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.