The Fallout from the “Fletcher, DeMaio clash over mayoral endorsements”

Owen Kellogg Owen Kellogg 15 Comments


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, 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.


Comments 15

  1. The only fallout from this nonsense is DeMaio’s consistent inability to take the heat when it comes to defending his own issues and ethics.

    Nathan’s been endorsed by the CA Small Business Association, Neighborhood Market Association and hundreds of CEOs and business leaders — all of whom agree — that Nathan has the kind of tested leadership tough enough to move San Diego forward.

    Maybe it’s time we had a Mayor who has only had to dodge bullets and bombs, instead of someone who dodges questions and answers.

  2. Southbay Sunnycrest – Fletcher’s political leadership is non-existent. His legislative highlight is the “controversial” issue of being tough on child molesters. It takes alot of guts to take on the powerful child molester special interest groups.

    DeMaio has been front and center on every difficult issue before the city for several years (pension reform, Prop D, outsourcing, city finances) since before taking office.. He’s taken on the big problem of big labor in SD and championed the vision of most republicans for a better san diego.

    And don’t forget Bonnie, she’s run an effect DA’s office and has a strong conviction rate for felons. She provides proven leadership. Fletcher is the one who shows a lack of political conviction and courage by only taking on easy PR issues which poll well to advance only himself.

  3. Few thoughts on this fine Friday evening.

    1. Carl is a taxpayer profiteer, having made millions off of taxpayers as a government consultant and now as a councilman. He has also used his taxpayer funded council office to further his own political goals. While completely legal, he has used a sizable portion of his city council budget to advance himself to his next job (Look no further than his campaign manager who used to be his director of outreach). Fletcher is no better, hiring his chief of staff and state spokesperson to the campaign, but nathan doesn’t take every opportunity to scream at everyone else about misuse of taxpayer dollars. Carl is continues to open himself up to critisim as a hypocrit.

    2. Former labor leader Jerry Butkiewicz was on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Chamber of Commerce for many years. While I think this was a terrible decision for the organization, Nathan’s idea to treat business and labor as equal employers is nothing new. Wonder how many outraged business leaders where members of the chamber at that time?

    3. Getting past the talking points, its not as black and white as we would like it. Law and order – good. People putting out house fires – good. Private business job growth – good. Out of control pensions and benefits with no accountability – bad. Out of control developers with no accountability – bad.

  4. Nathan Fletcher is touted as the Great Compromiser who can get a piece of the taxpayer pie for all the same old interested parties thus preserving the status quo. He is just the man to kick the San Diego can down the road. Under his leadership the taxpayers would continue to get screwed.

  5. If you believe that Unions are the cause of every ill that has ever befallen society (and many of the Rostra readers probably do) and that eliminating them or their power would return us to Utopia, then DeMaio is definitely your man for Mayor. If, however, you think that we should have a Mayor who is capable of focusing on multiple issues, then you probably should look for another candidate.

  6. Chevy Sam, care to explain how DeMaio, who grew his business to a multi-million dollar enterprise while contracting with government for services (somehow an evil endeavor), is continuing his “profiteering” as a $75K a year city councilman (as you assert)?

    Perhaps he’s in it for the lucrative city politician pension? Nope. He (along with Kevin Faulconer) has refused to take the incredible pension — unheard of with our long history of greedy politicians. Certainly unheard of by Bonny Dumanis who will retire with a pension, that, coupled with her county-earned social security, will be considerably higher than her head-DA salary — and, of course, by multi-pension grabbing Bob Filner.

    Perhaps DeMaio became a city councilman for the quality lifetime health care? Maybe, but that seems to be of little consequence for a man who could and did make a great living as a government contractor.

    Maybe DeMaio is busting his butt for the $30,000 raise that he will receive as mayor? Yeah, THAT makes sense, right?

    Clearly DeMaio’s not in it for the money — clear except to you and the labor unions, of course.

  7. Richard,

    Happy to oblige. There is nothing wrong with contracting with the government for services and there is certainly nothing wrong with growing a business into a multi-million dollar corporation. Lots of people have become millionaires at the expense of taxpayers, just like Carl.

    Frankly, I’d be interested to learn what he actually did for the money. You know- His contracts? His results? Bonuses? etc. Would love to see someone dig into it like they did with Nathan’s military record.

    Ok, so moving onto his campaigning, i mean work, at the City. Carl is in it for power and ego and is using taxpayers money to boost both. Carl has made his name screaming at the city for how they waste money (rightfully so), but now he is on the company dime and doing the same thing as every other politician to call City Hall home. Has Carl volunteered to slash his office budget and set an example? Has Carl offered to cut positions to save money? Nope, he’s like a pig in mud.

    He hired his campaign manager with taxpayer money to consolidate his base of supporters/donors for his campaign. He used taxpayer money to send out millions of pieces of mail to his district proclaiming his awesomeness. He used his taxpayer funded staff (those who haven’t quit) to hold community meetings throughout San Diego to promote himself.

    Carl says he’s different, he’s an outsider, but he’s not. He’s spent his career feeding at the government trough while getting famous for calling everyone else a glutton. IMHO, that’s worse than taking pension, because its’ dishonest.

    BTW – I know you think I’m some union hack, but I’m really the farthest thing from it. Turns out there’s folks outside of union halls and mayoral campaigns who don’t want Carl to be our Mayor. Who knew!

    Your Friend – Chevy

  8. OMG Chevy Sam… are you implying that San Diego’s Taxpayer Watchdog is in fact *gulp* a fox guarding the hen house?

    Please, say it ain’t so!

  9. Chevy, you wrote and wrote, but you never explained how Carl DeMaio is “profiteering” as a city council member. With good reason. He doesn’t.

    There are quite a number of nonunion and even anti-union folks who oppose Carl. Many if not most are members of the AD HOC group I’ve labeled the San Diego Downtown Business Subsidy Association. This amorphous and informal organization sees city government as a money pit for the members’ future well-being. Most support Fletcher and/or Dumanis.

    To establish your non-union credibility, would you care to reveal your identity? Hmmmmm????

  10. Richard,

    As I said in my response, Carl already got rich off of taxpayers and is now using their money to boost his political power and ego. Whether your a union employee or a private company contracting with the government, wasting taxpayers money is wasting taxpayer money. But, I’m guessing you’re not going to concede the point that Carl is a hypocrite so I’ll move on.

    Are you going to start defending fiscal hawks like Marti Emerald, Sheri Lightner and David Alvarez who rejected pay increases now?

    No, I’m not going to reveal my identity. Plenty of folks in American history have used pen names so they could offer their political opinions freely without repercussion and I’m proud to join them.

  11. Chevy Sam,

    As one with experience in this matter, trust me when I say that arguing with Richard Rider is a waste of time. He will continually change the focus of the discussion until you no longer even remember what your initial point was.

  12. Can anyone verify if this is accurate about the pay cut?

    From the UT –

    “It’s ironic that Carl DeMaio is yet again issuing a shrill report on city compensation when during a budget crisis that forced cuts to police, fire, parks and libraries, DeMaio refused to take a 6-percent pay cut applied to City Council members,” she said.

    Sanders urged the council to take the pay cut in 2009 after city employees were forced to take a similar cut, but DeMaio declined. He has opted out of the city’s pension system, which equals a 22 percent reduction in pay.

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