Saturday, October 26, 2013

What once is no longer, or was it ever really?

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.

The End

Nathan Fletcher Breaks Positive Campaign Pledge, Once Again Shifts Position

“And I’m here today to pledge to you today that my campaign will talk about me, my ideas, my vision for the future, and will not attack either of these other two gentlemen, who are fine men who care about our community. I’ll also call on every organization that’s endorsed me to do the same and I will publicly denounce any group affiliated with me that doesn’t do that because you deserve a campaign about the future of our city.” – Nathan Fletcher, September 27, 2013

October 25, 2013, SAN DIEGO – On September 27, 2013, during the Spirit of the Barrio debate in Barrio Logan, Nathan Fletcher pledged to run a campaign focused on issues and to denounce any attacks made by any group affiliated with him.

Less than one month later, Fletcher and his supporters have had another change of heart. Fletcher supporters sent out a political mailer attacking both his main opponents. The mailer goes after Councilmember David Alvarez for being a Democrat and Kevin Faulconer for being a Republican, yet Fletcher has not lived up to his pledge and denounced the attack. Fletcher used to be a conservative Republican and now he’s trying to run as a Democrat.

“He can’t even keep his own campaign pledges. It’s getting difficult to keep up with all of Fletcher’s position changes,” said Gabriel Solmer. “One thing is clear, Fletcher will say or do anything to get elected, including breaking his own word.”

What’s most interesting about the mailer is that it attacks Alvarez for being a Democrat. Ironically, Fletcher also sought the San Diego County Democratic Party’s endorsement, but Democratic Central Committee members couldn’t overlook his conservative record in the California State Assembly. The mailer in question was clearly not targeted to registered Democrats.

“I’m proud to be a Democrat and I’m proud to be supported by working families. If Nathan Fletcher believes supporting Democratic positions is a problem, he should stand up and let that be known to ALL voters. I will continue to run a campaign focused on the issues important to San Diego voters,” Alvarez said. "I promise to always keep my word and to not make any empty promises."

Alvarez has run a positive campaign highlighting his platform of creating jobs, investing in neighborhoods, and rebuilding the middle class. He’s been consistent on his platform since the campaign started and will continue to be throughout the remainder of the race.

For more information on Councilmember David Alvarez’s race for Mayor, visit:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Calls on El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis To Apologize For Divisive Comments

SAN DIEGO -- (Thursday, October 24, 2013) -- California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) made the following statement in response to news footage of El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis' comments about various ethnic communities in the San Diego region:

"San Diego County thrives on our vast cultural diversity. Mark Lewis' words reflect the ignorance and division that many of us grew up with but thought had been overcome in the last few decades. Mr. Lewis owes the public an apology and it's clearly time for a change of leadership in El Cajon."

To view Mayor Lewis' divisive comments, visit:

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista and National City. For more information, visit

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Call for Respect and Representation in El Cajon

Community members rallied at El Cajon City Hall yesterday to protest Mayor Mark Lewis, whose recent comments about Chaldean schoolchildren were perceived by many residents to be racist and insensitive. San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Francine Busby has issued the following statement.

"Mayor Lewis recently said of his city's substantial Chaldean community -- many of whom are refugees from Iraq -- 'It doesn’t take them too long to learn where all the freebies are at.' That was in reference to children receiving free school lunches.

"In the same interview, he suggested that government programs that support 'minorities' are causing 'white flight' in El Cajon. The Mayor says he doesn't think his comments were offensive, but thousands of his constituents may feel differently.

"Too many Republican leaders like Mayor Lewis have an us-versus-them mentality, polarizing our society and generalizing those served by our government as 'takers.' I'm reminded of Mitt Romney's infamous '47 percent' speech last year, which essentially blamed students, veterans, the poor, and the elderly for a sense of 'entitlement.' The American people rejected that attitude, and I believe residents of El Cajon will too.

"We need elected leaders who not only better respect, but also better reflect, the whole community. El Cajon's Mayor and City Council are all white, yet almost half of their constituents are non-white. The city's elected officials are all men, though half of the population are women. All five of them are registered Republicans, but 63% of voters in the city are not. It's time for that to change.

"I call on Mayor Lewis to apologize for his needlessly divisive remarks. Further, I urge El Cajon residents to organize, register to vote, and turn out to elect public officials next year who will bring a fresh and more inclusive perspective to city government. For our part, the County Democratic Party will redouble our efforts to support candidates committed to advancing that important goal."

Follow the Leader: Carl DeMaio Campaigns on Scott Peters’ Ideas

After ducking basic questions for weeks about his Republican party’s shutdown of the government, Carl DeMaio has a few ideas about how Congress should do its job and agree to a budget. Those No Budget, No Pay ideas may look familiar to San Diego voters, because Scott Peters offered them last year and has been living up to them ever since.

“Carl DeMaio refused to show leadership and speak out against the irresponsible shutdown, and now he’s trying to repackage the ideas and work of others for himself,” said Matt Inzeo of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Whether he’s ducking the shutdown or using someone else’s ideas as his own, Carl DeMaio is proving he would rather put on a show than actually do the hard work of solving our challenges.”


LEADER: Peters Called for “No Budget, No Pay.” In 2012, Rep. Scott Peters launched a 30-second television ad calling for “No Budget, No Pay” as a way to hold representatives accountable for doing their jobs and passing a federal budget. In the ad, Peters says, “It’s time Congress worked for us. I say – no budget, no pay.  If Congress doesn’t do their job and balance the budget – they don’t get a paycheck.” [, 10/20/12]

LEADER: Peters Voted for No Budget, No Pay. In 2013, Rep. Scott Peters voted for HR 325, which adopts a version of “No Budget, No Pay,” an initiative Peters declared his support for prior to being elected to Congress. In addition Peters co-sponsored HR 310, the No Budget, No Pay Act, which would stop Congressional pay if Congress fails to pass a budget on time. [, 1/23/13]

- “Rep. Peters ‘Sequesters’ His Own Pay; Donates it to Feed Seniors in Need.”  “Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) applied the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration to his own paycheck, stating that “any rules Congress imposes on federal employees and all Americans ought to apply to us, too.” He will take eight percent of his monthly salary, which equates to about $1,300 per month, and donate it to the Senior Community Center of San Diego to supplement meals for at-risk seniors.” [San Diego Free Press, 5/08/13]

LEADER: Peters Co-Sponsored the Stop Pay for Members Act.
In 2013, Rep. Peters co-sponsored the Stop Pay for Members Act, which would ensure that Members of Congress would not get paid if the U.S. defaulted on its debt. [HR 1884, Cosponsors, 9/27/13]

FOLLOWER: DeMaio Proposed a “No Budget, No Pay” Law.
In 2013, DeMaio called for a “No Budget, No Pay law” that would take way pay from every Member of Congress, the President, and Administration political appointees until a budget was passed. [, 9/30/13]

Monday, October 21, 2013

Paper tiger

The League of Conservation Voters has made their endorsement for mayor with a curious result.

The records for the candidates speak for themselves:
  • Fletcher has a 48% lifetime score from the California League of Conservation Voters, 36% from the Sierra Club and the mailers from MEA only cite 2 bills to justify his commitment to the environment.
  • Alvarez has an 88% from the San Diego League of Conservation Voters (the highest of any San Diego councilmember), has been endorsed by the Environmental Health Coalition, and is the Chair for the San Diego City Council’s Committee on Natural resources and Culture.

This should have been an easy endorsement for Alvarez had the decision been based on the facts about the environment. Instead, the San Diego League of Conservation Voters voted to endorse Fletcher based on speculation about electability. This decision, especially after giving Alvarez the highest environmental rating last year, immediately calls into question the legitimacy of the LCV.

Their website claims that they engage in election activities on behalf of the environment. The reality has been releasing an annual report card and maybe a single mailing per cycle. The chatter within the progressive communities is that the LCV has become a shell organization that exists to provide environmental credentials to candidates and campaigns that need it whether they deserve it or not.

And the odd thing is that the LCV doesn’t make its decision with the expectation of monies or favors. All it has is its brand. Which is why this de-legitimization is so baffling.

Ignoring their own research, as well as the environment, for political expediency makes sense when you look at who is on the board.  Supporters of Fletcher were successful in adding the LCV name to his mayoral campaign even though his environmental record pales next to Alvarez.

All this does is trash the LCV name within the circles where it would matter but those driving this effort don’t seem to care. What matters is the short term gain (if any) from an organization that’s willing to pay lip service to its cause if it can jumpstart a campaign that is spending money yet can’t get off the launching pad.