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We’ve fact checked each of San Diego’s four high-profile candidates for mayor since they entered the race. As we approach the New Year, it’s time for a quick review of the scoreboard.


Bob Filner:

The longtime U.S. congressman has easily run into the most trouble so far. We examined three claims and all fell in our worst categories. Two false claims put him in the running for Whopper of the Year.

Filner incorrectly claimed that he’d attended every mayoral State of the City address for the past 10 years and only heard Mexico mentioned once. Had Filner actually attended all the speeches, he would’ve heard Mexico mentioned more often.

While emphasizing his dream to expand San Diego’s port, Filner also incorrectly claimed that ships wait six days in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Ships at the two ports might have waited that long during a 2004 crisis but certainly no longer.

Downtown redevelopment is one of San Diego’s most heralded successes and Filner claimed to have written the plan that started it all. We found that misleading: redevelopment was already in the works before he became active in the process.


Nathan Fletcher:

We’ve also fact checked three claims by Fletcher, a state assemblyman, and he’s fared better than Filner. Fletcher accurately claimed that NFL bylaws don’t allow public ownership of a football team and stretched the limits of truth by contorting the history of a condemned La Jolla lifeguard tower.

His worst claim described a wedding in a city park that requires nine permits. Fletcher held it up as an example of cumbersome City Hall red tape, but only a fantastical scenario would reach that count. In the hypothetical wedding his campaign cited to us, the bride and groom need an industrial-sized generator and charge admission for both the ceremony and the reception.


Carl DeMaio:

As one of the most outspoken advocates in San Diego’s recent budget battles, DeMaio often attracted our attention before his campaign for mayor. We’ve rated his claims across the board, but recently the city councilman’s made a couple errors.

Both false claims addressed two of DeMaio’s favorite talking points: pensions and managed competition. He overstated a pension perk’s estimated costs by millions of dollars annually and made a public spectacle of falsely berating his colleagues over a pledge to outsource Miramar Landfill.


Bonnie Dumanis:

Since we created the Fact Check Blog two years ago, the District Attorney’s been the only person to receive a Huckster Propaganda rating twice. Since declaring her candidacy, however, Dumanis has fared well. She accurately described a recent drop in stolen cars.

Reader reminder: Want us to Fact Check a mayoral candidate or someone else? Just ask! Contact a VOSD reporter and explain why you think a statement’s questionable. Then we’ll investigate.

Keegan Kyle is a news reporter for voiceofsandiego.org. He writes about public safety and handles the Fact Check Blog. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at keegan.kyle@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5668. You can also find him on Twitter (@keegankyle) and Facebook.

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