We have all read over the years about former Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher’s (R-75) ability to broker “The Deal” or bring sides together. He was able to bring Republicans and Democrats together at the table to make “the deal”, break gridlock, create compromise in a broken down Sacramento world. Looking at the repeated statements a little closer did then Republican Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher really make the deals possible? Hmm
What really needs to be understood is the Democrats had almost a Super Majority and at minimum a majority. In Sacramento, it didn’t take much to get something past, even when the Republicans stood in lock step opposition to it. You had a Democratic majority. However, when you needed a few Republican votes they were usually around to be picked up. It just needed for a deal to be made. As former Speaker Willie Brown showed us when he kept his own speakership. Remember, no one in Sacramento did anything for nothing; there was a deal and both sides gained something out of it.
This deal maker, the then Republican Assemblymember Fletcher was just selling something for something else and never really brought many Republicans, if any to the table from then his own party and as time rolled on, he had less success in bringing any other Republican to the table at all for a deal, besides himself. Though, he got his from the deal, regardless.
Now, after the transformation from former Republican Assemblymember Fletcher, to Independent Assemblymember Fletcher in his loss in the last mayoral campaign, a year later he changed to a Democrat. He is still making the claim, as well as his supporters; he can make the deal, bring people from opposing sides together and make the city work from its partisan gridlock. Not sure the partisan gridlock he speaks of, but let’s go with his narrative. Sadly, since he is no longer a Republican, he no longer can bring any Republicans along. You look at his current mayoral campaign and you don’t see any of his former Republican elected officials standing with him, you don’t see any of his former Republican big contributors standing with him, you don’t see any of his Republican endorsers, you don’t see any of his former Republican staffers standing with him, really you just don’t see him bringing anyone from his former Republican life to the campaign. Rather, he is surrounded with the handful of swing voters from his last campaign, but mainly its all Democrats who he made deals with along the way. He got something, they got something. There is nothing wrong with people he made something happen for and they made something happen for him supporting each other. My point is this, the image former Assemblymember Fletcher as the deal maker bringing people together was a great story, but like many stories it has come to an end and the more we re-read his story we see the errors in it.
The truth is if former Assemblymember Fletcher was not in the race, his support would have gone with Councilmember David Alvarez or they would have sat out of the race. Maybe a few checks would have gone with Councilmember Kevin Faulconer, but just a handful at most. He isn’t drawing a middle of the road coalition and his storyline shows it.