Carl DeMaio – the Misogynist Who Would Be Mayor?

by on November 2, 2010 · 52 comments

in Civil Rights, Election, Popular, San Diego

Carl DeMaio billboard

Carl DeMaio (on left) and his fraudulent and misleading billboard. (Other person unidentified - maybe the truck driver?)

Have you checked out San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio’s roving billboard in which he (misleadingly) compares the pension of a four star general to a “shushing” city librarian?

It seems that the good citizens of San Diego are being screwed by some public employee welfare queen (the head of the Library Department) who worked in some touchy-feely service (our Library department) that could easily be outsourced to the private sector which on one hand says library workers are losers and then hires them back to run their lean mean operations.

What is wrong with this picture? Plenty.

DeMaio calculatedly and callously chose not to portray the highest city pension recipient- a male assistant attorney who happens to receive $72K/yr more than the city librarian, because it doesn’t convey excess and waste like a pension to a woman who was the director of the library system. Women of course should work for “pin money” or give it away for free. And libraries? Glorified bookstores…minimum wage should cover what they do…

This is of course sheer bull pucky. Librarians had to protest in front of the City Council back in the 70’s to get equal pay for equal work. Those librarians were men as well as women. Librarians, who earned a Masters in Library Science, did not receive anywhere near the compensation of the city at large. It is my understanding that a few years ago library staff still received about $10K less in retirement than at large employees. So why is DeMaio picking on the library? Because he can- but only if you let him.

I think that it is telling that the Clairemont Friends of the Library received the marching orders from the Umbrella Library Friends group that their support of a candidate or issue would jeopardize their 501© 3 status. Yet DeMaio had his roving billboard parked across the street and was distributing “No on D” fliers while they met to figure out how to save their library.

Carl DeMaio is clearly preparing for the mayor’s race. He is also clearly anti-woman and anti-library. Here’s how the free market free for all works: police, fire and possibly streets are worthy of our tax dollars. The office of the Mayor, CEO and CFO will be grandfathered in through the back door. (How much does Gerry Braun receive?) Make all other General Fund departments a pass through to the private sector which may or may not be required to pay a “living wage.” Are you OK with that? I’m not.

How about calling Mr DeMaio and asking him to park his billboard and chill? Here’s my response. Please give him a call (619) 236-6655 or email

Mr. DeMaio- I am appalled and angered by the disgusting, misleading and utterly sexist roving billboard you have loosed upon the city.  Shame, shame on you.  Anna Tatar receives $72K less a year than the highest pension recipient- a male assistant city attorney.  She is also only one of  five  woman on the list of the top 20 pension recipients provided by the U-T Choosing the retired female City Librarian as your poster child for pension excesses reveals both your sexism and low regard for a highly valued core city service- our library system. Above all, it is a pathetic and specious argument against Prop D.

The billboard does nothing to promote necessary rational discourse on the subject of pensions.  Instead, you have joined the ranks of some of the most ethically bankrupt politicians in this nation who play upon stereotypes and ignorance to push an anti-government and anti-public employee agenda under the rubric of “fiscal responsibility.”

You deserve the public censure of your city council colleagues.”

Anna Daniels knows of what she writes as she is a former City of San Diego Librarian.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar ss November 2, 2010 at 10:46 am

Anna, I couldn’t agree with you more. DeMaio is a slim ball politician and I respect politicians for have the guts to take on a no win job that it cost more to get than it pays. I do realize there are certain perks but it is a tough gig to be a good. It is pretty obvious DeMaio has his sites set on higher office not service to the people.


avatar Mike November 2, 2010 at 11:02 am

Conjecture, pure conjecture.

Please give me some facts…. Does the retired city librarian really get $227K in annual pension benefits? What was his/her salary prior to retirement? At what age did he/she retire? Did he/she contribute to the DROP program?

Tell me more about the retired attorney who makes $70K more.

I don’t care who portray pension excess. I don’t care if it’s a man or a woman. All I care about is if he or she is really making that much in retirement.


avatar annagrace November 2, 2010 at 12:10 pm

The U-T ran the following article about the top 20 pensioners. Click on the side bar for the names.

Yes- there needs to be discussion about pension excesses. The public sector now mirrors the egregious income gap that is occurring in the private sector. White collar and blue collar public jobs are disappearing and that is going to have significant ramifications. DeMaio’s billboard was meant to stir up the masses. That is not a prescription for reform.


avatar annagrace November 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Mike- this was the U-T piece I worked from. You have to click on the side bar to get the names.


avatar DM November 2, 2010 at 11:13 am

Wow, DeMeow really is pathetic. Was this in the U-T ever, because I missed it but I was out of town for a week. It is worth letting people know about it. Hey, can somebody look into exactly what kind of pension benefits city councilmembers are entitled to after just a brief period, maybe that will look even more abusive of the taxpayers than the pension of the director of a large, urban library system that has been working under severe budget constraints practically forever. And, BTW Carl, a general can (and very often does) transition himself after retirement into a cushy berth in the military-industrial complex. Where does a high-level librarian go for that kind of money???


avatar doug porter November 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

nah, carl passed on his pension. he made his dough as a “consultant” during the bush admin. teaching “management” classes. of course all the contracts were insider jobs and political paybacks, but hey, there’s nothing better than living off the gov’t, is there?


avatar LoveOB November 2, 2010 at 11:18 am

To see this as a sexism is a little farfetched to me. I think it’s more about his idea for the occupation its self then a disrespect in woman. Most people wouldn’t think a city librarian could make this much so its catching and possibly upsetting to taxpayers. I know I had no idea it was possible. That being said, I do see you point that he should have used the highest paid person to make a real impact. Also, I think its him being desperate on the Prop… too little too late in my opinion. They just did this, this week.


avatar Joan May 8, 2011 at 7:03 am

If DeMaio doesn’t have something against women, why is he using a woman for this poster when only a quarter of the group are women? And why one woman out of the group who typifies a traditional female profession? And why is the woman doing a stereotypical gesture that screams petty and weak? No, LoveOB, this is sexism and pretty blatant sexism.


avatar Andy Cohen June 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm

If she is the defacto CEO of the entire library system, then yes, perhaps her salary is justified. What would a private enterprise CEO with her identical responsibilities be paid? Likely twice what she currently earns.

And let’s make a point here: Public employees–such as assistant district attorneys or city attorneys, for example–often take MUCH less in salary and bonuses than they could make in the private sector, but are often compensated with better retirement packages than is provided by private law firms. They still don’t make as much as an equivalent in the private sector, but they do perhaps make a little bit more than they might on the back end in retirement. And why not? They’ve put in the 2o years of service and contributing to their pension to have earned it. And after all, they’re being paid less than market value for a crucial civic service.


avatar hank pfeffer January 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Crucial civic service is questionable.


avatar OB Dude November 2, 2010 at 11:22 am

I think he has something against women :-)


avatar annagrace November 2, 2010 at 11:45 am

Do you think????? :)


avatar Hahaha November 2, 2010 at 11:49 am

Only in OB would people call this sexist. Whats sexist is you making a tax debate billboard about sexism. He couldnt be anti librarian, a dying field, he must be sexist!


avatar Jon November 2, 2010 at 12:53 pm

There is no misogyny in that billboard, but there may a good dose of misandry behind Anna Daniels article. The only reason Anna is going after Carl like this is because of his gender.

But that is all a smoke screen – regardless of the gender wars, one only need look at the pension numbers to see that they are absurdly high – and that is the real issue facing the City. If Anna would like to see more funding for libraries and other public services, the pensions are gonna have to come down.


avatar annagrace November 2, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Jon- are you familiar with the 10 Million dollars a year that taxpayers are on the hook for the debt service on the Petco park bonds? The Mayor is asking for a $5M cut from the library system in 2011. CCDC should be covering those bonds, not the city’s general fund. So it seems that there is a pretty complex and even nuanced reason for the city’s structural deficit which includes pensions but is hardly limited to pensions.

Misandry? Gee, I haven’t gotten out my rolling billboard-yet!


avatar RB November 3, 2010 at 8:19 am

Wow, I am in complete agreement here. The CCDC tax base should pay the Petco bonds. Also IMO, the CCDC should pay their own way towards services paid by the city’s general fund including employee pensions.


avatar OB Dude November 3, 2010 at 8:42 am

I wish Donna Frye would have made it a requirement for CCDC to repay ALL of the money owed the City…cause the City is YOU and ME


avatar annagrace November 3, 2010 at 8:47 am

This is Faulconer’s district and it would be interesting to sit down with him and talk about this.


avatar OB Dude November 3, 2010 at 8:59 am

Mr. Faulconer will be campaigning soon and no better time than campaign time to get some answers …..or double talk. If Faulconer put the fire to CCDC then he wouldn’t not get the support of the downtown establishment so I assume that is why he has not been pushing repayment.


avatar annagrace November 3, 2010 at 5:12 pm

To Jon, RB and OBDude- the assistant librarian part of me which will not die spent a number of hours this afternoon looking at general fund debt service that could or should be assumed by CCDC. It turns out that the CCDC this past fiscal year has assumed the debt service on the Petco Park bonds for 5 years- until 2014. The debt service itself will not be retired until 2032. At this point it is a crap shoot to figure out who will pick up the tab after 2014. This means that $11M/year will no longer be expensed to the general fund for this service. I still have not figured out how long the GF has carried that obligation prior to the transfer to CCDC and what the price tag thus far has been.

The Convention Center is another confusing entity. In the FY11 Annual Budget, the primary funding of the debt service of $13.7 M/year is listed to TOT taxes and the Port Authority contribution. But I also found an IBA report (Office of Independent Budget Analysis) 10-85 from October 18, 2010 that includes the following under Fiscal/Policy discussion: “The City’s General Fund is obligated to make annual lease payments related to the 1998A Convention Center Bonds (approximately $163 million outstanding). Annual lease payments (debt service) on the bonds are approximately $13.7 million through FY2008.”

So who is actually paying this debt service? The city General Fund, TOT or the Port? I will contact the IBA and Faulconer’s office for clarification. The General Fund should not be picking up this one either.

I apologize-sincerely- for not fact changing my initial statement. Ignorance is however curable :) I do maintain that we, as citizens, should demand the same fiscal responsibility from CCDC- to live within their means- as we do from city government at large. Tax increments monies from the redevelopment district can only be spent in that area- they cannot bail out our neighborhood libraries, parks and public safety services. They should be required to pay their own way and not reduce General Funds which the rest of us depend upon to maintain essential city services.

I will report back with my findings on the convention center debt service bonds.


avatar Joan Hunter Dunn November 2, 2010 at 11:53 am

Oh come on ! The fact that the librarian is a woman is completely incidental to the point that he is making. I’m no fan of Mr DeMaio but it’s a bizarre stretch to conclude that he is a misogynist on the basis of this billboard, similar to if I concluded that you were homophobic on the basis of this article.


avatar Jon November 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Nicely put.


avatar Allen Drennan November 2, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Gimme a break you lame posters. Everything in the story is true and you whine about the method in which it is said? Gimme a break, no wonder the city has issues balancing the budget because you focus on the form, when you should be focusing on the substance – losers.


avatar annagrace November 2, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Martha and HaHaHa- I’m a woman and I assure you that I know sexism when I see it. Every single person on the top 20 list of city pension recipients made more than a four star general. Why didn’t DeMaio simply list all 20 or 10 of their names? The billboard was an easy cheap shot against both women and a particular profession and it was intended to engender incredulity and rage. A woman? The Department Head of a Library???? What is the world coming to…..


avatar RB November 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I know an unfair tax when I see it. Every poor citizen in this city will be spending more of their hard earned money on this regressive sales tax, money that they need for themselves and their children, so rich government workers, including this librarian, can get a Cadillac pension.


avatar Frank Gormlie November 2, 2010 at 4:03 pm

RB – you’re really in a bubble. The top echelons of city personnel are …. management, duh! And sub-managers. Most gov’t workers are not rich and don’t receive huge pensions.


avatar RB November 2, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Frank – the reality here in bubble is most people don’t get a defined benefits pensions, nobody other then gov’t workers can earn more in retirement than while working, only in government can a city council person receive a pension in their 40’s without any vesting period. Most taxpayers are not rich and don’t receive any pensions so increasing a regressive tax to pay for the mistakes of government and the pension board is not fair.


avatar annagrace November 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Actually most people do get a defined benefit- it’s called social security. City workers do not, I repeat do not, get social security.


avatar RB November 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

While I disagree with a direct comparison between Social Security and a defined benefit pension plan, this idea is instructive. To save SS in the 80’s the employee contribution (tax) was increased and the retirement age was increased. To receive a reduced benefits from SS you must be 62 years of age and to receive full benefits you must be 67 years of age. Adoption of SS standards for city retirement would dramatically reduce the city’s pension liability.


avatar annagrace November 3, 2010 at 8:56 am

RB- I have never completely understood why returning the city to Social Security was not discussed when new employees were hired these past years under a different benefit plan. Supplemental pensions (401K’s), negotiated through the labor unions, could certainly still exist, as they do in the private sector.

The issue becomes thornier with police and fire. I personally think they should be able to take an earlier retirement due to the nature of their jobs.


avatar RB November 3, 2010 at 9:36 am

Once again I strongly agree. New employees should get Social Security with their 401k (or 403b) plans. Employees should have this safety net. I think a case can be made for earlier retirement for police and fire but the spiking of the last year salaries must stop.


avatar lifeslittlefolly November 7, 2010 at 10:08 am

With repubs wanting to privatize SS and 401k plans market driven (right now the market is sucking air) may I invite you over for tea and cat food pate?


avatar OB Dude November 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm

I think DeMai0 was brilliant in using the Librarian for comparison purposes especially since she is a woman. After all, this is San Diego where men rule. What else is clearer in the photo on the billboard…young woman, dark librarian glasses, open poofy lips…not an accurate portrayal of Mr. Tatar as seen in this link:

Using Gerry Braun would have been more interesting ….a PR position made by the mayor while we are battling a recession and there to do exactly what???? I betcha Ms. Tatar was one heck of worker!

“Do we value the mind more than we value athletics? There has to be a balance.”


avatar john November 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Hey Anna
As a former city of San Diego Libarian, how much is your retirement from the city?


avatar annagrace November 2, 2010 at 7:29 pm

John- this will give you a very good idea about my retirement amount (I worked 26 1/2 years) Voice of San Diego got it right.


avatar Seth November 2, 2010 at 1:24 pm

By your reasoning, Demaio also has a problem with 4-star generals. And medals. While I’m not sure what you mean by receiving “the compensation of the city at large”, I am sure that you should definitely email your concerns to the email address posted above at “”, so that they will be given exactly the consideration they deserve.

“This is of course sheer bull pucky.” Well, we do agree about something, at least.


avatar ss November 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

After reading the above link I would say the lady deserves the pension 36 yrs for the city Phew that might not be enough. Thank you for your dedication and commitment.


avatar Lowell November 2, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Well why was the woman/ librarian chosen for distinction and mockery? 19 other male recipients were ripe for the picking.

The woman pictured on billboard is much too young for retirement (another distortion of the billboard) — certainly didn’t work for the City for 38 years and work her way up from entry level librarian to top of the pay pyramid as City Librarian (incidentally lowest paid Department head in the City) where she managed a $35 million department budget and oversaw the operations of 35 facilities and 700 employees while raising $70 million for a capital campaign. She earned her retirement. She contributed towards her retirement, unlike the General. Did she set the rates? No. Is she a typical City employee? Absolutely not. Can the top of the pyramid pensions be justified? Probably not. But reform should not jeopardize the pensions of the average City worker slogging away to faithfully serve their fellow San Diegans while they are made to feel like worthless dogs and the merciless punching bags of demagogues out for their own political gain.

As for Prop D the subject of the cleverly manipulative bullboard … after the dust settles and Prop D proponents succeed in maintaining the status quo there will still be the same pension payments for which the City is legally obligated and the same old structural budget deficit resulting in cutbacks to emergency services, park and rec closures and delayed pothole fixes. The NO proponents will have failed to heed the old admonishment: “Don’t cut your nose to spite your face.” NO voters are not immune from the consequences of their votes. Unfortunately the City budget will be bleeding red from the consequential cuts and both the NO and YES proponents will suffer the same diminished services.


avatar ss November 2, 2010 at 9:16 pm

This is turning into quite the discussion thank you Anna.

What it comes down to is the City made a deal with the employee unions to pay a pension I am sure at the time it was what all considered a relatively fair deal. My guess is the employees were probably getting a small screwing. I am also sure each party at the negotiating table ran the numbers so they all knew where it was headed. Now it is time to pay. They City got the ball park, the convention center and several other improvements now the loan has to be paid. Maybe the city could sell those assets to pay the bill. Privatize that is the cure all anyway or so DeMiao says. We can privatize the parks and the beaches. You want to surf pay the man. How about a jog through Balboa Park $3 seems more than reasonable of course you have to park too.
In hind sight there were some deals made that went bad or so the powers that be say but they had the public backing then. I am sure at the time some one made a what if comment but who wants to listen when their cup is overflowing.


avatar annagrace November 2, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Thank you ss for a quiet, thoughtful discussion about a complex situation. I appreciate that at the moment. I sense that you have lived in San Diego for awhile, and probably remember the horse trading that went on in city hall while Susan Golding was mayor and Jack McGrory was city manager. The republican convention. The midnight (literally) renovation of the Charger’s stadium & the ticket guarantees. A new mayor and the obscene public investment in Petco Park. It was a shell game in which everyone got a cut-public employees included, but private interests and high ranking politicos got the filet mignon- with impunity, and now we only seem to remember the public employee part. Selective amnesia?

Since then I have seen a city incapable of raising the TOT rate or charging homeowners $10/mo for trash pick up while giving government handouts to a cruise ship line to the detriment of the people’s public space at the waterfront. And it looks as though we are poised to throw handfuls of taxpayer dollars at the Spanos family. We don’t seem to have the revenue side of the equation nailed down, do we? But we will charge some poor family to send their kids to a city pool, or close down the pool, or their library.

At the moment ss, it doesn’t look real promising to me. But tomorrow is another day. Have a good night, and I look forward to your comments.


avatar John November 7, 2010 at 7:21 pm

These claims that Carl is a woman-hater is completely false. He even actively campaigned for and endorsed Lorie Zapf who won the election and is the incoming councilwoman representing District 6. These false attacks on Carl are nothing but comments by bitter liberal, union loving people who have no problem with the status quo.


avatar OB Dude November 8, 2010 at 9:21 am

I did find it strange that he supported Zapf…didn’t she default on her mortgage?


avatar annagrace November 8, 2010 at 9:48 am

The billboard was not about political ideology in the way you have described it. City department heads are not represented by unions and it is your assumption that the highest pension earners are liberal. The billboard relied on sexist innuendo to misrepresent and undermine the responsibilities of a department head who is a woman, as well as the profession she represented. That’s sexual politics in action and says a great deal about the status quo.


avatar James November 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm

And all of this is irrelevant because the central fact is that the pensions are outrageous. The San Diego City Council is bought and paid for by the labor unions. Public employee unions were raiding the city treasury for years with ridiculous benefits and plans to buy down their retirement age and other such nonsense. Basically, the public employees have been SCREWING the taxpayers. And I just love Anna’s comment: “DeMaio’s billboard was meant to stir up the masses. That is not a prescription for reform.” Damn straight it was meant to “stir up the masses.” A “stirred up” citizenry is EXACTLY the prescription needed for reform. When does REAL reform happen lacking that. And the fact remains is the generosity of these pensions is indefensible and it matters not one whit whether someone is male or female. That’s a straw man and a distraction.


avatar annagrace November 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Gee James- fear and anger really do work! I can’t speak about your attention to DeMaio’s 80 page “Road Map,” but I have spent the better part of the day reading and trying to understand it. Perhaps you have already digested it. This is a first pass, but I can opine that the said document had glossed over the causes of the structural deficit that the City faces and has conveniently pinned that deficit exclusively upon City workers and labor unions and that the salvation is City outsourcing.

1) There is only one allusion to Social Security in the whole report- Mr.DeMaio finds it inconvenient to express up front that the City does not participate in SS, which all of you receive in the private sector.

2) He does not address the egregious wage gap between the highest wage earners in the city and the lowest and the attendant gap between pensions of those two groups.

3) DeMaio is unwilling to take on those citizen supported bon-bons to the private sector in a meaningful way. It is great to hear that the CCDC is supposed to pay their fair share, but what about the County? Recent surveys have shown that Balboa Park is attended predominantly by people within the region but outside the City of San Diego. How about Mission Bay or any of our beaches? The Central Library? Qualcomm Stadium or Petco Park? The City’s general fund is on the hook for the latter two until 2028. The best DeMaio can do is pass off the debt to CCDC. He’s clearly not thinking outside the box.

Did you read the op-ed piece by Glenn Sparrow, who laid out the causes of the structural deficit in his second paragraph?

And have you read DeMaio’s financial report?

You can froth at the mouth all you want James, but until you tell me that you have done your due diligence on the topic I really have nothing more to say to you.


avatar ss November 8, 2010 at 6:52 pm

I enjoyed the statement “The San Diego City Council is bought and paid for by the labor unions “. Don’t think so, although the union does support certain candidates, after all it is a big voting block. The council does have to pay attention to the unions because of their size and they do have to work together to get any thing done. But council folks are politicians too so they have to pay attention to everyone and then do what they want.
The truth is San Diego is not and has not been well managed. They ignore little problems until the get big and they go for the big expensive projects because they are sexy. How amny streets and sewer lines could have been fixed for one ball park?
The bottom line is it cost money to run a corporation and you can’t keep giving things away for free. So it is either taxes or fees for use and the citizens have to realize that. Annagrace is right most city pensions are not outrageous but they are livable. Then the workers might have a supplemental savings plan to supplement that pension., that is good planning on their part.
There is lots of blame to go around but most city, county and other works try hard to do good efficient job in system that is way less than perfect.It is totally not right to blame the problem on one party It takes two to play.
Pretty much like the country San Diego is getting the government it deserves. The lack of critical thinking goes a long way


avatar Al Zwielich April 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm

It’s not fair that the city wants to tax private condo assn’s for garbage collection.
We pay to maintain our streets and pipes .

Al Zwielich
5528 Caminito Katerina
SD 92111


avatar annagrace April 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I’m with you Al, and I asked DeMaio how he could justify using taxpayer money to provide city services in gated communities, where you and I are not free to walk the streets or park our car. His answer is that the pension is the 800 pound fiscal gorilla in the room….
All animals are equal. Some animals are more equal. It is clear which animals are more equal.


avatar GoDemaio June 9, 2011 at 8:52 am

Carl Demaio is the only candidate with a plan to fix the city’s financial mess, see it here, read it, and decide for yourself.


avatar Frank Gormlie June 9, 2011 at 11:28 am

Most of us have decided for ourselves. See our current poll on the mayoral election.


Leave a Comment

Before clicking Submit, please complete this simple statement to help us weed out the bots... Thank you! *

{ 2 trackbacks }

Older Article:

Newer Article: