My Mayor Website’s Better Than Yours

Erica Holloway Erica Holloway 28 Comments


As I mentioned in my recent Rostra blog on the mayor’s race, the three Republican candidates gotta spring from the gates to grab support and money. They need to do that by distinguishing themselves as to who they are in the race, which they can define not only by what they do on the trail but who supports them.

So, let’s review what they’re telling us on their websites and what those sites say about the candidates, shall we.

Straight off the starting line, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis teed up her candidacy as the establishment candidate. On her very simple patriotic-themed website, you see her proudly displaying her endorsements from current Mayor Jerry Sanders, City Councilman Kevin Faulconer and County Supervisor Ron Roberts. As expected, her platform leans heavily on her background as a three-term district attorney and Superior Court judge touting her years of being tough on crime.

She displays the same professionally shot picture of herself on each page, in the exact same spot in the exact same size. (Website by numbers?) At the bottom of the page, there’s links to accounts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube. The one question mark: MySpace. How 2001.

She also displays her upcoming campaign kick-off on June 28th hosted by Mayor Sanders, which includes a lengthy host committee sporting the likes of Roberts, Faulconer, Sheriff Bill Gore, retired Sheriff Bill Kolender, Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, Solana Beach Councilman Dave Roberts, and other honorables including Greg Smith, Barbara Warden and Casey Gwinn. Also worth noting are Gore’s chief of staff Marla Marshall, businessman and community leader Richard Ledford, Thornton Winery owners John and Sally Thornton, and Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder. She also has fundraising receptions set for June 21 and June 22.

Not too shabby.

Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher’s recently snagged fellow state lawmaker, Senator Joel Anderson’s endorsement. Compared to Dumanis, his pretty if subdued website employs a very interactive quality with a Facebook widget, links to news, a blog, a photo slideshow linking to pages and a Twitter crawl at the top. It’s very multi-media heavy with pictures, both professionally shot and candid, and videos, including one nifty regular feature of “Nathan’s Supporter of the Day.”

His message shows him as an active family man, former Marine and statesman who authored Chelsea’s Law, his most successful legislation. Recent stories show him dipping a toe into city hot-button issues, including the budget and pension woes.

His listed endorsements include former Escondido city councilman Dick Daniels, San Diego County Fire Chiefs Association President Augie Ghio, Temecula Murrieta Mayor Randon Lane, former San Diego Unified School board member Mitz Lee, outgoing San Diego Economic Development Council President Julie Meier-Wright, former Log Cabin Republican President William Rodriguez-Kennedy, and Wells Fargo Vice President Tom Wornham.

All his upcoming events are street fairs and road races as part of the Team Fletcher Racing Team. Those are very nice for shaking hands and kissing babies, but it doesn’t tell me if he’s raising money.

Over to Councilman Carl DeMaio’s website and right off, you see he’s stuck with the same dark blue and bright yellow look from his city race. Why reinvent the wheel if it rolls? Like Fletcher’s site, there’s scrolling professional and candid pictures, a Facebook widget, blog, multi-media and information on his top themes showing him as the reformer candidate.

His latest news tells me he’s indeed, as it states, hit the ground running with 25 fundraisers in 23 days.

I’m not gonna lie, that’s impressive.

While I don’t know based on Fletcher’s website, it seems DeMaio intends to set himself up as the community candidate and fundraiser. Juxtaposed against Dumanis’ high-society kick-off, his events are decidedly grassroots, low-key and very personal from barbecues and picnics to coffees and luncheons.

One irritation: DeMaio doesn’t have his endorsement list up yet.

Something that’s notable about Fletcher and DeMaio compared to Dumanis: coalitions. Some general consultants shun this heavy-lifting-required tactic. I believe in not only the power of them working to the candidate’s advantage via dedicated true-believer word-of-mouth, but nothing takes the place of personal relationships.

Here’s the difference between their strategies: DeMaio uses not only coalitions, but also neighborhood leaders.

Now, I don’t claim to know every town council member or neighborhood activist in the city, but DeMaio’s got some punch on his list from Mira Mesa’s Ted Brengel and Tierrasanta’s Scott Hasson to San Carlos’ John Pilch and Rancho Bernardo’s Valerie Brown. I know all those community leaders from my public office days and they’re darn hard workers.

Such a combination of youthful strategic outreach, even against high-power endorsements could give Dumanis some headaches as these three barnstormers hit the fundraising trail.

Parting thoughts: Fletcher – a little hint on the fundraising front? DeMaio – endorsement list, por favor. And Dumanis – maybe post two pictures or re-think MySpace? Maybe both.

– Follow me @erica_holloway.


Comments 28

  1. Post

    Hi Aynd:

    Didn’t really have a “favorite” per se.

    For my taste, Dumanis’ was too spare, Fletcher’s was too vanilla and DeMaio’s was too frenetic.

    They all could do with some work via a couple focus groups to address appearance, functionality and content holes (or overload).

    Which one struck a chord with you?



  2. Hell, Erica, slightly reworded, “Dumanis was too spare, Fletcher was too vanilla and DeMaio was too frenetic” … that could very well describe the candidates themselves! Not our opinion, jes’ sayin’.

  3. I don’t like Dumanis website. There is nothing to it. That said, this campaign probably won’t be won based on a website. jes’ sayin’.

  4. Post
  5. Post

    Dear Aynd:

    Agreed. But it’s the differences in style that interest me and clearly, their approaches to building support varies greatly.



  6. Bonnie’s kick-off fundraiser list has quite a few prominent Democrats…Lynn Schenk, Laurie Black, Murray Galinson…people you think would be supporting Filner or Kehoe at this stage.

  7. No surprise there, D7 Voter. Dumanis donated to Lynn Schenk when Schenk was running for Congress in the 1990s. Being a Republican is a sometimes thing for the District Attorney.

  8. Post

    Hi D7 Voter:

    Good catch. I don’t believe Senator Kehoe officially announced her intention to run for mayor yet. Late to the party in this race might be rather fatal as supporters go to opponents.



  9. With all due respect to Nathan and maybe Erica, I do not think Will Kennedy is a big name to list as an endorser nor someone of any influence. There is a reason he is a “former” President and the City Beat article did not even begin to scratch the surface of his “personal” issues. Nathan needs to be careful around him.

  10. Post

    Hi Dumanis the Democrat Donor:

    Money will be tight for a field this packed so it’s also a beggars can’t be choosers situation, as well.



  11. Post

    Dear Watchdog Willy:

    How brave. Bold words coming from an anonymous commenter.



  12. When trying to attract votes citywide from both Republicans and Democrats, being a “sometimes” Republican could be of benefit. I’m not saying it’s right but how often have we seen those too far to the left or too far to the right lose to those more in the middle?

  13. Post

    Hi D7 Voter:

    Certainly seems to be how she’s branding herself, which could prove a safe strategy; perhaps too safe for some.

    Time will tell.



  14. Hi Erica,

    Nice blog post and excellent observations. I’m no big poli-wonk like you and the Libertarian Lass and others here but what I know is that San Diego is in NEED of someone not vanilla or moderate. It’s in NEED of someone radical who can take things in a different direction and is actually willing to take risks and recommend solutions that are forward-looking, not reactionary. Although I may not always agree with his tactics or rhetoric, Councilman DeMaio is the best person to lead the city in 2012. After working with him in Sabre Springs for two years, I can attest to the fact that he looks out for his neighborhoods and communities with a tenaciousness that comes from wanting to actually make a difference, as opposed to just playing political games.

    I’m no longer a city voter, but I wish I was. My heart longs for better days for the city. I truly believe Carl wants that too. His website may have too much info. or be overloaded, but at least you see he is out there, making a difference with his boldness and tenaciousness each day.

    And that’s just an armchair observer’s two cents.


  15. Bonnie Dumanis, Lynn Schenk and Laurie Black help one another. Wow, what news! They love that downtown money, downtown power and being cozy with the downtown crony capitalists. Heck, you might think they are just regular downtown political hacks. Subsidies anyone?

  16. Wow, awesome to be named a poli-wonk in such good company, Craig. I humbly thank you and will try to remain worthy of the designation.

    Your contributions are at the least equally thoughtful and worthy. I happen to agree with you wholeheartedly about Carl DeMaio. The voters are having their Howard Beale moment and woe be to the candidates who underestimate their anger at “business as usual.” DeMaio’s campaign would be smart to embrace the theme, “Want more of the same old same old? Vote for Bonnie/Nathan/Christine/Bob. Want someone willing to shake things up and create REAL change? Vote for me.”

    The last time someone was branded as the edgy outside, Mike Aguirre won the City Attorney’s race.

  17. Just not clear to me that the same dynamics (strippergate, ENRON, SEC investigations, etc.) are in play in this election as they were for Mike A. I will say it again, San Diegans elect BORING. They are adverse to fear. They don’t take risks.

    The critical thing for Carl throughout this campaign is building a third party narrative that he IS safe. The community leaders is a very good step. Every day they should be thinking about that over at Team Carl. Get him a teddy bear….


    You can essentially take to the bank that in May 2012 the Union Tribune will write a piece that calls Carl a nice young man but who is too divisive and doesn’t build bridges and would represent “A tremendous risk of 4 years of infighting and snipping” as they endorse Bonnie or Nathan. Chris Reed may resign over it but that will be the editorial that runs 2 Sundays before the election.

    I have watched, up close and personal, tracking polls that involve acerbic UT editorials. I know all the polling that shows people don’t care, that it doesn’t matter, that fewer people read, etc. etc. But the reality is that they are the ONLY third party observer that really makes a hill of beans in this town. If driven by enough opinion, especially about their observations about candidates, that they can shift 10-15%.

  18. Schenk, Black, Dumanis helping each other may not be news but it does provide Dumanis access to some serious money. Again, I’m not saying it is right…it is what it is.

  19. Post


    Thank you for such a lovely compliment. Councilman DeMaio certainly shows great enthusiasm for grassroots work. Though I would not discount downtown money behind moderates, which tend to do well with city voters.


    They love downtown money because it’s proven successful.


    You highlight more a cautionary tale of perception vs. reality.


    Interesting observation on the UT editorial board (which is now down to two, so they’ll need a tie-breaker). Reed’s certainly tossed his hat in DeMaio’s ring, so it will be quite a highly-anticipated editorial.



  20. I just took a look at — his press contact is someone named Maripat Finigan with an 860 area code phone number (Connecticut) and contributions should be sent to some address in Burbank. I guess he really is running as the outsider.

  21. Post


    Campaigns are (mostly) about spending other peoples’ money.

    D7 Voter:

    Outside or out of touch?


    Oh no you di-in’t. My print roots maybe rotting as the industry flails, but I still appreciate the Editorial Page tradition.



  22. Gayle – touche! It is, I admit, a leap of faith. We are down to 1 page on a good day. And while I admire and support “get a youth a job” efforts today’s missive about gender and glass ceilings needed a bit more editing and heavier hand of stewardship. It would have made for a better piece and, I believe, a better experience for the buddying newspaper writter whose piece got published.

  23. Erica Holloway:

    Campaigns yes. It is spending the spoils, booty and plunder after a successful campaign that irks the taxpayers who constitute the people in OPM.

  24. I will not be able to support Dumanis for Mayor. Here’s why…. The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle from which those involved need to repent. Leviticus 18 and Romans chapter 1 are examples of Biblical texts which teach us that people such as Bonnie Dumanis have shaken their fist at God and abandoned “natural relations” with man and prefer a same sex affection. Christians throughout San Diego should run not walk to another candidate for mayor! When people are in leadership positions, their wrongful and perverted sexual orientation should not be celebrated, overlooked, or ignored. Remember what happened at Sodom and Gomorrah!

  25. The ‘comment’ above looks to me like a deliberate
    provocation designed to produce an exchange of
    bumper sticker-level slogans.

    It is unlikely that the ‘name’ used is valid. I ask
    readers not to rise to the Bait offered. We have
    better things to discuss here.

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