The Mayor’s Race – First Few Days

Mr. MurphyMr. Murphy 12 Comments


Some observations on the first few days of the Mayor’s race:

#1 Republicans Up. The Republican candidates for Mayor (DeMaio, Dumanis, Fletcher) are up and running: raising money, throwing up websites, gathering endorsements, hiring consultants. The Democrats are having a harder time getting on their feet. I can’t imagine this is planned. More like they spent so long deciding that they still have to clear their heads and get going building organizations. Of course, they have labor.

#2 Money. By now I think many readers have been called by multiple candidates or their agents many times. In particular, Fletcher seems to have a number of people with overlapping lists calling for him. In public, each of the campaigns is underselling what they expect to raise (I believe Tom Shepard’s hope the other day in one of the papers that Fletcher would raise 100k is a good example). What are the campaigns predicting internally? My understanding is Fletcher is aiming high, at $300,000 which is important given to bolster his credibility as a city candidate. Given Fletcher’s contacts at the state and federal level this is not an unrealistic goal I’d think. Campaign Carl is next at $150,000 raised (he says he’s matching out of his pocket). Dumanis doesn’t appear to be focused on short term fundraising – figuring that as the DA she’s doesn’t have to demonstrate credibility.

#3 The Establishment. With Dumanis garnering the endorsement of Mayor Sanders and Councilman Faulconer, the old establishment is certainly gravitating towards her campaign. There was some question whether or not Sanders would endorse after Dumanis opposed his pension measure, but then again I don’t think there are too many people that think Sanders’ heart is actually too deeply invested in that venture. Several months ago it sounded like the old, largely downtown establishment was leaning towards Fletcher… that he had a gentleman’s agreement that both Dumanis and the Mayor would be supportive of his bid as a way to stop DeMaio (pretty firm evidence: Tom Shepard, who largely consults for establishment candidates including the Mayor, is Fletcher’s consultant). It’s unknown what occurred behind the scenes, but Dumanis jumped in and the old establishment followed.

#4 The Establishment II. The last paragraph implies that Fletcher got the shaft. Maybe he did. But San Diego has gotten bigger in the last decade, and there are more than one set in the establishment. Fletcher may have wanted to unite them all, but I believe he managed to lose one (old establishment), and win one (new establishment). The new establishment are the tech companies, the bio companies, many of the New Majority types. My opinion is that this group – usually younger and better heeled than the old establishment –  is going to circle the wagon around Fletcher.

#5 The Establishment III. I don’t think it’s much of a secret that DeMaio is hardly the darling of the establishment. Thinking about this this morning I’d call his base the “Proposition D Coalition”: maybe not the leaders of but the members of many of the business and Republican associations. He probably grinds up more with Fletcher in the GOP arena than he does with Dumanis, who largely lost what support she had in the more partisan arena over her pension position.


Comments 12

  1. DeMaio says he has 25 events in 23 days. plus he has 500 co-chairs for those events. Co-chairs are usually max out donors and sometimes plus spouse.

    If DeMaio is telling the truth, he should win the first lap of the money race.

  2. Couple of comments.

    1) I REALLY doubt there is anything approaching a “new establishment”. It is sad, in lots of ways, but I doubt seriously that Nathan is going to show a huge pop in June from the San Diego technology community. Hope I am wrong as it would be a sign of their growing political maturity. When the filings come June 30 I promise a quick analysis of the giving patterns for at least Bonnie and Nathan (and if time Carl).

    2) No one has still answered the million (cause combined that is probably what it approaches) question – how much and under what rules can Bonnie, Kehoe, Fletcher, and Filner tap campaign accounts raised for different seats? The related question is how much is in those. Knowing both Kehoe and Filner I would be SHOCKED if they both didn’t have six figure balances left in various accounts so their need to “raise $ for credibility” is pretty minimal.

    3) The inside game is what is occurring on the left. I would assume they are trying to consolidate support because they would rather not split the Ds 2 (or may 3) ways. Nightmare for Lorena – she gets a Fletcher/Carl run off – something that is not at all out of the realm of possibility in a low turn out scenario.

    3b) And a low turn out scenario seems more likely every day. I maybe viewing through rose colored glasses but I think Tim P. is building a sustainable message. If things can stay mildly competitive through June it means bigger GOP turn out and depressed D. turn out with little to motivate them to the polls. Yes. Year is a lifetime in politics so bit early for such predictions but hey, it is a blog.

    4) I got my first City COUNCIL fund raising call yesterday. My personal opinion – it is TOO EARLY to fundraise for a council seat that hasn’t been drawn. Take, for example, a scenario where they lump Emerald in with D5. As someone VERY unhappy with Marty I would support the strongest candidate I could. Likely a “draft Brian M.” movement. But we will not know what is likely for another month. Put the powder away. Set up your web sites. Build your game. But don’t dial for dollars until at least the DRAFT map is out. Hell, they may screw up the numbering and REALLY Mess over center right candidates.

  3. “Tim P. is building a sustainable message.”

    So you are banking on Tim Pawlenty having a sustainable message through June? That’s what you are banking on?

  4. Can somebody post Fletcher’s kickoff speech from Monday, and DeMaio’s speech from Sunday? It would be good to know what they are telling their supporters and how they are framing the contest.

  5. From what I can tell federal and state candidates cannot transfer money from their accounts into city council accounts.

    Evidence of this would be Fletcher’s massive television ad bombardment last year. If he could move the money I’m pretty sure he would have?

  6. Dude, DeMaio’s speech is right here…

    Maybe someone could mail Nathan’s campaign and ask why they don’t post to Rostra? Bonnie’s campaign just asked and we are setting her up to do so.

  7. Erik, I just agreed with you in the “Kevin Faulconer Endorses Bonnie Dumanis for Mayor” but I’m going to disagree, at least partially, with you here.

    While there may not be a true “new establishment” forming, there definitely has been a divide between the downtown crowd and the high tech, biotech and other business further north. This divide has been closed over the past 20 years or so, but there is still a lot of feeling that the concerns and impacts to the city by the “new economy” types are overlooked….just ask guys like Kevin Carroll at AEA.

  8. D7 – Interesting discussion on the divide the downtown establishment and the new tech. establishment. I would think the new tech. establishment would be much more interested/focused on State and National issues politically. They are regulated there and not at the municipal level.

    I can understand supporting a sitting state level legislator who’s running for other office, but why spend 100Ks on an elected official who can do little/nothing for you for the 1-2 terms in office if he wins. I’d give him a “we are with you for a $100.00 dollars” but would not go all in.

  9. Aynd Rand,

    From a regulatory and business operations standpoint, state and federal issues are definitely the area of greater focus. However, from a quality of life standpoint including issues such as roads and public safety, there are many issues that affect the employees of these companies.

    The reason I mentioned Kevin by name is that there was a public hearing at the city council not too long ago on some big issue — unfortunately I cannot recall which one (maybe redevelopment?) — and Carroll made the exact point that the council was catering to the downtown power brokers at the expense of too many other citizens who also needed and deserved attention.

    My post was more on the bigger picture view, where you have a diverse, well-educated, high income (i.e. high tax bracket / tax payers) who feel somewhat ignored. Granted, if you talk to many of them, they aren’t as interested or engaged as they could or should be in local politics.

    As far as more specific situations that you suggest, absolutely agree with the strategy you outline. I think if a candidate wants more of their money, they need to show a little love and strengthen the relationships. On the surface, it seems Nathan may be on that path…his kickoff was at Nuvasive, and, as you point out, he’s had the benefit of worknig with these types of companies in his role as a state legislator.

  10. My bet is Fletcher raises more than DeMaio and Dumanis combined. He isn’t just the city, he’s all over the state and the nation.

  11. D7 –

    To be an establishment you gotta go out and recruit candidates, raise money, be involved. That is still something that the new economy doesn’t really “get” (yet). And part of that reflects that Local politics is NOT where the action is for these companies/industries – whose fate is much more tied to federal and, to a lesser extent, state policy making.

    I really hope I am wrong. San Diego would be a MUCH better place with that community engaged. But lets look at tech giving to Nathan come June. And then lets compare, even in the worst of times since 1930s, the percentage of contributions that come from the land use community and their bankers – of which the “old establishment” still dominants. By guess is a 5 to 1 or higher ratio between “old” and “new”

    FYI – I used to do Kevin C’s job. Thus my experience is both direct (and dated)

    3b) For Filner;/Kehoe to get “shut out” they 1) both have to run and 2) the R presidential primary be still up for grabs.

  12. Fletcher Fan’s thinly veiled attempt to drive expectations through the roof is so blatantly obvious as to be laughable… as I just demonstrated by laughing out loud during the staff meeting I am currently sitting through.

    Thanks, Fletcher Fan, for getting me in trouble at work.

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