Carl DeMaio challenges political ad featuring slain officer's children

DeMaio calls Filner ad a "gross distortion"

SAN DIEGO - The children of fallen San Diego police Officer Chris Wilson are speaking out in a political ad now airing on San Diego television stations.

The commercial, which was paid for by the Bob Filner for mayor campaign, features Conner and Kaylee Wilson talking directly to the camera:

"Our father was San Diego Police Officer Chris Wilson. When he was killed in the line of duty our lives were forever changed, so you can imagine how we felt when Carl DeMaio voted not once, but twice against death benefits for families of slain police officers. It wasn't personal. He was just trying to score political points, but it felt personal to us."

The ad ends with black and white images of Wilson's funeral and the mournful wail of bagpipes are heard in the background.

Carl DeMaio called the Filner ad a "gross distortion."

The city councilman admits he voted against a billion-dollar retirement benefits package last year.

However, he told 10News, "I actually authored Proposition B, the pension initiative, and in that legislation I was very clear to write in a mandate for survivor benefits for police officers and firefighters who are injured or lose their life in the line of duty."

DeMaio said it is important that survivor benefits are given to those who put their lives on the line, adding, "It is offensive to me that Bob Filner would stoop so low as to knowingly distort the record."

DeMaio did not fault Wilson's children for doing the ad, and that is a good thing according to political analyst John Dadian.

"My advice to the campaign would be to drop it because you're not going win going against the family members of crime victims," said Dadian.

The president of the San Diego Police Officer's Association said DeMaio's claim may be true, but it is not accurate. 

Brian Marvel says Proposition B does not address survivor benefits for police officers in San Diego but it does provide those benefits for firefighters and lifeguards.

Marvel told 10News had it not been for the council majority that voted for the benefit when DeMaio and Lori Zapf voted against it, then officers' families would not be covered in the event of a death in the line of duty.

Marvel explained that while Proposition B does offer a vehicle for mandatory survivor benefits, those benefits have yet to be determined, especially for police officers who are exempt from reforms laid out in the proposition passed by voters in June.

"Right now, police are not in it," explained Marvel.

Although the POA had no involvement in the Filner ad featuring Wilson's children, he said the content of that ad was factual.

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