The campaign is using the same signature gathering firm, the La Jolla Group, that failed to get enough valid signatures for last year’s City Hall outsourcing initiative and this year’s school reform initiative. Both initiatives suffered from massive unexplained signature problems. That meant backers wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars for ballot measures voters never saw. The schools initiative, sponsored by an organization called San Diegans 4 Great Schools, learned it didn’t qualify for the ballot Monday night.
The pension reform campaign, said committee chairman T.J. Zane, already had taken precautions to make sure a signature snafu wouldn’t happen to them, too. City Councilman Carl DeMaio was behind the outsourcing initiative and he’s a key backer of the pension campaign. Prompted by the failure of DeMaio’s initiative, the pension committee decided to pay a firm to check all the signatures’ validity before they have to turn them in to the City Clerk for verification.