Accusations fly ahead of San Diego mayoral debate

DeMaio, Filner to debate Saturday at UC San Diego

SAN DIEGO - The mayoral campaign of Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, accused his opponent, Councilman Carl DeMaio, Friday of not being forthcoming with updated figures on a pension reform initiative, which came on the heels of DeMaio criticizing Filner's free congressional travel.

Filner held a news conference in which former Councilwoman Donna Frye said DeMaio should have publicized a new report from a consultant that said an interim 401(k)-style retirement plan for new city employees would cost the city more than expected. She referred to a report earlier this week in the publication San Diego City Beat.

The benefit plan was approved by the City Council on Oct. 1, one of a series of steps being taken to implement the pension reform initiative, Proposition B.

DeMaio had a responsibility to mention the report at the meeting because he touts himself as a "model of open government and transparency," Frye said. He would have made it "a big deal" if the new actuarial report had shown more cost savings, she said.

DeMaio campaign spokesman K.B. Forbes said the issue is irrelevant because the figures were an adjustment of a temporary plan that will be in place for less than a year, until a permanent benefits plan in line with Proposition B is negotiated with organized labor.

Thursday, the DeMaio campaign criticized Filner for accepting $38,000 in free travel from "special interests" since 2000.

Among other places, the congressman went to Cuba, France and Turkey. DeMaio said he has never accepted free travel and won't if elected mayor.

The two will appear at a forum sponsored by groups representing urban interests on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., followed by a debate at UC San Diego at 3 p.m.

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