For many people, Carl DeMaio burst on the scene as a councilman with extreme ideas for tearing down the city's services. After all, fewer than 20,000 people have ever voted for DeMaio in a city of 1.3 million. But before taking office he was already well on his way to his questionable ethics and bogus numbers.
In the spring of 2004, DeMaio and his Performance Institute, along with his friends at the Reason Foundation released the San Diego Citizens Budget Plan. The plan was initially popular, until the facts started evaporating:
The errors in DeMaio's reports included wrong information about the San Diego firefighters' contract and inaccurate budget totals for the Atlanta mayor's office and the Baltimore City Attorney's Office, which The Performance Institute used for comparisons with those in San Diego.