Nathan Fletcher’s Pathway to Power: Fear & Loathing in San Diego County

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Guest Commentary
by Amy Reichert
San Diegan since 1972


Have you ever read LBJ’s biography, The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson?

It’s ok if you haven’t. After all, Volume 1 is 960 pages! The question is, did Nathan Fletcher read it before putting a Viva LBJ poster in his room?

You see…

LBJ used ruthless and unrelenting fear in his rise to power. So maybe Nathan Fletcher read it after all?

The Coronavirus was Fletcher’s opportunity of a timeline. After years of unremarkable political mediocrity Nathan saw his one chance to cut through a path to power and he went for it. Finally, Nathan Fletcher would get Gavin Newsom’s attention and political favor. Using 100s of millions of dollars, Fletcher used CARES Act funding to fill the coffers of the county government at the expense of drowning local businesses.

How did Fletcher get away with this?


Good leaders & bad ones alike know that fear is the #1 persuasive tool.

Good ones say things like, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

Bad ones knowingly incite people’s fears. Let’s take a look at Nathan’s Fletcher’s social media…

Remember the hysteria of the UK variant in San Diego that never was? Nathan Fletcher’s Christmas & Hanukkah message was, “Be afraid, be very afraid!!”

And this gem…

After scolding us for months about social distancing, Nathan Fletcher cajoled this local small business owner that it wasn’t the government’s fault that a San Diego business of 80 years was closing down forever, while get this, not social distancing…

As you know, when this video was taken in December, San Diego ICU beds were at normal capacity. Ventilators? We were fine. PPE supply? Fine. There never was a justifiable reason for a state of emergency here in San Diego County that kept schools shuttered for over a year with many still not back in school as of May, 2021.

Source, L.A. Times, 5/16/2021

Nathan Fletcher could have stood up to Gavin Newsom and demanded local control, but that’s hard to do when you are trying to get your wife, Lorena Gonzalez appointed to a vacant U.S. Senate seat
in California.

At ReOpen San Diego we want to thank Nathan Fletcher for our path to power too.

As we watched our kids suffer, ReOpen San Diego started as a small group of Moms and Dads in Balboa Park. We met by the Botanical Gardens on the lawn because our kids had been trapped in front of screens and many of them had not even played with other kids in months.

We gathered to create a safe community for them and for us too. To process what the extended government lockdowns were doing to our children, our livelihoods and our sense of place in the world.

We all agreed our local government officials were not hearing our voices while ignoring the scientific proof that our children were becoming the biggest victim of extended government shutdowns.

We saw how Supervisor Fletcher used every opportunity to obey Governor Newsom instead of the people.

We organized and did what we thought we should do. We called into San Diego County Board of Supervisors meetings but our calls were ignored.

We attended Board of Supervisors meetings online and heard San Diegan say things like…

“I am losing my business because of the open-shut-open-shut lockdowns by the government and I am 9 months behind on my mortgage.”

On one call to the County Board of Supervisors, a man spoke in Spanish as he cried he could not feed his family because the restaurant he worked at was shut down. As you know, the state was sending unemployment benefits to organized crime syndicates in prison and fraudsters in the Ukraine. Meanwhile, regular working stiffs in San Diego couldn’t even get through on the EDD hotline.

“Por favor, ayúdame, necesito comida para mi familia,” the man cried.

Caller after caller, after caller. Hundreds of them poured in. Why were San Diegans who were suffering being ignored?

Politics and money.

Hundreds of millions of dollars flowed into San Diego from Federal CARES Act monies. The state made greedy local politicians an offer they could not refuse. This money was dispensed and controlled by Gavin Newsom. If the County did not comply with the directives of the state, Gavin Newsom said he would withhold CARES Act money and even worse claw it back.

We had so much CARES Act money the County set up a COVID test site at the Pedestrian East border crossing. No wonder our case numbers were so high?

Did it have to be this way?


Not every county acted as authoritarian as San Diego under Fletcher. He demanded more and more enforcement while other counties throughout the state stood up for the people and declared they would protect the constitution over politics and money.  Fletcher even directed Sheriffs to go into small businesses. Businesses who refused to submit were slammed with Cease & Desist Orders, were shamed and then publicly posted on the county website. Fletcher even encouraged his minions to call the County Snitch line on their friends, neighbors, local small businesses and even family for the crime of having a BBQ in their backyard. Now we know outdoor transmission is .1% according to epidemiologists quoted in the New York Times.

Fletcher told other people to follow the science while he was actually not following the science. Fletcher used fear mongering to make San Diego one of the most shutdown counties in the entire United States.

At Reopen San Diego, we have been challenging these unconstitutional actions by our local and state officials and asking for local control over how San Diego should respond to conditions here rather than Sacramento every step of the way…

On April 6th, ReOpen San Diego had a “Let Us In Rally!” at the County Administration building.

The “CEO of San Diego,” Nathan Fletcher, still kept the people from addressing him and our elected officials in person, even though Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino were open.

The sad irony during the height of shut downs was that Fletcher demanded that houses of worship and businesses operate outdoors in winter, but the County Supervisors limited the people to calling in or submitting comments.

Spoiler alert: The supervisors do not read your comments. You may as well go to the top of Cowles Mountain and yell your complaints to the wind.

Today, Tuesday, May 18, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will reopen to the people. Our rally worked!

ReOpen San Diego will be there. I hope you will too. All are welcome.

We will continue to exist as long as the County enforces unconstitutional public health orders by unelected officials and Gavin Newsom has state of emergency powers or he is recalled — whichever comes first.

At ReOpen San Diego, we also like the sound of “Recall Fletcher.”

Amy Reichert


Comments 10

  1. Nathan Fletcher leaves the GOP due to the party’s increasing embrace of racism, the Confederacy and anti-immigration attitudes (and this is five years before Trump, Charlottesville, “Sh**-Hole countries”, George Floyd and the QAnon insurrection Trump fomented last January) and you guys STILL have a major bug up your ***** over him leaving the GOP?.
    You guys didn’t even support him against Carl DeMaio in 2011 and basically pushed him out of the party – choosing a right-wing activist nut of questionable character and ethics, with zero public accomplishments, over a Marine combat veteran and able state legislator.
    Yet somehow you thought Fletcher would just surrender to your modern-day Confederacy the way McCarthy, Stefanik, Graham and McConnel have?
    LOL!!!! !!!

  2. Here is more information about Fletcher and who he really is:

    Supervisor Fletcher has emerged as the leading figure in San Diego’s fight against the Wuhan virus and many people are beginning to realize that his serious lack of judgement and political ambitions should prevent him from ever having that much power.

    As this deadly virus emerged from Eastern China and began to spread across the globe, and five days after President Trump announced the banning of travel from China, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher not only failed to shield San Diegans from it, he took affirmative and aggressive steps to increase the risks to the population.

    Why would he do that? Because he was far more worried about being labeled a racist than protecting human life. In addition, buoying his future political prospects by virtue signaling in front of the cameras is also a likely explanation.

    Four days before Fletcher was interviewed on February 4 by KUSI about the pandemic, the virus had begun to spread exponentially across the globe, with the 11th American case confirmed. Five days before, the WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International concern, and soon later a pandemic.

    During the interview, Fletcher strongly encouraged everyone to go about their daily lives, even hinting that if you did not, you were a bigot. Fletcher misled the public about the spread nationally and emphatically stated, “Fear of a virus that hasn’t even manifested in our county, there is no reason, at all, to avoid any part of our community or any section of our community. Many have been targeted with acts of racism and we’ve seen old stereotypes and stigmas come back using a virus as a justification for this.” Fletcher offered no evidence or examples of acts of racism, of course. He was just making unsubstantiated claims for political reasons, promoting divisiveness that we don’t need right now—or ever.

    Fletcher then made more dangerous falsehoods by saying, “The only way to date that we know that people have acquired this is by going to one specific province in China. You are at no risk of getting the virus by coming to a restaurant in Kearny Mesa. At this point the risk to the public is low and folks should not be fearful of getting out and going to any part of the community.”

    Was Fletcher dangerously ignorant of what was happening across the globe by dismissing the growing pandemic? He was either horribly misinformed, which is unlikely, or he was so intent on virtue signaling and getting TV face time to buoy his future political prospects, that human lives didn’t matter.

    Three weeks later, taking the helm of the county’s response to the virus, Supervisor Fletcher gave San Diegans his list of essential businesses that were allowed to remain open, even going so far as to ask for the public’s help in reporting on non-essential businesses still open. He then took the extremely careless and unconstitutional step of declaring gun stores nonessential and ordered them to be closed in the county immediately.

    San Diego Gun Owners Association President Michael Schwartz rightfully blasted Fletcher for his actions: “We have a harsh condemnation for Supervisor Fletcher and are extremely disappointed with his inflammatory rhetoric about closing gun shops,” said SDGOA’s Schwartz. “The Supervisor’s potentially dangerous statements were ludicrous and escalated an already tense situation unnecessarily with bad information. Nathan Fletcher should stop his inflammatory rhetoric and concentrate on the business of running the county.”

    Schwartz continued: “The situation has been made worse by overreacting politicians who stoke public outrage with their incendiary and reckless comments as they flex their egos in the name of safeguarding public health. During a time when people are trying to make sure they remain safe and secure is not a time to advance your political agenda. For the sake of the safety of all San Diegans, please be a part of the solution rather than creating yet another problem.”

    Four days later, Sheriff Gore overrode Fletcher’s decree and stated that gun stores can remain open for business during the crisis.

    This isn’t the first time that Fletcher has ignored solid advice and instead chose to virtue signal at the public’s expense.

    Back when Fletcher was an Assemblyman, he was the lead champion for banning single-use plastic bags in San Diego, ignoring the science that proved that it would lead to disease manifestation and spread.

    Just a few months later, San Diego was hit hard by a hepatitis outbreak spread by fecal contamination, killing 16 and sickening 421 by November of that year. The Huffington Post posted an article at the time titled “San Diego’s Hepatitis Outbreak Is A Man-Made Disaster.”

    Since then, numerous California counties and entire states have cancelled their bans on plastic bags, with some calling for an outright ban on bags that are reusable due to the spread of disease. Supervisor Fletcher, however, has decided not to address this issue.

    What about Fletcher’s capstone issues of relentlessly pushing for high-density housing and forcing people out of their cars into mass transit? To date, Fletcher seems to be moving forward on those initiatives. Let’s all thank God that these initiatives weren’t fully implemented before the coronavirus pandemic. Who knows how many more innocent victims of the virus there would be in San Diego County. Who’s eager to cram into a high-density apartment building or sit shoulder to shoulder on a two-hour bus or train these days?

    Fletcher has been the cheerleader of one of the most anti-small business bills in the history of California, AB 5. Along with his wife Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, he has helped aggressively push the law forward, throwing hundreds of thousands of hard-working independent contractors and freelancers out of work. This comes at a time when the California unemployment rate is already soaring to record highs.

    In only four weeks, 22 million Americans lost their jobs and filed unemployment claims. That number grows daily. The Small Business Administration has run out of money for its paycheck protection program, which means that millions are unable to apply for emergency loans.

    It’s good to know where Fletcher’s priorities lie.

    Is this the kind of person you want to lead the response to the virus, who has authority to dictate what businesses are essential or not? Does this sound like a person who cares about the public more than his own ego and political future?

    San Diego deserves much better.

  3. @Anonymous,
    We have changed your posted name. It’s one thing to use a fake name. It’s something else to purposely use someone else’s name so as to embarrass that person and to create a very false impression for readers. You are on a short thread here.

  4. Much applause Amy Reichert… I could not agree with you more and wholly support your activism.
    Nathan Fletcher had nothing going for him when he dipped his toe in local political waters, except that he had served in the US Marine Corps and campaigned as a Republican when they still had some money and power. San Diegans were desperate at the time for someone young, a flag waver and in the GOP. He was a non-starter with everyone it seems, and when he lost in that first election, he switched sides…without even a nod to those who’d given him money and their votes. He is a without the kind of valor and principles that I believe are at the core of Marine Officers and should be in our politicians as well. Huge disappointment. Not to be stymied, he hooked up with Lorena Gonzalez. Now there is a woman who knows how to work the system for her own advancement. She has manipulated the SEIU and other unions to solidify her hold on Latino voters and election to ever- higher office–but what has she actually accomplished for San Diegans? Back in the day, there were two people who lost perhaps a billion dollar investment for Chula Vista in the proposed Gaylord Bayfront project…when the developer wouldn’t agree to a Union only contract and left town. Lorena and Tom Lemmon. Cost those workers, union and non union, thousands of jobs. Huge mistake…along the lines of Ocasio-Cortez and Amazon.
    And now installed as an Assemblyperson in Sacramento, her signature piece was legislation AB 5 that cost thousands of workers the chance to be independent workers, contract employees. The bill was later amended and signed into law by her friend and mentor, Gavin Newsom. Make no mistake, the team of Gonzalez and Fletcher have a goal of ascending the political ladder, no matter how badly Californians lose out.
    The constituency they represent and want to capitalize on, the working poor like hotel maids and bartenders, cab drivers and factory workers –cannot afford to live here anymore. What have either of them done, but shutter small businesses by the hundreds, support the much-hated Newsom’s lockdown, left the homeless on the streets and failed to influence or interfere in the assault on our border?

  5. Ms. Tegarden:
    Your opinions are fine of course, but on a factual note, Fletcher’s first elections were run and won as a Republican. He won a seat in the State Assembly and was reelected. He later left the GOP while running for mayor.

    As far as being a “non starter to everyone it seems,” that’s pretty hard to argue. Many Republicans did not believe anything of the sort at the time.

  6. “David,” who attempted to post a comment:

    We understand you have strong feelings. Your opinions may even be true. But you resorted to petty name calling, dealing in personal attacks instead of issues. We don’t do that here.

    We know it’s easier to simply name call then to make a valid argument, but we’d encourage you to try.

    Please see Linda Tegarden’s comment for an example of someone who has a strong opinion about a politician, but uses cogent points to express that opinion.

  7. Maienschein, Stephan, Fletcher, et al…. One should not be surprised that a certain segment of our political class so easily flips parties when one considers that in the end, their only real concern is themselves. As Republicans/conservatives, we should pay them no attention (and certainly never vote for them again). While venting our spleens here regarding Fletcher may feel good, it does nothing to address the real issue which is how do we make the electorate realize we have a better way forward for them and their families? Certainly Biden/Harris (not to mention Fletcher) are giving us plenty of ammunition (inflation, the border, lockdowns, etc.). BTW, Fletcher was not a Marine Officer and while he may have been in a firefight once, his primary job was to sit at a desk and write intelligence reports. As a retired Marine Aviator married to a retired Army Nurse, I do not wish to denigrate his contribution, but neither do I want more made of it than it was.

  8. There’s a YT channel: “Central Intelligence Agency” which says the Swiss use oxygen deprivation as one of the best tortures.

  9. I wholeheartedly support a movement to Recall Fletcher.
    He is in it for personal gain & deaf to his constituents. We are Citizens, NOT subjects Fletch… you work for US.

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