gloria’s legislative proposal, which was submitted yesterday to the City’s Civil Service Commission, would eliminate any limit or cap on the position of Chief Operating Officer for the City. The proposal seems designed to benefit one singular person: Jay Goldstone.
Such a move would allow Goldstone to earn more than half-a-million dollars annually in salary, benefits and pension payouts. As of 2019 the City of San Diego paid its Chief Operating Officer more than $340,000 in salary and compensation.
State government pension disclosure records show that Goldstone is collecting at least three taxpayer-funded pensions currently – in addition to drawing benefits from 401-k plans also funded in part by taxpayer contributions.
“At a time when San Diegans are unemployed due to the pandemic and the city faces a fiscal crisis, it is outrageous that Mayor Todd Gloria would even propose such an offensive change in city laws,” said former City Councilmember Carl DeMaio. DeMaio authored the 2012 Prop B Pension Reform Initiative to stop pension abuses like “double dipping.”
“Jay Goldstone is a very capable individual, but he voluntarily chose to retire multiple times to draw multiple taxpayer-funded pensions,” said DeMaio. “Todd Gloria needs to withdraw the proposal and commit to ending pension abuses rather than making it easier for city workers to draw these kinds of indefensible payouts at taxpayers’ expense,” DeMaio concluded.
Jay Goldstone’s Current Government Pension Payouts
CALPERS: City of Pasadena Pension $109,793.52/year (as of 2020)
SDCERS: City of San Diego Pension $53,715.12/year (as of 2019)
San Mateo County Pension $19,563.48/year (as of 2018)
Carl DeMaio is slamming San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and members of the San Diego City Council for accepting massive pay hikes starting December 10, 2020 – hikes in pay that come as these same politicians impose draconian lockdowns on struggling small businesses that are destroying jobs.
In a recent appearance on KUSI TV, DeMaio slammed all of our local politicians for “taking massive pay raises on day one in office, in the middle of an economic downturn and pandemic.” Continuing, “Todd Gloria is going to get a mayoral salary that is double what Kevin Faulconer earned. The salary is going to go from about $100,000 to over $200,000 today alone. And the city councilmember salaries will be increased from $75,000, to over $125,000 each.”
DeMaio said the politicians who accept these increases is “shameful,” explaining, “as small businesses are closing their doors, as working families are unemployed, the idea that our politicians are taking pay raises at the same time? No. They have to lead by example and turn down those pay raises until we get through this rough patch.”
Concluding that none of the newly elected politicians are required to accept these salary increases.
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – COVID-19 cases continue to increase across California, and here in San Diego County, but flu cases remain extremely low in comparison to this time in previous years.
We are well into flu season, but San Diego County’s data for flu infections only shows 36 reported cases so far this year. Carl DeMaio tweeted out this shocking revelation, comparing it to this time in other years saying, “In a typical year we get over 17,073 on average!”
DeMaio explained, “if you are going to use a set of numbers like COVID stats to shut down the economy, to take people’s livelihoods away, then we have to really look closely at what those numbers really mean, and whether those numbers are giving us the right picture.” Continuing, “my concern has been from the get go, that we are relying on numbers from government agencies, that may have a different agenda at stake. We would benefit from having a different set of eyes looking at them, such as an auditor or a citizens review committee. Because again, the decisions being made on these data sets are sweeping, the lockdowns are far reaching in terms of their impact.”
DeMaio then said San Diego County has refused to have any look over or vet our local COVID-19 numbers.
Chairman of Reform California, Carl DeMaio, joined KUSI’s Jason Austell on Good Morning San Diego to explain why he is calling for a “full audit of the COVID-19 data we are seeing reported from our public health system.”
Reform California released a bombshell research study providing proof that Californians are being inundated with “bad election ballots” that have been sent by state election officials in error.Read More
It will be a tough election cycle for us in California. Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio is fighting back hard and held a town hall on the top 12 target races in California. DeMaio announced the 12 Top Target Seats for Republicans in California and discussed what can be done to either pick up seats or save seats for Republicans.
California State Senators Moorlach and Chang were in attendance as well as several other candidates from across the state. The target seats include Congressional seats as well as state senate and assembly seats, many of which overlap each other which helps Republicans maximize their opportunity.
The Top 12 Target Seats (Tier 1) in California currently are:
Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio was on KUSI to discuss that we are not analyzing the right Covid data. DeMaio shows that positive case counts are not the best indicator for this disease – as more tests are conducted, more positive cases will be found.
DeMaio says hospitalization rates and deaths are much better indicators to analyze when implementing government mandated lockdowns on businesses and lifestyle. Hospitalization rates and deaths have been steady as case numbers increase, which DeMaio says shows we do not need to be locked down again.
“Governor Needs to Propose Fundamental Budget Reforms to Prevent Insolvency”
In response to Governor Gavin Newsom announcing he intends to seek a pay cut for state government employees with his revised budget for the coming fiscal year, Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio offers the following response:
“Governor Gavin Newsom’s call for a pay cut is just a PR stunt to convince voters that they should support massive tax hikes and taxpayer-funded bailouts for all the other reckless spending Newsom and Sacramento politicians are engaging in. At best, the pay cut will happen only on paper and state and local government employees will still receive compensation packages far in excess of what is justified in the local labor market. If Newsom were serious about fixing California’s finances, he would stop outrageous spending on things like welfare for illegal immigrants, pension spiking in state and local government, and the High-Speed Rail Train.”
DeMaio is a nationally-recognized government management and budget expert who chaired the California Citizens’ Budget Project that helped expose the financial crisis during Governor Gray Davis’ Administration and as a city councilmember helped save the City of San Diego from bankruptcy by reforming its budget and pension system in 2012.
Today Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio convened with statewide leaders warning Californians about the potential Covid-19 related bankruptcies in state and local governments Watch our town hall on what can be done to mitigate the damage.
Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio was on KUSI this morning to discuss how the majority of Californians are opposed to Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus policies. Our statewide poll shows that 72% of Californians want the state’s economy reopened by now and believe there is a better way to re-open the state than the statewide all-or-nothing lockdown approach Governor Gavin Newsom is pursuing.
“Governor Gavin Newsom is out of step with a bipartisan majority of California voters who believe there is a safe way to return to work.” –Carl DeMaio, Chairman, Reform California
A survey of 1,285 likely voters conducted by Remington Research for Reform California over the weekend (May 1-2) shows Californians believe there is a better way to re-open the state than the statewide all-or-nothing lockdown approach Governor Gavin Newsom is pursuing.
“This polling shows Governor Gavin Newsom really needs to step back and listen to California voters who do not support his heavy-handed approach to dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak,” noted Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California.
Californians Favor Reopening Now – Only San Francisco Voters Want to Remain in Lockdown
A whopping 72% of California voters overwhelming support reopening the state’s economy now by simply requiring businesses to adhere to strict sanitation and social distancing standards and allowing individual counties to monitor Covid-19 infections to ensure local hospital capacity can handle any surges of new cases.
When presented with an either-or choice of reopening without any mention of strict sanitation and social distancing standards, a surprising plurality of voters statewide want to reopen now (41% reopen, 36% remain closed) with only San Francisco area voters preferring to stay locked down by a wide margin (44% remain closed, 28% reopen.)
Californians Support Allowing Counties to Reopen Individually
As a growing number of California counties are requesting that they be allowed to reopen on their own, three California counties (Modoc, Sutter, and Yuba) today announced they would simply reopen on their own despite Governor Newsom insisting that the state remain locked down entirely until the state as a whole could reopen all at once. Newsom’s statewide all-or-nothing approach is opposed by California voters – with 63% of voters favoring an approach to allow counties to decide separately whether to reopen versus only 29% who favor waiting for a statewide reopening date.
Californians Support Protests, but Oppose Payouts to Illegal Immigrants
As Governor Newsom and local elected officials threaten to arrest protesters around the state, California voters strongly support the First Amendment rights of protesters – with 58% of voters opposing any attempt to arrest protest organizers and any imposition of $1,000 fines on protest attendees. Conversely 59% of Californians overwhelmingly oppose Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to offer $1,000 taxpayer-funded payouts to illegal immigrants impacted by Covid-19 with only 27% supporting these payouts.
Beach Closures: It Depends on Where You Live
While 51% of Californians support keeping beaches open, 42% support the closure of beaches. However when examining geography, it is clear support for beach closures is coming from the San Francisco area (50% support closed beaches) – with the greatest support for opening beaches coming from San Diego, Orange County, Inland Empire (63% support open beaches).
Gov. Newsom Not Politically at Risk – Yet
The polling showed that despite opposition to individual policies, voters still give Governor Gavin Newsom high marks for his overall handling of Coronavirus (64% approve, 29% disapprove). Moreover when asked if voters would support a recall of Governor Newsom if he did not reopen the state by June 15, only 37% of voters said they would versus 54% of voters who would not support a recall.
“It is only the first week of May and California voters already oppose several high-profile mandates imposed by Governor Gavin Newsom on the Coronavirus,” noted DeMaio. “It stands to reason that with each passing day that the Governor digs in his heals on these unpopular policies his overall approval rating may plummet and his political vulnerability will increase,” DeMaio concluded.
Founded in 2003, Reform California is one of the state’s largest grassroots political action committees dedicated to opposing unnecessary tax increases and supports transparency and accountability in state and local government. More information at ReformCalifornia.org
California Coronavirus Polling – Toplines (May 1-2, 2020)
Q1: Do you approve or disapprove of the job Governor Gavin Newsom is doing in response to the Coronavirus pandemic?
Approve: 64% Disapprove: 29% Not sure: 7%
Q2: Some Californians believe the Coronavirus restrictions have gone too far in infringing on their Constitutional rights. Government officials have banned any public protests against Coronavirus policies. Should these individuals be allowed to protest and express their views freely OR do you support the decision to arrest organizers of protests and fine participants of protests $1,000 each?
Allow protesters to express their views: 58% Arrest protesters and fine them: 27% Not sure: 15%
Q3: Some people say California businesses should remain closed indefinitely. Others say California has flattened the curve enough that it can now safely reopen now. Which do you identify with more?
Q4: An alternative proposal has emerged for reopening California. Under this proposal, individual businesses could reopen only if they adhered to strict sanitation and social distancing standards to protect employees and customers – just like grocery and big box stores have done so far. Counties would monitor COVID infection rates to ensure they do not put their local healthcare system at risk. Would you support or oppose an approach like this to reopening your county?
Support: 72% Oppose: 13% Not sure: 15%
Q5: Governor Gavin Newsom has said his shutdown of California businesses and his stay-at-home orders will be managed statewide. Some counties have made the case that California is a massive state and rural counties should not be forced to continue shutdowns if the real problems are in dense urban portions of LA and the Bay Area. Other counties with lower infection rates requested to be allowed to slowly reopen rather than wait for the entire state. Do you think we should only reopen the entire state at the same time OR should we let counties with lower infection rates reopen sooner?
Reopen entire state at same time: 29% Allow some counties to reopen sooner: 63% Not sure: 8%
Q6: Governor Gavin Newsom recently backed away from ordering the closure of all California beaches and parks because he says he does not trust citizens to responsibly use these places for recreation. To send a warning to the rest of the state, Newsom did order Orange County beaches and parks to close. Opponents say beaches and parks are important for recreation and lifeguards and police are capable of reminding the public of the rules. Do you think the California beaches and parks should be opened or remain closed?
Open beach and parks: 51% Beaches remain closed: 42% Not sure: 7%
Q7: Governor Gavin Newsom wants to give illegal immigrants $1,000 a month in COVID disruption payments using taxpayer funds. At the same time, Newsom says the state’s unemployment insurance fund may run out of money within weeks for benefits for citizens. Do you agree or disagree with the use of taxpayer funds to make payouts to illegal immigrants?
Agree: 27% Disagree: 59% Not sure: 14%
Q8: If we reached June 15th and California still was not reopened for business, but other states in the US were reopened and doing well; would you sign a petition to initiate a recall against Governor Gavin Newsom to send a message that he needs to consider reopening soon?
Yes, would sign recall petition: 37% No, would not sign recall petition: 54% Not sure: 9%
About the poll
Survey conducted May 1 through May 2, 2020. 1,285 likely 2020 General Election voters participated in the survey. Survey weighted to match expected turnout demographics for the 2020 General Election. Margin of error is +/- 2.7% with a 95% level of confidence. Totals do not always equal 100% due to rounding.