Mayoral candidates spar during debate

SAN DIEGO - The two candidates running for mayor of San Diego came out swinging at a debate Tuesday in La Jolla.

The combative debate between Republican City Councilman Carl DeMaio and Democrat Congressman Bob Filner was hosted by Rotary Club of La Jolla at the La Valencia Hotel and lasted an hour and a half.

The first issue discussed was Proposition B's pension reform.  Filner said he will put a cap on six figure pensions.

"We will negotiate a 5-year pensionable pay freeze regardless of whether Prop B has been validated by the courts," he said.  

"I helped create Prop B, the comprehensive pension reform ballot measure and worked with a bi-partisan coalition to get things done," DeMaio said. "Prop B is not tied up in the courts. The unions have filed frivolous lawsuits."

The candidates addressed issues surrounding keeping the Chargers in San Diego.

Filner said he had already offered his former opponent Nathan Fletcher a position, as Chief Economic Advisor for his plan of mixed multi-use facility at Qualcomm Stadium.

"I will not spend tax payer dollars to build a billionaire a new stadium," DeMaio said.

As the debate heated up, Filner stressed his experience and background, while hitting Demaio again and again about special interest.

"There are special interests that govern city hall and Carl DeMaio is the candidate of those," Filner said.  "Developers, the builders - those are the people."

"My position is clear which is why I authored the roadmap to success," DeMaio said in response to Filner.

"You may have a plan but your vote is clear. No, no, no! No on after school program, no on police, no on arts and culture - yes on a big tax increase," Filner said.

 There are more than 20 debates scheduled before the election.