The exchange between the Fletcher and DeMaio campaigns over endorsements has become one of the more interesting dynamics in the Mayor’s race. The UT has a good summary of it, but here is the gist:
After DeMaio was endorsed by the Building Industry Association, the Associated General Contractors and the Associated Builders and Contractors, Fletcher’s campaign spokeswoman Amy Thoma fired back.
“Carl DeMaio is a hypocrite when it comes to endorsements,” she said in a statement. “He criticizes his opponents for taking endorsements from groups with matters over which the mayor has control, saying they can’t be trusted to be unbiased, and then touts his own endorsements from groups with millions of dollars of projects before the city.”
Ryan Clumpner, with DeMaio’s campaign, responded: “No amount of name calling can change the fact that Nathan Fletcher is backed by the government employee unions, which are the only ‘groups’ that negotiate directly with the mayor behind closed doors.”
Since then there was another skirmish on the issue at a recent San Diego Young Republicans mayoral debate; this time between the two candidates themselves.
So what is the fallout? DeMaio’s endless criticism of Labor’s control over San Diego city government has earned him a redesigned Labor funded attack site, www.dirtydemaio.com and if the recent population of fresh content, web ads and smart phone apps give a sign of what’s to come, Labor will undoubtedly spend big money against him. That was probably a given, we are just now really seeing it in action…the fruits of Labor’s labor.
The real fallout is the ever increasing chatter I am hearing about how upset business leaders are at Fletcher. Why? Because Fletcher and his campaign made a calculated decision to publicly state that business groups and labor groups are the same, should be treated the same, and that it is hypocritical to not treat them the same. The Fletcher campaign doesn’t seem to agree with the free market principle that most reform minded voters hold: developers create jobs and the government labor unions kill jobs.
Never mind the the distinction that we got into this mess because the politicians that Labor helped elect sold us taxpayers out to the labor unions, resulting in the billions in unfunded pensions and infrastructure.
That is why many high profile business leaders are taking the attacks personally, and see Fletcher’s position as an affront on their various industries.
Fletcher’s public criticism of DeMaio’s endorsements and the defense of his own bring up the quandary: It’s almost impossible to argue that you will bring a new generation of leadership while repeating the same mistakes of the past. After all, politicians having self-serving relationships with the government labor union bosses is what got us into this mess.