Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Not So Great Wizard of Oz

Since Tuesday’s Special Primary Election for San Diego Mayor there are money people and political consultants are trying to really make a determination on the final outcome of the general election.  Let’s just put it out there what the backers of San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer and the Democrats who didn’t think San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez could come in 2nd and former California State Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher was the most viable candidate:
  1. Faulconer will have the money to run an ground, mail, television and radio campaign;
  2. Faulconer will have a unified and funded Independent Expenditure to help carry his message, while suppress Alvarez voters;
  3. Republican voters will turn out in large numbers, even in a special election;
  4. Decline to State voters will swing more heavily towards the fiscal, political moderate and veteran San Diego City Councilmember message;
  5. Former California State Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher voters will not turn towards Alvarez, but either stay home or in large vote for Faulconer;
  6. The long written about Latino voting block will not come out in the special election to support Alvarez;
  7. Alvarez will have a unified and funded Independent Expenditure to help carry his message like they did in the primary, let alone in a bigger capacity;
  8. Alvarez will not be able to wage a well-funded campaign, because he will not attract the donors who gave to Fletcher;
There is even more, but let’s call it what it is BS!  The truth is Faulconer could lose this election, because when you pull back the curtain of this story people are circulating around, it is just coming from some bald man yelling at the top of his lungs into a microphone and he has a gap in his teeth with a Swedish accent.

The real truth is we don’t know yet whether Fletcher voters or donors come on board for Alvarez or whether the highly successful labor IE will muster up the funds to run another effective campaign.  Latinos could still out preform for their first Latino mayor, donors that sat out between Fletcher and Alvarez could now jump in, but we do know these points:

  1. Faulconer was a councilmember that was the smartest of his ilk (except former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio) on council, and that is not saying much;
  2. Faulconer was never a leader, before now Interim Mayor Todd Gloria was selected as Council President and decided to work with him, because everything the Republicans did was orchestrated by former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, DeMaio or the rabid and foam seething Associated General Contractors with the Lincoln Club;
  3. Faulconer was a lobbyist who would never release his entire client list and it will come back to bite him;
  4. Faulconer has no major successes on city council since his 2006 election and everything he highlights was again really lead by the people or organizations listed in number two;
  5. Faulconer supported developers every time over community, except when it was his own neighborhood
  6. As with Fletcher and the above points, Faulconer’s numbers in the primary were based off name identity build up, because Faulconer has not yet had his less detractive qualities highlighted or his positives tested to the voters;
I can go into a number of other items, but the biggest real reason Faulconer could lose is his choice of consultant, Duane Dichiara.  Here you have a failed consultant who is like a broken clock, only correct twice a day.  He has a few major wins, but most of his wins are in pure Republican districts, which he gets a candidate the Republican Party faithful get behind and wins.  His first major win was Faulconer’s special election, then San Diego City Councilmember Lori Zapf and Scott Sherman, ding dong and done.

In the end, I don’t know the final election result yet, no one does, but if the Democratic Party, labor, the activist base and donors stand with Alvarez, and then he has a real serious chance to win.  We have a chance to elect a native son, first Latino, a Summa Cum Laude SDSU graduate, a person focused on every neighborhood and a real pull yourself up from boot strap kind of person that shares the super-majority of San Diego residents policies.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Statement on San Diego's Mayoral Primary Election 


Hours after the polls closed in Tuesday's special mayoral election, San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Francine Busby issued the following statement:

"Ballots are still being counted, but the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for Mayor of San Diego, David Alvarez, appears to be headed into the runoff election.

"It’s clear why public support for the David surged in recent weeks as voters got to know him better. After a divisive and tumultuous year for the City, David has run a positive, progressive, well-organized campaign. He has reached out to communities that are too rarely represented in our politics. He has inspired hundreds of volunteers from every neighborhood and walk of life to join his team.

"Most importantly, David Alvarez has outlined a vision for the future that’s worthy of San Diego and its residents. We were proud to endorse him, and we are certainly proud of him tonight.

"The San Diego County Democratic Party supported David’s campaign with extensive communications with Democrats throughout the city – in the mail, on the phones, and door-to-door. Now we are committed to electing him in the runoff so he can deliver on his commitment to putting the people of this city first as Mayor."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oops! Potential Ethics Violation from Fletcher support group

The most recent Fletcher ad on TV looks just like the other one.  That's because it is the same ad - with a different disclosure.

Nathan Fletcher for Mayor (the committee) produced an ad that ran on TV with the Fletcher for Mayor disclosure. But just this weekend, another substantially similar ad (actually, exactly the same except for the last card) aired, with the disclosure from the pro-Fletcher Restoring Trust in San Diego independent expenditure.  That's an election no-no.

If the IE committee duplicates an ad designed, produced, paid for, or distributed by the candidate that's not an independent payment. Independent expenditure committees, like the name says, has to expend money independent from the candidate's campaign.

Here it is in black and white from the Ethics Commission:
When a committee makes a payment that advocates for or against a City candidate, it is presumed that the payment is not “independent” if:
  • it is based on information about the candidate's campaign needs or plans that the candidate has provided to the committee, or
  • it is made by or through an agent of the candidate in the course of the agent's involvement in the current campaign, or
  • the committee retains the services of a person who provides the candidate with professional services related to campaign or fundraising strategy for that election, or
  • the communication duplicates, in whole or in substantial part, a communication designed, produced, paid for, or distributed by the candidate.
See for yourself:
Here is the link to Fletcher's ad:

And attached is the ad from the IE.

And here's a screen shot of the disclaimer:

 Sure looks like someone isn't so independent.

CDP Chair Burton calling on Democrats to support David Alvarez


DAVID ALVAREZ, City Councilmember and a lifelong Democrat, is the endorsed Democrat for Mayor of the San Diego County Democratic Party.

 supported the elections of Governor Brown, Senators Boxer and Feinstein, President Obama and other Democrats.

DAVID ALVAREZ's main opponent was the Political Director for the California Republican Party, Karl Rove headlined a fundraiser for him, and he was the co-chair of "Veterans for Meg Whitman" against Jerry Brown.  He switched from Republican to Independent in 2012 and now went from Independent to Democrat only to have a shot at running for Mayor of San Diego next Tuesday.

Don’t be fooled.

There’s only one endorsed, life-long Democrat in the race for Mayor and that’s DAVID ALVAREZ.
This Tuesday, DAVID ALVAREZ needs your vote.

Use this link to find your polling place here:

Polls open at 7am and close at 8pm on Tuesday.

Vote DAVID ALVAREZ for Mayor!

Peace and friendship,

John Burton


California Democratic Party

Elections Have Consequences

“Elections have consequences.”  So said soon to be former Mayor Bob Filner to soon to be interim Mayor Todd Gloria, during one of their first set battles early in Filner’s truncated term as Mayor of San Diego. 
The circumstances of this dispute had several interesting, and, in retrospect, revealing attributes.
This particular confrontation was spawned by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s bad advice to Mayor Filner that the Mayor had the authority to veto the City Council selection of Port Commissioners.  No one was certain then, or now, whether Goldsmith’s advice was inadvertently wrong because he is a bad lawyer or if it was intentionally wrong because he is a rogue City Attorney.
The dispute played out with a City Council that began the year short one Democratic council member.  You may remember Tony Young’s fascinating timing; resigning just in time to assure a hamstrung City Council for the first four months of 2013.
This was among the first battles that pitted newly elected (by 8 people) City Council Prez Todd Gloria (thanks again, Tony) against newly elected (by 245,092 people) Mayor Bob Filner.  The spectacle of the nominally progressive Gloria consistently sabotaging the first actual progressive Mayor ever elected in San Diego was more confusing then than it is now.
Gloria, along with the four Republicans on the council, was supporting the appointment of Marshall Merrifield, the conservative Republican who spent $653,628 coming in third in the 2008 District 1 council race against Sherri Lightner.  Filner, who had some very good, very non-partisan reasons for opposing the process by which the port appointments were made, also thought that the Port Commissioner appointments should reflect the change in demographics and agenda that the 2012 election had made manifest. 
Gloria did not agree, hence Filner’s admonition that “elections have consequences.”
Ultimately, the state legislative counsel weighed in that indeed the Mayor did not have veto power in this circumstance, the City Attorney said “oops”, and Merrifield was seated as a Port Commissioner.
This double-cross by the City Attorney and lack of support from the Democratic Council President was one of the first salvos in a campaign that ultimately culminated in Filner’s resignation.  While for many Filner’s unquestionably wrong behavior toward women is now the beginning and the end of any discussion about the Filner administration, others think that there is a parallel story that needs to be examined.  A story about elections and their consequences;  About an odd assortment of Republican and Democratic power brokers setting out to assure that the consequences of the 2012 Mayoral election were thwarted. 
It is a story about raw ambition and misplaced trust.  It is about a deeply flawed man, with a seductive vision of what San Diego could be.  It is about bad judgment and personal animosity.  Of course there is money, and lust.  Strangely, in a saga that is supposed to be about sexual harassment, the lust that really gets things going is not for sex, but for power.  More than anything, though, this is a story about hubris, about the arrogance of sets of powerful people with little in common except for the determination to set aside the consequence of San Diegans’ elective choice and replace him with someone more to their liking.