Electing Kevin Faulconer: Make a clear distinction on fiscal conservatism

Brian Brady Brian Brady 15 Comments


The San Diego Mayoral campaign is officially a horse race.  Both candidates have locked up their voters with less than 10 percent of the electorate “undecided,” one poll says. Voters have a choice between a moderate Republican and a self-described progressive in the Obama tradition.  While those choices may not appeal to movement conservatives, the next Mayor will have a huge influence on the direction of the City of San Diego for the rest of this decade.  Kevin Faulconer is clearly the choice for conservatives.

Faulconer is committed to the voter-approved reform agenda while David Alvarez isn’t.  Alvarez’ voting record suggests he’ll meddle in the economy, favoring centralized planning over letting people decide how to solve problems and seize opportunities.  Faulconer has real world experience with a decade and a half career in the private sector, while Alvarez has spent the last decade and a half in government agency and government jobs.  This is important because, in the real world, customers drive our paychecks while, in the government world, politics does.

I’ve said that David Alvarez is a serious candidate and should not be taken lightly.  Alvarez is likeable, principled, and an underdog.  He’s also a sycophant for the same people (labor unions and progressive activists in the local Democratic party) who gave us Bob Filner.  That really matters because Big Labor and Big Government really want to undo the voter-approved reform agenda Faulconer supports.

How does Faulconer win then?  GOTV effort and capturing the Comprehensive Pension Reform voters.

GOTV Effort

The Republican Party of San Diego County does a good job at Get Out the Vote but lacks a solid precinct captain structure.  Volunteers are typically gathered for breakfast and dispatched to “target” neighborhoods on GOTV day.  While this is helpful, the volunteer often lacks a community connection with the voter.  Efforts by the Faulconer campaign and RPSDC should be made to identify local volunteers and recruit them to become long-standing  precinct captains.  Those precinct captains should know that they are responsible only for turning out the 100 or so Republican voters in their “territory.”  Their message should be simple:

1- San Diego’s direction, for the next 7 years, is at stake.
2- The machine which opposes Faulconer opposes the reform agenda the voters approved.
3- The machine backs a community organizer type of candidate with no experience in the real (private) sector.

Capturing the Comprehensive Pension Reform Voters

A lot of registered Democrats and DTS voters supported Comprehensive Pension Reform.  Identifying those voters shouldn’t be too hard.  Once identified, the Faulconer campaign should use two surrogates to help deliver the message:  Carl DeMaio and Jerry Sanders.  Both DeMaio and Sanders are respected by the DTS and Democrats who voted for Comprehensive Pension Reform.  Their message might be:

1- Faulconer helped San Diego recover from the Murphy era–he puts pragmatism over party.
2- Faulconer was a key ally in the reform agenda which the voters approved.
3- The same people who backed Filner are trying to defeat the reform agenda with a surrogate candidate (Alvarez).
4- San Diego can’t afford to go back to the union-influenced ways of the last century.

I think it bears mentioning that attacking Alvarez, as a person, is a losing proposition.  Attacking the people behind Alvarez is fair game, however.  Alvarez is a bright young man who has a life experience which has been limited to the public sector union-controlled world, while Faulconer is a more well-rounded, experienced leader.

The labor unions are going to try to paint Faulconer as a “tea party candidate.”  That’s not necessarily a negative.  Faulconer shouldn’t shy from speaking with conservative groups to explain why their support is the key to winning this election.  Voters are looking for some distinction between these two candidates and, in my mind, Alvarez and Faulconer have much different world views on governance.  Faulconer should make the clear distinction that his fiscally conservative record and a fiscally conservative vision is the right path to prosperity in San Diego.


Comments 15

  1. Brian: In talking recently with many Christian Conservatives friends who are Catholics, Christians, and Mormons, and are high propensity Republican voters, once again, they will NOT be voting in the special Mayoral election. They didn’t vote for Carl in the last election because they didn’t support Carl’s progressive social values. He LOST the election IMHO because many tens of thousands of these social conservatives DID NOT vote for any mayoral candidate. Personally, they like Kevin. But they are social conservatives FIRST and foremost. Rather than vote for Alvarez, they just WON’T vote. They are turned off by Kevin’s active and public support for same sex marriage and his pro-choice views. If Kevin is serious about getting their votes, at minimum, he needs to sign a public pledge to be neutral in the culture wars and not force a pro-choice, gay activism agenda down their throats.

  2. Post

    “he needs to sign a public pledge to be neutral in the culture wars and not force a pro-choice, gay activism agenda down their throats.”

    Can you define what you believe to be a pro-choice agenda? a gay activism agenda?

    If Faulconer were screaming at people, praying at abortion centers or calling Christians bigots for supporting traditional marriage, I’d be miffed. I have not seen him do either.

  3. Brian: It doesn’t take much for the Christian Conservatives to find Kevin’s public actions against marriage between a man and a woman. The word is already out in the churches. Kevin voted for a City Council resolution urging citizens to vote NO on Prop. 8 and on the day that the Supreme Court announced its Prop. 8 decision, he tweeted, “Today is a great day for Marriage Equality”. Sounds pretty activist to me and probably many others. I don’t see any neutral, fair and balanced approach. If Kevin wants to beat Alvarez, he needs to give the Silent Majority Christian Conservatives what they want at the minimum, neutrality in the Culture Wars. So far he has not given Christian Conservatives any reason to vote for him just like Carl. You see what happened to Carl.

  4. Dan, I think that is a very valid point. I can tell you that Kevin Faulconer told me not too long ago that city councils get into trouble when they start to weigh in on issues that have nothing to do with a city council. Marriage is certainly one of those issues, so as mayor, I take him at his word that he won’t lead the council in any direction.

    One point about tactics, if social conservatives aren’t reaching out and helping Kevin in his campaign, then that means the people who are helping him get elected are people you disagree with. And it those you disagree with are the only ones influencing him, then why would he ever make a decision in your favor? It would be better for a person’s cause to be a part of the discussion than to just stay home and not vote. David Alverez is someone you disagree with on so many more issues.

    So which is better? Someone you disagree with on some issues, but is willing to listen because he’s thankful for your support?
    Or someone who you disagree with on almost everything and won’t listen to you at all? That is the choice in February.

  5. Post
  6. My own opinion is beside the point. I’m telling you what I heard in 2012 and it’s even more this year because Kevin and David are known commodities from the primary election.

    It’s a little too late for Kevin to walk back his opinion that the San Diego City Council should butt out of issues that have NO bearing on city issues. Seriously, he needs to take his own advice or he will lose this election.

    So let me get this straight, the Christian Conservatives, who make up about 20% of the high propensity Republican voters in San Diego, should engage Kevin instead of vice versa. It should be the other way around. After all, on election day this year, David Alvarez had 3 times the amount of volunteers going door to door than Kevin. Kevin needs all the friends he can get. If I were Kevin, I’d be going to every big Catholic Church, Mormon Church, and Christian Church and publicly pledging that as Mayor he will act neutral in the Culture Wars. The Rock Church in Point Loma has 15,000 members. That’s a lot of high propensity Republicans in one place. NOBODY can mobilize people like the people of God when they have a STRONG reason to act. Have you forgotten that the combined power of Christian Conservatives got Prop. 8 passed despite all the hate, threats, and being outspent 2- 1?

  7. Post

    “So let me get this straight, the Christian Conservatives, who make up about 20% of the high propensity Republican voters in San Diego, should engage Kevin instead of vice versa.”

    No, Kevin would do well to speak to churches in Point Loma, Southeast San Diego, and Mira Mesa– he should engage as many as he can and clarify his positions. Oftentimes, candidates can disagree with a congregation and still score points for showing up. I said as much in my closing paragraph.

    “It should be the other way around”.

    I’ll still say no. Social conservatives are being marginalized because of this attitude. It’s not 1999. While social conservatives are waiting for candidates to woo them, libertine progressives are engaging those candidates.

    This thing has to be a two-way street. I might argue that it’s incumbent upon Christians to engage candidates about the Gospel.

  8. I completely agree that Kevin should reach out (if he hasn’t already) to churches, etc. But originally we were talking about how the socially conservative are going to stay home/not vote.

    Staying out of this campaign is a losing tactic for the socially conservative. Getting involved may not get you everything you want, but one way to guarantee that you have no voice when an issue comes up is to stay at home/not vote.

    It would be a different story if the first special election had a viable socially conservative candidate who was rejected. Then yes, there may be a case for staying home or not helping. But if no alternative is offered, it’s hard to get frustrated with the candidate who does succeed.

    Again, it comes down to two choices: someone who will listen and agrees with you mostly (Faulconer) or someone who won’t listen and disagrees with you completely (Alvarez). That seems like the message to mobilize around. There isn’t a third option. Once of those two men will be mayor in February.

  9. Agree to disagree. I did my duty to help Kevin by reporting what I’m hearing. I want to see him get elected. That said, if Kevin and those around him don’t take his problems with Christian Conservatives seriously, that is his decision. If Kevin chooses to ignore the issues of the Christian Conservatives in San Diego, I’ll tell you again, they will NOT vote in the upcoming Mayoral election, as they did NOT vote for Carl in 2012. Enough said.

  10. Brian: Kevin voted for a special tax to support a convention center ecpansion, and for the TMD tax. Both taxing/spending schemes are overseen by city council and mayor, and each involves about $1 billion in taxing/spending. That makes them both big–possibly the biggest of Kevin’s council tenure–and centralized.

    If you are going to tout K- Fau’s “fiscal conservatism,” you need to explain why these two recent examples of big centralized market intervention aren’t really big centralied market intervention.

  11. There is no fiscal conservative on the City Council.

    This Monday, the City Council ignored the IBA report that stated the City Comptroller has already written off $232.1 Million in former Redevelopment Agency (RDA) debt from their books without permission. The write off happened just before the Department of Finance issued their Notice of Completion (NOC) on December 2, 2013. The NOC allows the City to put the $232.1 Million in Federal HUD and CDBG RDA Agency/City loans on future ROPS spreadsheets for payment. Civic San Diego just sabotaged the poor, gave up on the fight before it started, and the City Council went along.




    As the December 2, 2013 DOF Notice of Completion states:

    “This letter serves as notification that a Finding of Completion has been granted. The Agency may now do the following: Place loan agreement between the former redevelopment agency and sponsoring entity on the ROPS, as an enforceable obligation.”

  12. Many Conservatives look at Kevin Faulconer and see John Boehner. They are tired of being betrayed. They will either sit it out or cast a vote for the young labor backed socialist to send the message, ” An upfront Labor/Democrat Socialist is more transparent to deal with than a Downtown Crony Capitalist/Republican.”

    After all when the election is over they both will still be around cutting deals on how best to plunder the taxpayers.

  13. “If you are going to tout K- Fau’s “fiscal conservatism,” you need to explain why these two recent examples of big centralized market intervention aren’t really big centralied market intervention.:”

    I can’t do that. Cory. The TMD tax, in my opinion, is a rotarian socialist scheme.

    Elections are about choices and, as you can see from my discourse with cultural conservatives, I”m not looking for purity in a run-off. I’m looking for someone closer to my world view which, without a doubt, Kevin Faulconer is.

  14. To paraphrase Winston Churchill: “Kevin Faulconer is the worst candidate in the mayoral runoff — except for all the rest.”

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