Will man of all parties end up San Diego mayor?

Will man of all parties end up San Diego mayor?

San_Diego_City_SealOn Friday, the San Diego City Council will vote on a proposed settlement in which it is believed that scandal-plagued serial groper and pay-to-player Bob Filner will resign as mayor in return for some city help with his legal expenses and exposure in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him.

If that happens, a special election will be held within 90 days to elect a new mayor. If no one gets more than half the vote, there will be a runoff of the top two candidates. Those considering a run are believed to include City Council President Todd Gloria, a second-term Democrat and pragmatic moderate who will become acting mayor if Filner quits; moderate-conservative Republican Councilman Kevin Faulconer; former state Sen. Christine Kehoe, a liberal Democrat; and former GOP councilman and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, a small-government crusader who narrowly lost to Filner last year but who would probably have to drop a 2014 congressional bid that seems to be off to a strong start.

Then there’s a likely candidate who needs several paragraphs to describe his politics, not a sentence fragment.

He keeps ‘growing’ in ways that aid him politically

fletcher-web1It’s former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. Until March 2012, he was a 90 percent conventional Republican — a pro-business, anti-union type who had a small maverick streak.

Then the San Diego Republican Party voted to back DeMaio for mayor, and Fletcher began “growing.” He released a video in which he announced that he was quitting the GOP to become an independent because he was just too good a person to belong to a party:

“That’s why today I’m leaving partisan politics. I’m leaving an environment that thrives on playing the game. I’m leaving behind a system that is completely dysfunctional. I’m embracing an independence to focus solely on solutions on working with people if their ideas are good and focus solely on advancing the interest of our city, not a political party.”

That lead to this clueless David Brooks column in The New York Times that ignored Fletcher’s opportunism and swallowed his noble rhetoric about the need for heroic leaders who were above dysfunctional partisanship. (That DeMaio, a gay libertarian, won the GOP’s endorsement over a photogenic war hero like Fletcher was what was national news, but the smitten Brooks missed that obvious angle.) He finished a distant third in the June 2012 mayor’s race.

But Fletcher wasn’t done “growing.” This May, he announced he had become a Democrat after prolonged soul-searching. It wasn’t his realization of the obvious: that independent candidates rarely win and that the local GOP didn’t want him back. Oh, no. Once again, the decision was driven by his realization that he was morally superior to Republicans and independents who didn’t share Democrats’ alleged devotion to helping provide “the best access to the American Dream.”

Groan.

Fans in labor — and big business

lorena_g_cFrom afar, I’m sure most people would think that Fletcher’s 14-month journey from 90 percent conventional Republican to ardent Democrat had made him a local laughingstock.

Instead, he’s got a good chance to make the runoff after the first mayoral special election. He somehow has won the support of Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the former San Diego union czar. He has the apparent backing of several powerful San Diego business types, starting with Irwin Jacobs, the founder of Qualcomm, his present employer. And he also has the help of a renowned national fund-raising “bundler.”

Opportunism, it seems, comes without a cost for Nathan Blaine Fletcher.

Would he be a good mayor? Maybe. He couldn’t be worse than Filner. But anyone who is confident of what his politics would be as mayor needs to review his recent history. If he keeps “growing,” he’ll be ready to host a show on MSNBC before long.

3 comments

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  1. El Kabong
    El Kabong 22 August, 2013, 21:47

    If the Republicans had nominated a sane candidate like Fletcher a year ago, Filner would have never been elected in the first place.

    Better late than never.

    Reply this comment
  2. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 23 August, 2013, 16:12

    So now that Filner is definitely out, who exactly will the puppet master Gonzalez twins back for labor sock puppet-in-chief? My money is on the ever opportunistic Kehoe (whose dying to go to Congress-where the big money is) OR the cry-on-demand, our lady of sorrows Toni Atkins. I remember watching Toni burst into tears at City Council meetings routinely over the most trivial matters, waving her hands saying ‘I’m just an activist’. If Kehoe runs against DeMaio, would they DARE drag out the homophobic, hate-filled ads they used in Filner vs. DeMaio?? Just sayin…..

    Reply this comment
  3. Let It Collapse
    Let It Collapse 23 August, 2013, 17:54

    Yep. A big win for Filner. All legal fees and damages covered by the taxpayers.

    The taxpayers got bent over the table as usual.

    Filner gets a gift from his collegues.

    Typical government!!!

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