Wednesday, May 9, 2012 The Story of a Rising Republican The Story of a Rising Republican

Fletcher Deployed Last-Minute Appeal From Karl Rove in Failed Bid for Endorsement

Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher’s history of relationships with some of the most powerful and conservative figures in his former political party are now documented at, a website launched this week by the San Diego County Democratic Party.

Taken together, the information on the site shows an unusually high level of access for a junior state legislator, from connections in George W. Bush’s administration to personal campaign visits by Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove to support his Assembly and mayoral bids.

The site makes public for the first time an email message signed by Karl Rove and sent by Fletcher’s campaign to San Diego County Republican Central Committee members the morning of March 10 – the day the committee considered an endorsement in San Diego’s mayoral race.

Bush’s former top strategist wrote, in urging a vote for Fletcher: “One of the best ways to know how an elected official will behave in the future is to see how they have behaved in the past.” Those words now have an ironic resonance in light of Fletcher’s failure to get the endorsement, his defection from the Republican Party days later, and his sudden repudiation of his own partisan history.

“Two months ago, Nathan Fletcher represented his campaign with a testimonial from one of the most divisive, extremist figures in the country,” said San Diego County Democratic Chair Jess Durfee. “When the Republican endorsement turned out to be a dead end, he pivoted in record time to paint himself as a centrist.

“Mr. Fletcher has another month and a million dollars to tell voters all about his independence. But I’m still waiting for the TV ad where he takes back his vote against cleaner energy standards and vows to return the campaign money he got from Big Oil. I’d still like to know why he accepted $100,000 from the insurance industry, then voted to let them charge women higher rates and deny them maternity care.

“Here is a candidate with a distinctly immoderate track record prior to March 10 of this year,” Durfee continued. “As someone who ran ‘Duke’ Cunningham’s congressional office, signed Grover Norquist’s loyalty oath, and recently went on the campaign trail trying defeat Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer, Nathan Fletcher still has a lot to answer for among San Diego voters.”


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