Tom Shepard: “Our city needs Nathan Fletcher”

Steve Gramm Steve Gramm 4 Comments


Message from Filner consultant apparently sent to Fletcher donor list

Yesterday, an email was sent from political consultant Tom Shepard with the subject, “Our city needs Nathan Fletcher.”

Darn email service again, delivering two-months-old messages stuck on a server somewhere. I hate when that happens.

But, various others also received the email last night, with a handful forwarding it to Rostra.

A harder look showed the original email touting Fletcher was indeed sent yesterday, August 2 from “Tom Shepard, Chief Strategist” using  The same Shepard who consulted Fletcher leading up to the June mayoral primary, then made headlines starting two nights ago by breaking any supposed ties he had with local Republicans by going to work for Democrat Bob Filner in the runoff.


On closer inspection, the email was meant to target those having supported Fletcher in the primary, with an ultimately pro-Filner message (see the full email below). No doubt, the “Our city needs Nathan Fletcher” subject header was purposeful, as it would no doubt get Fletcher backers to read the content. Smart? Maybe.

But, whose list did the email target, exactly? Filner’s? Fletcher’s? Does Shepard still have access to Fletcher’s list, using it to benefit his new client? Does that kind of thing happen in politics?

Maybe, on the last question, but it’s usually difficult to prove.

The answer in this case is simple. The message was sent using an email service, with options for recipients to unsubscribe or update subscription preferences. Shazam, look where clicking on one of those takes you:

Answer to the Daily Double: It takes you to a Bob Filner for Mayor list manager with the heading, “fletcher donors.”

I’ll leave it to others to jump in and say whether Fletcher’s donor list is proprietary or not, as well as any other related ethical or legal ramifications. Maybe this is all okay.

Of course, if Fletcher allowed the Filner campaign to have the list, who knows? Maybe that’s okay too.

What again was that discussion of a job offer to Fletcher in a Filner administration?

Here’s the email…

From: “Tom Shepard, Chief Strategist” <>
Date: Thu, Aug 2, 2012 6:05 pm
Subject: Our city needs Nathan Fletcher
To: (Left blank)

Like many of Nathan’s supporters, I’ve struggled since the primary to decide what – if any – role to play in the November runoff.   To that end, I spent several weeks talking with Bob Filner about the challenges and opportunities facing our city.  I was impressed with his positive vision, his openness to differing opinions and his sincere commitment to doing what’s best for our future.  That conclusion has been reinforced by Bob’s recent public statements. Earlier this week, Bob announced his intention, if elected, to create a new position for Nathan in the Mayor’s Office responsible for overseeing major economic development projects, including the Convention Center expansion, plans for an “Innovation District” in the East Village, coordination of the city’s response to BRAC, and retention of military and defense industry operations.Here is the story:
Democratic Rep. Bob Filner says that if he’s elected as San Diego’s next mayor he’ll offer a high-profile job in his administration — head of major civic projects — to independent Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. also made two major policy announcements, expressing his commitment to expand the Convention Center and to secure its approval by the Coastal Commission, and pledging to implement the provisions of the pension reform initiative, Prop B, approved by voters in June.

Here are those stories:

[Filner] said he’s the only candidate that can get labor to agree to one of the most controversial pieces of Proposition B — a five-year freeze on the pensionable pay of current city workers — and avoid a protracted legal battle over it. He also said the Coastal Commission will never approve the convention center expansion as long as unions remain opposed to the plan and he can bridge the divide to get labor on board.

Yesterday, Bob announced I will be running his mayoral campaign.  Now I’m asking you to take a fresh look at Bob Filner and consider joining me in support of his candidacy.  I believe Bob offers the best hope for realizing Nathan’s vision and spirit that inspired us during the primary campaign.

Here is the story:

For more information on the campaign or if you would like to contribute, please visit the website at

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the campaign at (619) 231-6200 or


Here too is the email in a list manager browser window:


Comments 4

  1. Wow, your investigative skills are dazzling. A political consultant sent an email to someone else’s supporters? Kind of like the 400 mailers I received from Carl DeMaio even though I did not – will not – support him? How did he get my address? How did he get my phone number to call me? Hmmm, maybe your slick investigative skills can figure that one out for me.

    From Admin: If you don’t know the difference between a list of registered voters and a donor list, then we won’t begin to quibble with you over investigative or thinking skills.

  2. During the campaign, Filner has publicly offered Fletcher one job after another — if Filner is elected.

    The inference is clear — endorse me [Filner] in the general election, and I’ll get you a six figure income “job” (Fletcher is unemployed 1 January, 2013).

    By common sense layman’s logic, such an offer might very well appear to be a proffered bribe. Is it legally a bribe — a illegal act? I seriously doubt it. Hard to imagine a court convicting anyone in such an instance.

    Admittedly, this dealmaking goes on all the time. In 2005 when I ran for Mayor, such offers between candidates at the primary debates were common. Such offers are often said with a smile, but the deal backing the offer is usually clear to anyone who understands politics.

    But Filner has taken it to the next level — offering job after job to Fletcher — a man who has zero background or experience for the expensive new positions Filner conjures up.

    Such is the nature of San Diego’s smarmy politics, I suppose.

  3. Dear admin, I know the difference between a list of registered voters and a donor list. My point is, why is this anything different than anything all politicians do? Did he do something illegal? Did he do something unethical? Dubious on both points. The purpose of this post was to smear Mr. Shepard, nothing more.

    The fact of the matter is, the GOP is scared that Shepard will actually help Filner win. This has nothing to do with principles or ethics. You should focus on things that really matter to San Diegans. Not this drivel you think is actually of any import to such an important election.

  4. Such a deep investigation about such a shallow topic. Why not put these mad investigative skills to use on something like Carl DeMaio’s boyfriend and his media and business connections? I know why, because nobody is allowed to mention that.

    From Admin: We didn’t know Carl’s partner was running for office. Wow, we’ll check it out. The filing deadline for November races is next Friday, so we’ll watch the Registrar’s list for his name. Thanks for the heads up.

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