Fact Check: Faulconer and Ballot Measures - Voice of San Diego

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Fact Check: Faulconer and Ballot Measures

Mayoral candidate and Councilman Kevin Faulconer claimed voters have agreed with him on every ballot item he’s publicly backed or campaigned against.

Image: FalseStatement: “When it comes to ballot measures I’ve supported or campaigned against, I’ve always been with the majority of San Diego voters on Election Day,” Councilman Kevin Faulconer wrote in a Sept. 12 Voice of San Diego op-ed.

Determination: False

Analysis: Councilman Kevin Faulconer may be the mayoral candidate of choice for a group of heavyweight Republicans but he’s trying to play up his moderate credentials.

In a recent Voice of San Diego op-ed, Faulconer emphasized his ability to work with other leaders to build consensus and described himself as a socially moderate leader “mindful of the city’s bottom line.”

To further that message, Faulconer claimed San Diego voters sided with him on all the ballot measures he’s championed or campaigned against.

Local and statewide ballot measures have addressed all kinds of important policy issues in recent years – and Faulconer has opined on quite a few – so we decided it was worth checking this claim. Doing so could also shed some light on Faulconer’s positions on past propositions.

We focused on measures that made the ballot during Faulconer’s time on the City Council. He took office in January 2006 after a special election, which also means he’s currently San Diego’s longest-serving City Council member.

Faulconer’s campaign spokesman said the councilman was referring to city ballot measures when he made his claim. But Faulconer didn’t make that distinction in the op-ed, and he has also taken part in City Council votes urging city voters to support or oppose certain statewide measures – so we took those into account, along with his positions on citywide initiatives.

Here’s a review of nine city ballot measures Faulconer has weighed in on since January 2006:

Measure: Prop. C, which allowed the city to contract out services usually performed by city staffers if officials could prove outsourcing would result in savings and efficiencies

Faulconer’s role: He supported the 2006 managed competition measure and was listed as a supporter in the city’s voter information pamphlet. He continues to be an outspoken advocate for the process.

Election results: About 60 percent of voters supported it.

♦♦♦

Measure:  Prop. A, which clarified that the city couldn’t outsource public-safety jobs

Faulconer’s role: Faulconer was part of a joint campaign that supported this 2008 proposition and two others.

Election results: About 68 percent of voters supported it.

♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. B, which required the City Council to set a 2010 vote on whether to make the strong-mayor form of government permanent and add a ninth City Council District

Faulconer’s role: Faulconer was part of a joint campaign that supported this 2008 proposition and two others.

Election results:  About 77 percent of voters supported it.

♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. C, which established the responsibilities of the city’s chief financial officer, auditor, independent budget analyst, treasurer and audit committee

Faulconer’s role: Faulconer was part of a joint campaign that supported this 2008 proposition and two others.

Election results: About 63 percent of voters supported it.

 ♦♦♦

Measure:  Prop. C, which directed more revenue generated from leases at Mission Bay Park to improvements at the park and other city parks

Faulconer’s role: Faulconer and then-Councilwoman Donna Frye led the effort to get the measure on the ballot in 2008 and negotiated with other city leaders to ensure it would prevail.

Election results: About 67 percent of voters supported it.

♦♦♦

 Measure:  Prop. D, which made a one-year ban on alcohol at city beaches permanent

Faulconer’s role: Faulconer’s support was crucial. He pushed fellow City Council members to allow a public vote on the matter and then raised cash to support the 2008 measure.

Election results: About 53 percent of voters supported it.

♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. D, which made the strong-mayor form of government permanent, added a ninth City Council district and changed the rules on mayoral vetoes

Faulconer’s role: He was a vocal supporter of the strong-mayor system ahead of the 2010 vote.

Election results: About 60 percent of voters supported it.

♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. D, which aimed to add a temporary one-half cent sales tax to support city services including police, fire and street repairs

Faulconer’s role: Faulconer and then-Councilman Carl DeMaio campaigned against the tax hike.

Election results: About 62 percent of voters rejected the increase.

♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. B, which instituted 401(k) plans for new city staffers and attempted to freeze existing staffers’ pensionable pay, saving nearly $1 billion

Faulconer’s role: Faulconer worked closely with former Mayor Jerry Sanders to draft an initial version of the measure. The duo later teamed up with DeMaio and campaigned for the pension reform initiative.

Election results: About 66 percent of voters supported it.

 

As a councilman, Faulconer has also voted on several City Council resolutions to support or oppose statewide ballot propositions. We documented his votes on 15 such resolutions and checked canvass results to see whether his position matched the majority of voters on Election Day:

Measure: Prop. 1A, which barred the state from using transportation funds for other purposes

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted yes on a supportive City Council resolution.

Election results: State voters approved the 2006 measure and it had the backing of about 80 percent of city voters.

♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. 1B, which allowed the state to issue bonds to relieve traffic congestion on state and local roads, improve air quality, improve state transportation safety and more

Faulconer’s vote:  Faulconer voted yes on a supportive resolution.

Election results: State voters approved the 2006 measure and it had the backing of about 64 percent of San Diego voters.

♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. 1C, which allowed the state to sell bonds to provide low-income housing and assist with developments in urban areas

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted in favor of a supportive City Council resolution.

Election results:  State voters approved the 2006 measure and it had the backing of about 59 percent of city voters.

♦♦♦

 

Measure: Prop. 1D, which authorized more than $20 billion in spending on school buildings

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted in favor of a supportive City Council resolution.

Election results: State voters approved the 2006 measure and it had the backing of about 58 percent of city voters.

♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. 1E, which allowed the state to sell bonds to support more than $4 billion for flood management programs

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted in favor of a supportive City Council resolution.

Election results: State voters approved the 2006 measure and it had the backing of about 65 percent of city voters.

♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. 83, commonly referred to as Jessica’s Law, which increased penalties and broadened the definitions of certain sex offenses

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted in favor of a supportive City Council resolution.

Election results: State voters approved the 2006 measure and it had the backing of about 74 percent of city voters.

 ♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. 2, which barred farmers and others from confining animals in cages that prevented them from standing, extending their limbs or moving freely

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted in favor of a supportive City Council resolution.

Election results: State voters approved the 2008 measure and it had the backing of about 69 percent of city voters.

 ♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage (The measure has since been struck down.)

Faulconer’s vote:  Faulconer voted in favor of a City Council resolution opposing the measure.

Election results: State voters approved the 2008 measure but only about 46 percent of San Diego voters supported it.

♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. 19, which aimed to legalize marijuana

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted in favor of a City Council resolution opposing the measure.

Election results: State voters rejected the 2010 measure but about 52 percent of city voters supported it.

♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. 21, which attempted to increase state vehicle license fees to raise about $500 million a year for state parks

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted against a supportive City Council resolution.

Election results: State voters rejected the 2010 measure, as did about 56 percent of city voters.

♦♦♦

Measure: Prop. 23, which aimed to suspend a state law mandating greenhouse gas reductions

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted in favor of a City Council resolution opposing the measure.

Election results: State voters rejected the 2010 measure and about 63 percent of city voters also opposed it.

♦♦♦

Measure:  Prop. 24, which attempted to repeal certain business tax breaks

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted in favor of a City Council resolution opposing the measure.

Election results: State voters rejected the 2010 measure, as did about 57 percent of city voters

♦♦♦

Measure:  Prop. 25, which allows state legislators to approve state budgets with a simple majority rather than a two-thirds vote

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted against a supportive City Council resolution.

Election results: State voters approved the 2010 measure, as did about 53 percent of city voters.

♦♦♦

Measure:  Prop. 26, which calls for a two-thirds vote by state legislatures to pass certain taxes and charges

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted against a City Council measure opposing Prop. 26.

Election results: State voters approved the 2010 measure, as did about 53 percent of city voters.

♦♦♦

Measure:  Prop. 27, which aimed to repeal the state law that created the California Citizens Redistricting Commission

Faulconer’s vote: Faulconer voted in favor of a City Council resolution opposing the measure.

Election results: State voters rejected the 2010 measure, as did about 60 percent of San Diego voters.

♦♦♦

So let’s revisit Faulconer’s claim. The councilman said a majority of voters echoed his positions on ballot measures he’s openly supported or campaigned against in recent years.

Again, Faulconer’s spokesman said the councilman was focused on city measures, and his positions on those measures did match those of voters on local measures he’s publicly backed or opposed.

But Faulconer also weighed in on statewide ballot measures as a councilman and on two occasions, his positions differed from that of city voters.

In 2010, Faulconer and fellow City Council members voted on a resolution opposing the legalization of marijuana. Though the measure failed statewide, about 52 percent of city voters supported it.

The same year, Faulconer also voted against a City Council resolution supporting Prop. 25, a measure touted by Democrats that allowed state legislators to pass a budget without a two-thirds majority. About 53 percent of city voters supported that change.

These exceptions are notable because Faulconer didn’t specifically refer to city initiatives in his op-ed.

Faulconer actually claimed he’s “always been with the majority of voters on Election Day,” and that’s false.

If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Explain your reasoning.

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