Does Nathan Fletcher oppose a public vote on Chargers stadium subsidies?

Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters 14 Comments


According to a couple people I talked to who actually watched the Monday evening mayoral debate (during the CHARGERS game — that’s just not RIGHT!), 3 of the 4 candidates pledged to put any Chargers stadium deal that involved taxpayer subsidies up for a public vote. But Nathan Fletcher did not — and apparently has not stated whether or not as mayor he would require (or even favors) such a vote.

Since he “works” for Qualcomm, a company which owns the sweetheart stadium naming rights, perhaps there is some conflict of interest. Or maybe it’s simpler — he is pandering to special interests with big bucks to spend on his campaign (construction unions, Spanos family, downtown business subsidy advocates, etc.).

One factor that likely makes Fletcher a big, expensive stadium fan is that he vigorously supported the successful “prevailing wage” effort to make all city construction contracts pay union wage rates (mislabeled “prevailing wage” — which it definitely is NOT). Even if the stadium is only partially subsidized, I think that subsidy, however small, means that all the contracts would be subject to the prevailing wage mandate. Unions will be VERY grateful if this union-built stadium comes to pass.

Since I have no definitive source on this, if anyone has a reference (a URL, campaign literature, etc.) demonstrating that Fletcher DOES support a mandatory citizen vote on such a stadium subsidy, kindly provide it in the comments below. I really DO want to know.

Of course, such evidence would still be less than conclusive — given Fletcher’s amazing pledge of undying fealty to the GOP just three weeks before he abandoned the party (and later joined the opposition party).  In politics, his commitments are notoriously unreliable.


Comments 14

  1. I do not know Fletcher’s position on the stadium, but I do know that we supposedly have a representative form of government, not a direct democracy. I would respect any elected official who was actually willing to make a decision, especially on the big-ticket items, rather than abdicate their responsibility to a vote of the people. The public always has the opportunity to undo any action through referendum.

  2. It May Be, the problem with asking Nathan is the answer is different depending on who is asking. And the answer he gives today is very likely not the same answer he’ll give tomorrow.

    I asked him about the stadium before the last mayoral election. He was against the city paying for it on the phone with me. But then days later I saw on the news that he was for it.

  3. Post

    So, HP, you want follow the Pelosi Obamacare bill advice in voting for Fletcher. “We have to elect the man to see what he’s going to do.” Oh my.

    For you union types, taking some confiscated dues to put a referendum on the ballot is easy to do. Not so for everyone else.

    VERY short time frame, very expensive and seldom achieved. Moreover, a referendum would have to be done for EACH “surprise” bill that Fletcher and the city council support.

    REALLY? With representative govt we should elect people whose positions sway with the breeze — for sale to the highest bidder. Admittedly, if you are a union official, that works (VERY well) for you.

    Which union are you working for again? I keep forgetting. You too, apparently.

  4. Post

    HQ, where did you get the idea that state and local governments supposedly have a [strictly] representative form of government.? Which state do you live in? Or country, for that matter.

    You ever read a city charter, county charters or state law? Tax increases and GO bonds usually must to on the ballot for a DIRECT vote.

    We are a hybrid — some items delegated to our representatives, some to the citizens. And we can change that divide at any time with an initiative or charter/constitutional amendment. For instance, the city of San Diego no longer allows your elected union flunkies (those officials you spent the big bucks to elect) to further raise the pensions without a vote of the people.

    Of course, HQ, you don’t want a DIRECT vote on stadium subsidies — voters are harder to buy than city officials. I understand your adamant opposition to any form of direct democracy.

    I don’t share your self-serving viewpoint, but I understand it. Do I ever!

  5. Richard,

    Actually I don’t care much whether or not the Chargers get a new stadium, but I thought you were a strict Constitutionalist (Federal). I guess not.

  6. Nathan, may I suggest a name change again. Dick Ryder Stadium? Im sure Murphy and my dad are roiling in their graves.

  7. HQ, where in the Constitution does it mandate that state and local government can have only representative government — that the citizens cannot vote on issues via the initiative process?

    You really should refrain from referencing documents you have neither read nor comprehend.

  8. Richard,

    Ignoring your insatiable desire to personally insult me in all of your responses, I will simply say that I never said that local governments are constitutionally barred from allowing a direct vote of the people on any or all laws. I do wonder however why you don’t believe that the system of government laid out by our founding fathers isn’t good enough for local governments.

  9. Our best estimates since 2012 show that we have somewhere between 2,500-5000, homeless children in San Diego County. Whether or not it’s a vote of the people or an amendment to the charter, I find it unconscionable to spend a single taxpayer dollar to subsidize a millionaire’s private company (an NFL team). We have an NFL stadium, an MLB stadium, and a sports arena.

    Do you guys leave your neighborhoods often? Have you ever taken Market St out of downtown or driven through the barrio in the past 10 years? The only reason we know these kids exist is because they somehow make it to school to get counted and then have nowhere to sleep at night, and we are talking about REBUILDING a stadium for a millionaire?

    These types of societal problems are not impossible-to-solve certainty’s of life. Other industrialized countries have come up with solutions, that really boil down to priorities. We have to start prioritizing the welfare of the people rather than our delusional chase for money. Look around you, there are real problems that require immediate attention, we don’t need to rebuild playgrounds we already have when we need roofs over people’s heads.

  10. HQ, If you don’t like it when I discredit your muddy thinking and false innuendos, stop publicly demonstrating such ineptitude/ignorance.

    You chided me for not being a “strict Constitutionalist.” I respond — pointing out my views on state and local government in no way violate the Constitution — concluding that your foolish remarks indicate that you have neither read nor comprehend the Constitution of our country.

    You then feign surprise that I took umbrage at your patently incorrect accusation. The solution? Seek out a cure for your persistent foot in mouth disease!

  11. Richard,

    You keep proving the rule that those who don’t have any merit based arguments will resort to ad hominem attacks. Maybe you can try actually reading what I wrote and actually answering the questions I posed.

  12. Reminder: Debate policy differences and thought differences, not personalities. No personal attacks. You disagree with someone, show why they are wrong, don’t insult them.

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