Taxpayer Advocate Lani Lutar Endorses Peters for Congress
San Diego – The Scott Peters for Congress campaign today announced the endorsement of another highly-regarded independent: taxpayer advocate Lani Lutar. Lutar is the latest in a string of high-profile community leaders to endorse Peters over 12-year-incumbent Brian Bilbray, further demonstrating Peters’ ability to appeal to voters across the political spectrum.
“Scott helped steer our city through a very difficult decade and helped set San Diego on a path toward fiscal stability and pension reform,” said Lutar. “As a taxpayer advocate who has scrutinized numerous public investments and been involved in pension reform throughout the region, I know Scott played a pivotal role in righting the ship and creating jobs. He’s been an honest public servant, an effective leader, and he’ll be a terrific advocate for our region in Washington,” she said.
Lutar, who currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, said she was very pleased to give Peters her personal endorsement today. The San Diego County Taxpayers Association does not endorse candidates.
Lutar said her endorsement is based, in part, on the pension reform package Peters helped negotiate in 2008. The package of reforms, which will save the City of San Diego $23 million a year, included:
Banning the 30-year practice of pension underfunding; since 2004, the City has made this payment in full;
Requiring employees to pay a higher share of the cost of their benefits, saving the city money and lowering the pension deficit;
Hiring the City’s first Independent Budget Analyst, so the City Council would have its own check on management, with its own information and professional analysis; and
Creating the City’s Independent Audit function so the auditor that audits management is not reporting to management.
Based on these and other reforms, a Securities and Exchange Commission monitor ultimately said that the practices established in San Diego under Peters’ leadership were “a model that others can look to,” and that the SEC would look to “encourage other municipalities to similarly move in the direction San Diego has led.”
And a recent article published in U-T San Diego about other California cities forced into bankruptcy, pointed out that the reforms instituted while Peters was City Council President helped San Diego avoid the same course.
For more information about Scott Peters for Congress, go to speters2014.gethifi.com.