Never mess with Bob Kieve—that’s the lesson San Jose Councilmember Ash Kalra learned after trying to bow out of San Jose Rotary Club’s pension reform debate next week against council colleague Pete Constant. David Ginsborg, a Rotary member and the right fist of County Assessor Larry Stone, says Kalra was scared he would be branded as anti-pension reform in the debate when really he’s just anti-Mayor Reed. But others tell a different tale. Others say Kieve, a former speechwriter for President Eisenhower and longtime owner of radio station KLIV, took the labor-aligned Kalra to task on air after he tried to renege on his promise to trade arguments with the ornery Constant. The reported verbal smackdown of Kalra forced the District 2 incumbent to have a change of heart. In the midst of election season, Kalra, like many other councilmembers, could be just especially touchy these days. But part of that could also be some polling going on behind the scenes. Word is Kalra’s negatives are higher than his positives. That could mean high-tech hexagenarian Tim Murphy, a former councilman in the great state of Ohio, has a fighting prayer.