Fletcher’s Union, Big-Gov’t Record

Aynd RandAynd Rand 8 Comments


The title for this post is taken from a recent article by Steven Greenhut on the CalWatchDog website.   This article was clearly written in response to Fletcher’s official announcement that he’s running for Mayor.  One of the interesting things to follow in this race is how the candidates, and their campaigns, cope with the harsh scrutiny they will receive over the next year.

Of the four definite candidates, Bob Filner is clearly the most battle-hardened.  The Congressman has survived vicious political campaigns, segregationists, United Airlines employee, and a fair amount of accusations and innuendos over the years.  The man lives for political and media combat and will not shy from it.  After Filner however, one can argue that the other four candidates may not have the experience for scrutiny by political opponents and the media.

Bonnie Dumanis had a tough race against then-incumbent Paul Pfingst in 2002.  In the nearly decade since then, she’s had two easy reelections and little scrutiny from either the media or any groups.  Her biggest detractors  The question is does she still have the fire in the belly to attack opponents and thick skin to stay cool when they attack her.  Carl DeMaio had a pretty straight forward 2008 election, but has actively sought out political fights with organized labor on everything from pension reform to taxes.  It will be interesting to see if she is able to withstand the heat from a couple of directions.

The least experienced political combatant is Fletcher.  His 2008 and 2010 campaigns were in safe Republican seats with token opposition.  His legislative record stands out for passing Chelsea’s Law.  While a good piece of legislation, Fletcher did not have to defend against sustained partisan attacks by various interest groups or the media to get it to pass.  He’s used to being the center of attention, the question is whether he’ll like all the attention that’s starting to come his way.

How the various candidates handle the sustained stresses and pressure of a sustained slugfest will certainly shape and probably determine this race.


Comments 8

  1. Perhaps some could argue that Prop D was election for / against DeMaio. It was a heated campaign that got very personal.

    While Fletcher himself may have the least experience in this type of a fight, he’s faced tougher battles with more on the line as a Marine, and he his wife certainly knows a thing or two about the onslaught of attention from her time with W.

  2. Greenhut’s money quote:
    “Republicans like Fletcher because he is a Marine, and Fletcher made references to this his military service as reason that he can handle the job of mayor. That’s great, but Fletcher is a non-reformer, big-government Republican who doesn’t value property rights, is allied with the unions, is opposed to meaningful reform of pensions and the bureaucracy and is no champion of the free-market.”

  3. Mr. Fikes
    I think you said in this case a Marine warrior replacing a Police Chief warrior without ideological differences is more of the same. Seems logical to me.

  4. For better or for worse (actually, it’s the latter), Filner has definitely earned his stripes in the political arena, but he’s got a plane-load of baggage (pun intended) and it seems that whereas SD Dems/the labor council have been good in the past about clearing the path for 1 candidate and unifying behind them, Filner seems to have ignored all of the Dem internal politics and just jumped right in. This means that Dems/labor council have the dilemma of either going with him, or risk letting 2 Reps into the run-off.

    The Marine rhetoric plays well with Fletcher’s base, but it speaks more to his strong character than his ability to rock the political arena. In addition to never having been challenged, the powers that be w/in right-of-center SD politics have always swooned over him – this will be the first time that his rear flank is exposed.

    DeMaio’s ability to weather a fight is an unknown variable at this point.

    Dumanis is yet to defend her actions of the past 2 terms – the UT has largely given her a pass up until now, but her opponents will not.

    The verdict: crack a cold one and enjoy the show. The only thing missing is come comic relief – whatever happened to Loch David Crane and his Star Trike?

  5. Mole, Yes, that was the point. Just because someone has military courage doesn’t necessarily mean they will have political or moral courage. Bob Dole, the World War II hero, turned into Bob Dole, the Senator from Ethanol.

  6. If I were the Democrats, I’d prefer two Republicans in the runoff. A Dem will NOT win the mayor’s race — unless somehow they can make top two (Kehoe and Filner) in the primary (a small possibility, if the Republicans split up the primary vote on an even basis).

    With two Republicans in the runoff, labor can bargain with the weaker Republican, trading support for support — pitting all the Dems and the weak/subsidy-seeking wing of the Republican Party against the tougher Republican (presumably DeMaio). Net result — a Dick Murphy-type mayor who pretty much does labor’s bidding. I think the ideal labor pick in this circumstance is Bonny Dumanis.

    What the unions do NOT want is Filner vs. DeMaio. That’s another Prop D campaign, with the same lop-sided results favoring the taxpayer.

  7. If the field stays as it is now (i.e. No Kehoe), I will go on the record predicting a Filner-Dumanis run-off. Before I get my head handed to me here, note this is a prediction, not a hoped-for result.

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