The saga involving the San Diego Association of Governments can get convoluted pretty quickly. First, there’s the fact that SANDAG is not too familiar to many people. Then there’s the fact that the scandal centers on some complex stuff, namely economic forecasts and what goes into them. The fundamental issue at hand, though, is not complex: A powerful government agency knowingly misled the public. And that’s worth understanding.

We put in the California Public Records Act request that netted the explosive emails revealing SANDAG officials knew Measure A would not generate $18 billion, as they claimed, before Election Day. Only when we threatened to sue did the agency release the records — two months later. In the meantime, the public voted on a false number.

“WTF.” That’s what the San Diego Association of Governments’ chief economist Ray Major wrote in an email when he found out that the agency’s economic forecasts had problems – big ones that overstated how much revenue a sales tax would bring in to fund local transportation projects. VOSD’s Andrew Keatts finally got a hold of emails that reveal […]

Emails obtained by VOSD reveal that top SANDAG officials were told the agency’s economic forecasts — and therefore its Measure A numbers — were way off almost a year before the 2016 election. Instead of acting, the agency continued to rely on numbers they’d been told were faulty, misleading voters in the process and keeping important information from potential watchdogs.