You have to give Carl DeMaio and the folks backing the campaign for “Comprehensive Pension Reform” credit. They’ve told their story early and often to as many people who will listen. They’ve told it so often, in fact, that many of their assertions about Public Employee Pensions have achieved the ultimate status: they’re being repeated as fact by the news media.
On the heels of what should have been an embarrassing and ham-fisted attempt at propaganda by a local TV station in support of the CPR initiative, this week has seem further coverage by other TV stations along with both editorial and “news” support from the Union-Tribune. Oh, ‘woe with us’, they are saying in essence, ‘getting this reform before the voters is so hard’… …‘won’t you please sign’, as if there was no other side to the story. As if there is only One Way to solve this problem. And ‘everybody knows’ (shame on you, UT) that the voters favor this ballot measure.
Needless to say, there IS another side to the story, one with more nuance and flesh on it than the obligatory three paragraphs at the bottom of the page that mention the opposition of the ‘evil unions’.
The San Diego Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society and the Center on Policy Initiatives are sponsoring a forum entitled “The Blame Game: Why Blame Public Employees?” where some of the thorny questions regarding pensions and reform will be explored by a panel of local experts. Included in the discussion will such questions as:
- Are public employee pensions the reason for government deficits?
- What long standing legal rights are at stake in the current debate?
- What is the state of public employee rights and benefits in San Diego?
Panelists for the Blame Game will include:
Catherine Fisk– Chancellor’s Professor of Law, University of California Irvine School of Law; Board Member, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Co-author: Labor and the States’ Fiscal Problems:
Not the Problem But Perhaps Part of the Solution
Christie Hill— Senior Legal and Policy Analyst, Center on Policy Initiatives
Fern Steiner— Partner, Tosdal, Smith, Steiner & Wax San Diego labor attorney, representing public employee unions Author: Interference with the Rights of Employees
Michael Zucchet— San Diego City Councilmember 2002-2005, General Manager, Municipal Employees Association
The Blame Game: Why Blame Public Employees? Will take place Wednesday, September 21, 2011 starting at 6 pm (Refreshments will be served starting at 5:30pm) at Tosdal, Smith, Steiner & Wax, Columbia Conference Room. 401 West A Street, San Diego, CA. There is no cost to attend the event. To RSVP, please visit: acslaw.org