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When a bold claim from City Council President Ben Hueso has landed in our Fact Check queue, it has typically come out near the long-nosed side of the scale.

We’ve examined six statements from Hueso since February. They’ve broken down this way:

  • One mostly true statement.
  • Two misleading statements.
  • Three false statements.

More than his colleagues, Hueso has run into trouble while citing historical trends in defense of his position on city affairs. And when we’ve called Hueso’s office about questionable statements, it has often struggled to figure out where he got the information.

While arguing for hiring more local workers in March, for example, Hueso cited nonexistent research about the performance of city contracts. Before recently addressing per capita city spending, he said, “I’m going to make just a real general comment because I really believe this.”

The following real general comment turned out to be misleading.

As council president, Hueso has wielded power over the council’s agenda, the flow of debate at meetings and the committee assignments of his colleagues. Since voters elected Hueso to the state Assembly on Tuesday though, that power will soon change hands. We’ll still keep an ear on Hueso’s statements, though, so let us know if you hear him say something questionable.

For a full picture of Hueso’s record, here’s a list of each statement and links to our analyses. If you have suggestions for new Fact Checks, please send an email to factcheck@voiceofsandiego.org or contact me.

Statement: “… service levels have been reduced in every department and nearly 200 people lost their jobs,” Hueso said about budget cuts in his State of District 8 speech Feb. 4. Determination: False.

Statement: “When I got elected with the city our reserves were practically gone,” Hueso said at a Chula Vista candidates forum March 12. Determination: Mostly True.

Statement: “We have found in the past that our highest performing contracts are the ones that hire people locally, that require what’s called prevailing wage … (we get the) highest performance of the job being done correctly and under budget,” Hueso said April 19 on KUSI, plugging his local jobs proposal. Determination: Misleading.

Statement: “Our taxes have gone down ladies and gentlemen. You are paying less taxes today than you were paying last year and the year before and the year before that. But that hasn’t necessarily done anything to generate new business in San Diego,” Hueso said at a City Council hearing July 26. Determination: False.

Statement: “I’m going to make just a real general comment because I really believe this. All the years I have been involved with city government for the amount of people we have in the city and the amount of budget that we have – as our city grows, our budget has not grown proportionately,” Hueso said at an Oct. 4 City Council meeting. Determination: Misleading.

Statement: “Every single year in eight years that the site was located next to it, we had what are called emergency shutdowns,” Hueso said Oct. 22 at a City Council meeting about placing a temporary winter homeless shelter near Perkins Elementary School in Barrio Logan. Determination: False.

Please contact Keegan Kyle directly at keegan.kyle@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5668 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/keegankyle.

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