After a Rough Week, What Does Team Fletcher Have in Store?

James Behan James Behan 20 Comments


It was a rough week for Team Fletcher. Let’s recap the week’s events.

Sunday (5/6/12)

  • The BIG endorsement of Carl DeMaio from the UT San Diego.

Monday (5/7/12)

  • A mailpiece highlighted Nathan’s record of voting for tax increases.
  • Fletcher’s high rate of no-shows and missing votes caught up with him when he asked to be removed from his Committee to avoid a tax increase vote. A No vote would anger the unions he has been desperately courting so it was better to get out of town. Voters and the media got an up close example of what he has been doing all year. Kudos to the Sacramento Bee for breaking it before the locals.
  • Fletcher’s education press conference got little attention and was overshadowed by his skipping out on session.
  • The first member communication from the SD Democrat Party mailer supporting Filner landed in Democrat mailboxes.

Tuesday (5/8/12)

  • The SD Democrat Party sent another member communications mailer to Democrats urging them to vote for Bob Filner and against Republican Nathan Fletcher.
  • Fletcher launched his new TV ad “Character”. It was criticized for being over the top and saying “Shame on you” to anyone that didn’t serve in the military. To Nathan’s credit, he did pull the ad and replaced the condemnation of people that didn’t serve. Here is the KUSI story.

Wednesday (5/9/12)

  • Voters got another mailer highlighting Nathan missing votes and work.

Thursday (5/10/12)

  • Another mail piece landed in Republican mailboxes, again highlighting his poor attendance and missing work.

Friday (5/11/12)

  • An in-depth UT article broke with the real facts. Nathan has only voted 47% of the time in 2012 and missed 136 votes in 2011 not the 52 his staff has been claiming.
  • Fletcher admitted that his campaign staff had been under counting his missed votes and misleading reporters.
  • Readers of the UT wake to find this damaging op-ed by Roger Hedgecock.

To Team Fletcher’s credit:

  • He scored a sympathetic piece by UT reporter Matt Hall rehashing the donation that Tierra Gonzalez gave to him on March 17th.  It was written about two months after it happened. It is a testament to Fletcher’s communication guru Matt David’s ability to influence local reporters.
  • Fletcher’s IE got two mailers in mailboxes this week.
  • Voice of San Diego rehashed Nathan’s bold stance on gay marriage.

Overall, Team Fletcher had a bad week. No doubt, they will do something Big and Bold next week.

Will he pull a John McCain and suspend his campaign to focus on his job in Sacramento?

Will he pull a Sarah Palin and quit the Assembly to focus on the Mayoral race?

Will he pull a Harry Sidhu and shred negative mail while pledging to only do positive campaigning?

Will he pull an Arlen Specter and go full Dem?

Or will he pull a Schwarzenegger and switch his positions on everything he’s run on up until this race?

The possibilities are countless. Team Fletcher is undoubtedly staffed by seasoned and capable professionals that won’t let a tough week keep them off track for long. Weigh in. What will Fletcher’s next move be?

Full Disclosure: I am a Carl DeMaio supporter and no mailer would change that.


Comments 20

  1. I predict he goes with Option 3.

    He will do a press conference denouncing all negative campaigning. He will have some catchy new phrase like “San Diego deserves better” or something. He will pledge to only do positive ads and ask the other candidates to join. When no one does he will accuse them of playing games. He is tired of playing games and “San Diego deserves better”.

    The mainstream media will gush all over him for a few days and ignore the fact that Fletcher is always the first to go negative in debates.

    Of course, Fletcher’s IE will continue the negative hits but the press will ignore that and continue to gush all over him.

    Its a familiar predictable PR stunt but reporters and the “good government types” love it. They will fall over themselves praising him.

  2. @Another Hail Mary- I am a Fletcher supporter, and no mailer will change that, but your comment was hilarious. I am LOLing!

  3. Here are my predictions for Team Fletcher for this week – I predict Fletcher will release a new commercial with children, maybe even his own, prominently featured in some way. It will be cheesy with him giving “sage” advice” to them.

    Team Fletcher will continue to claim to get attacked by all sides and how he’s left “partisan politics” whatever that means. His campaign team will simultaneously attack DeMaio and Filner by calling them hypocrites, liars, and everything else possible.

    Nathan’s IE will double down on negative campaigning, ignoring the hypocrisy that they complain about “negative” mail by the GOP/Dems, I wonder if the major financial advisors realize the inconsistency or care. I sense a few of them have drunk the Fletcher Kool aid.

  4. I know I haven’t gotten much response when I ask these questions, but they bear repeating: How many votes has Ron Paul missed this year? How many did Michelle Bachman miss while she was a candidate? How many did John McCain miss in 2008? Unless we change the law, elected officials who are candidates for another position in a different jurisdiction will miss votes.

    As for the mail piece that highlighted Fletcher’s record of voting for tax increases, Fletcher voted for one tax increase – ON OUT-OF-STATE BUSINESSES and the bill would have LOWERED TAXES ON CALIFORNIA BUSINESSES.

    While we are on the subject of misleading advertising, what is the deal with DeMaio claiming that he lowered his salary. I give him credit for refusing his pension, but he did not lower his salary; that isn’t even just misleading, it is a flat-out lie.

  5. Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann and John McCain do not represent San Diego in the state legislature or congress. “Elected officials who are candidates for another position in a different jurisdiction will miss votes,” if THEY CHOOSE to miss votes. It’s not a mandate to run for another office, it’s not a requirement when running for another office to have scheduling conflicts, these are CHOICES.

  6. Spin Zone,

    Let’s bring it closer to home. How many votes did Duncan Hunter miss when he was running for President? How many votes did Joel Anderson miss when he ran for State Senate? How much work is Sherry Hodges currently doing in Sacramento as a Chief of Staff?

    Reality check: If Fletcher didn’t have the audacity to quit the Republican Party, this wouldn’t be an issue for you. How do I know this to be true? Because it was never an issue to you before.

  7. He can’t pull a John McCain… going back to focus on what job in Sacramento? He doesn’t even have a party to caucus with and the only remaining issue his vote will be needed to pass is a budget that will undoubtedly have tax increases. And didn’t he pledge not to raise taxes? Oh wait, I’m confused where he stands on that issue…

    He can’t pull a Sarah Palin either… quit a full-time paycheck for a few more weeks of a mayoral race? No politician feeding off the state coffers would consider such a thing. Sarah Palin could afford to make such a move because she had a book deal in the works.

    So what if he pulls a Harry Sidhu… If San Diegans fall for that crap then they deserve him for mayor.

    Pulling an Arlen Specter? Hmmm… didn’t he say he doesn’t want to be a part of partisan politics? Then again…he said that just days after vowing his love for the Republican Party so I guess that’s a possibility. Yet again, I’m confused…

    Hasn’t he already pulled a Schwarzenegger?

  8. And, by the way Alger — Fletcher only needs to be in Sacramento 3 1/2 days a week to do his job there. No excuse for missing votes. There are another 3 1/2 days of the week to campaign. I wish there was a law that didn’t pay legislators their salary for the days they don’t show up for work. It’s unfair to taxpayers that he collects $95,291+ per diem for a job he showed up for less than half the time.

  9. Nathan’s campaign is so reactionary, that it’s actually kind of scary to see what’s going to happened next.

    This is a guy and a team that thought that he was the golden boy, the untouchable. Pete Wilson, Karl Rove, EVERYONE.

    And as soon as he didn’t get things his way, he has totally come unhinged.

    It’s going to be scary.

  10. @Dagny, re: his vote on the state budget…my guess is part of his deal with Perez to temporarily remove him from the committee so he wouldn’t have to vote on a tax increase includes a commitment to Perez that he’ll support Perez in passing the budget later. The deal with that devil is done.

  11. Dagny,

    Congress has the same job schedule. Fletcher is simply playing by the rules currently in place. I agree with you that the law should be changed, but until it is you need to find something more substantive to criticize him for.

  12. James: Thanks for including my column in your post. Just so you know, I’m a columnist now, not a reporter. And at the risk of sounding naive, who’s Matt David? Tough for me to be influenced by someone I’ve never met. Cheers.

  13. Matt David is the former communications director for Schwarzenegger, and more recently Jon Huntsman’s campaign manager. From the link at the SF Chronicle:

    “David is well-known to California reporters, having served at the side of Schwarzenegger — a seasoned vet from his 2006 reelection and his trusted communications guru. But before that, he was deputy communications director for GOP presidential candidate John McCain in 2008, and also worked the communications front for President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection.”

    David is also on Twitter.

  14. “How much work is Sherry Hodges currently doing in Sacramento as a Chief of Staff?”

    None. Hodges resigned from her position as Harkey’s Chief to run for Assembly

  15. Brian,

    Hodges may have resigned relatively recently, but she was doing both for a period of time.

    How about the other two examples or do you need more?

  16. Sherry didn’t miss work because she was the District Chief (based in San Clemente).

    “How about the other two examples or do you need more?”

    Oh, I don’t really care if Fletcher missed votes. In fact, considering his record when he DID vote, I’m actually quite pleased he was absent as much as he was. I was just pointing out incorrect speculation on your part

  17. On a campaign, every week is a different story. Some go better than others. If that is a bad week for Fletcher, his campaign is in good shape.

  18. In all seriousness this is the week I expect them to announce their “Ronne Froman” who will be the COO/Manager for Nathan. Would be what I would do. Good for at LEAST 2 news cycles and would continue to enhance brand. Now that presumes (and I gotta believe they have done this since they have had a year) that he has an idea of WHO his COO will be. Private sector probably better than public sector and I think they would love to have it be someone with some name Idea/cache.

    Maybe not but it was a critical deal in sealing the deal for Jerry .

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