Flimsy facts are flying on both sides over a proposed pension reform ballot measure.

Two weeks ago, supporters of the measure released a financial analysis showing the initiative saves at least $1.3 billion over the next 27 years by promising reforms beyond giving most new workers 401(k)s instead of guaranteed pensions.

Over the last week, we’ve been Fact Checking claims from both sides of the debate. A Pension Fact Check-apalooza, if you will.

We’ve learned that supporters of the measure used a misleading assumption to inflate the measure’s high-end cost savings to $2.1 billion. Also, they are wrong to call a five-year freeze on city workers’ base salary, the source of most of the savings, a “strict cap.” That’s false. It’s more like an opening bargaining position with some strings attached.

Ballot measure opponents didn’t do any better. They twice mischaracterized the financial analysis’ findings. Contrary to a press release from a local labor leader, backers believe the measure’s savings are greater than its costs from the first year forward and they have not double-counted savings from already completed reforms.

Our friends in local journalism are at it, as well. The Union-Tribune called out San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council President Lorena Gonzalez for claiming that the ballot measure gives police officers 401(k)s, too. It doesn’t. San Diego CityBeat has checked a number of claims made by videotaped signature gatherers who are trying to qualify the measure for the June 2012 election.

Supporters have until Oct. 16 to gather 94,346 valid signatures from registered city voters to make the ballot.

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/dillonliam.

Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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