Fletcher: Unprincipled and Unconvincing

Steven Greenhut: A new poll shows that Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher has surged in his race to become San Diego’s next mayor after he dropped his Republican affiliation and became an independent, which just shows how little attention San Diego voters are paying to this important race. In reality, Fletcher is by no means independent. He was a life-long Republican hack who ditched the party when it rebuked him and endorsed Carl DeMaio. Fletcher’s wife was even George W. Bush’s press secretary for his 2000 presidential campaign and now some of the East Coast crowd is trumpeting the Fletcher talking points, as this silly article from David Brooks makes clear.

Consider that Fletcher had burnished his GOP credentials as he sought the party’s endorsement, but after the party endorsed someone else, he suddenly did some soul-searching and ditched the GOP. So he went from GOP loyalist to Independent in about 5 minutes, political time-wise.

Fletcher would love to be attacked by conservatives and libertarians — more proof that his martyrdom was for the greater cause of standing up against right-wing extremists, except it’s not true. In reality, Fletcher is simply a self-serving political climber without serious ideas, someone who will seemingly say or do anything to advance his political interests. He touted his Republican credentials when it helped him and now he blames the GOP — which long tolerated his focus-group-tested voting record. He has long been an ally of public-sector unions.

With the two other candidates, Carl DeMaio and Bob Filner, what you see is what you get. DeMaio is a real-deal fiscal reformer who wants to reform pensions and rein in government bloat. Filner is a union guy who will do the bidding of liberal interest groups. Fletcher is just following the Blueprint of Political Hackery — offend no one, speak in bland generalities, kiss up to the right interest groups, show up at the right events, take no chances, expend no political capital for ideas other than the one guiding idea of his life, support whatever causes or parties you need to support to get ahead.

If San Diego residents want reform, they vote for DeMaio. If they want the big-government status quo, they vote for Filner. With Fletcher, they have no way of knowing what they will get. He will say one thing, and do whatever best suits whatever his next political ambitions may be.

The GOP is lucky to be rid of him. San Diego residents not so much.

APRIL 12, 2012

21 comments

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  1. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 12 April, 2012, 20:14

    Back in 2011 I think I read that the SD police union gave their support to Fletcher. That told me everything I need to know. He’s bad news.

    Reply this comment
  2. Rogue Elephant
    Rogue Elephant 12 April, 2012, 21:52

    Fletcher is Schwarzenegger Lite.

    Reply this comment
  3. queeg
    queeg 13 April, 2012, 07:31

    Mando must be pleased!!!!

    Reply this comment
  4. ElkGroveDan
    ElkGroveDan 13 April, 2012, 07:38

    I’ve always noticed that when a girl first breaks up with her steady boyfriend she’s very popular with the other young men … until the novelty wears off. Fletcher’s rise in popularity is only temporary.

    Reply this comment
  5. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 13 April, 2012, 08:18

    It also figures that the Ultimate Establishment Insider, George Skelton, backed Fletcher. Skelton is an intimate associate of Jerry Brown, and backs every tax increase and big-government scheme to come down the road. Skelton himself, personally, bears a great deal of the blame for the budget crises shocking the state, especially the Pension Monster devouring local and state budgets.

    Skelton: “We’ll never know, but many believed the San Diego legislator — young, photogenic, articulate, an Iraq combat vet — had the potential to help lead the California GOP out of the darkness, out of its deep funk.

    “But last week he bolted and became a no-party independent, fed up, he said, with partisan pettiness in the state Capitol.

    “It may be possible to read too much into this, but I don’t think so. The signs have been unmistakable for a long time. This marker is only the latest along a trail to self-destruction for the California GOP.”

    Actually, its only the latest along a trail of sycophancy by Skelton.

    Skelton column, assuming you want to punish yourself by reading more, here:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cap-fletcher-20120402,0,4836956.column

    — John Seiler

    Reply this comment
  6. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 13 April, 2012, 08:39

    Why would anyone pay attention to George Skelton???

    He’s just another shill in the bought-off world of mass media.

    I don’t even bother reading his crap. He’s a nothing burger to me.

    He begs for your attention. That is what gives him life. Why appease him?

    Reply this comment
  7. Reagan Republican
    Reagan Republican 13 April, 2012, 09:58

    The San Diego Republican Party has been run into the ground…they are the minority Party in San Diego and they have no headquarters. I say good for Nathan!

    Reply this comment
  8. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 13 April, 2012, 12:05

    IF Nathan Fletcher had declared himself “independent” at the START of the San Diego mayoral race, one could respect his decision and his integrity.

    But to remain an apparently loyal, enthusiastic Republican member seeking the party’s endorsement while fundraising hundreds of thousands of dollars from the big Establishment GOP contributors — maxing out at $500 per contributor (city’s donation restriction) — and THEN abandon the GOP when he didn’t win the party’s mayoral endorsement 70 days before the election — is worse than hypocrisy — it’s just plain dishonest.

    Reply this comment
  9. Miss Right
    Miss Right 13 April, 2012, 14:20

    What surprises me is that the Republican elected officials are continuing their support for Fletcher. This is not good for the GOP and it makes Republicans look irrelevant.

    Reply this comment
  10. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 13 April, 2012, 17:25

    Good point, Miss Right.

    Ironically I was more Republican when I was a Libertarian than Fletcher is as an “independent.” But over and over I was told that Republicans could not endorse my campaigns for office (even for nonpartisan office) because “it was against the GOP rules.”

    Guess not.

    Reply this comment
  11. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 13 April, 2012, 17:31

    I would never join a political party because all strive to disappoint sooner or later. Rather than move from one to the other in frustration I just maintain my distance from all. That way I don’t have to feign loyalty and express opinions that I really don’t agree with. It works best for me. But to each his own.

    Reply this comment
  12. Raoul Lowery Contreras
    Raoul Lowery Contreras 13 April, 2012, 18:03

    Methinks thou protesteth too much. The SD GOP was run into the ground by Ron Nehring before he ran the state GOP into the ground. At both places Nehring scuttled the party by hiring Grover Norquist acolytes, both of whom were illegal aliens, one from aAustralia who spent jail time for violating immigration laws and one a Canadian Nehring hired twice, twice illegally. This si the Party Fletcher dumped becuase that Party sold out to carpetbbagger DeMaio (from orange County) who gamed the system to attend college on the church’s dime then came out of the closet when he finished Georgetown.

    Certainly, the SD GOP gets kudos for endorsing a gay man, the truth si that it appears that the two illegal aliens Nehrign hired might be also. Thus, the SD GOP doesn’t rate kudos at all.

    The criticism here about Fletcher is faulty at its core. The SD mayor;’s job is legally non-partisan. Let us not forget that, Orange County.

    Reply this comment
  13. Glenn Younger
    Glenn Younger 13 April, 2012, 18:14

    Well Steven,
    I generally enjoy your writing, but this is a little too party line for me to swallow. Being a Republican in San Diego is a hard, hard thing to do without any Union support.

    The last mayor in San Diego, Jerry Sanders-R, had the support of the police and fire unions, and moved the needle. I’d say brought the city back from the edge.

    Although I can’t vote in the San Diego election, I can see that the Republican endorsement is good mostly for the party funds that can now flow into a campaign. If you don’t have that, the -R behind your name hurts more than it helps in San Diego politics. I’d say going all in and dropping the -R is a big move and jilted party faithful will be hurt. Carl taking on all the unions at the same time is also a big move.

    San Diego is lucky to have 3 great candidates in Carl, Nathan and Bonnie. All are well informed, care and independent in their own way. Without a reform minded city council, who ever is the next mayor of San Diego will have an uphill battle. The choice will be who is best suited to win that battle, all the rest is just campaign politics.

    Reply this comment
  14. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 13 April, 2012, 20:53

    I pretty much kept my libertarian principles intact when I switched from LP to the GOP. Perhaps some Republicans were not happy a few months later when I published a piece on why we should legalize all drugs. But they seem to have taken it in stride — on balance, I’m quite pleased with my new party.

    It’s a big tent — IF one wants to not be assimilated. Works for me. But DEFINITELY not for everyone.

    Reply this comment
  15. Brian Brady
    Brian Brady 13 April, 2012, 22:17

    A lot of San Diego Republicans were happy you published that pro-freedom, pro-responsibility piece Richard, especially the new activists.

    Carl is bringing a whole new breed of donors and activists into the GOP. Small business owners who hate the Rotarian Socialist status quo which Fletcher protects, young people who want less government in their lives, and middle-class people who can’t understand why two union crews take a week to fix one pothole.

    Reply this comment
  16. queeg
    queeg 14 April, 2012, 08:11

    Republican party in California is a failure on most levels…it now attracts moderates that are tax and spenders and dumb bunny rich wanting control of the public money gravy train.

    War heros can be wtong for us too! Ask Bob Dole the Dubai Port Lobbyist!!!

    Reply this comment
  17. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 14 April, 2012, 09:13

    “The criticism here about Fletcher is faulty at its core. The SD mayor;’s job is legally non-partisan. Let us not forget that, Orange County”

    Sorry, dude. When a cop union endorses a candidate it means one thing and one thing only: They got their hands out for more taxpayer money.

    Reply this comment
  18. queeg
    queeg 14 April, 2012, 09:43

    Fletcher is your life problem????

    Someone save these blobbers!!”!

    Reply this comment
  19. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 14 April, 2012, 15:23

    The mayor’s position is nonpartisan. It’s the dishonest CHARACTER of Fletcher that is at issue. See my earlier post (#8) on this matter.

    Reply this comment
  20. Drake Taylor
    Drake Taylor 14 April, 2012, 19:05

    This is one of the sharpest articles I’ve read on this subject. Jon Fleishman’s on Flashreport explains this in greater detail, but Greenhut is spot-on with his analysis of how Fletcher operates making nothing politically calculated moves for his own career improvements. Makes me appreciate ALL three of the other candidates in the race more, even though I can’t stand Filner.

    Reply this comment
  21. queeg
    queeg 14 April, 2012, 23:11

    Not the first…not the last….but a pattern evovling….sleep with both eyes open!!!

    Reply this comment

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