Katherine Stuart does the shilling for her husband’s turkey giveaway: “I have to mention [AT&T] because they’re our sponsor and they have been amazing to work with.”
  • Katherine Stuart does the shilling for her husband’s turkey giveaway: “I have to mention [AT&T] because they’re our sponsor and they have been amazing to work with.”
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Political handout day, otherwise known as Thanksgiving, came two weeks early for embattled San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, whose One San Diego nonprofit threw its annual turkey giveaway on Saturday, November 11 in Oak Park. “Free Admission. Family Friendly. Food. Entertainment,” says an online invitation. “Plus, we will be providing every family with one Thanksgiving turkey. (Turkeys are available one per family until supplies last).”

Katherine Stuart, the mayor’s wife, was joined by soon-to-retire chief of police Shelley Zimmerman for the traditional promotion of the event on KUSI-TV, owned by GOP stalwart Mike McKinnon. “One San Diego is hosting the largest Better-a-Block Party of the year in Oak Park to strengthen the relationship between neighborhood residents and civic leaders,” said the station’s report. “The event will bring Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, City Council President Myrtle Cole, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, officers from the San Diego Police Department’s Southeastern Division, faith leaders and community members in a festive environment.”

Said Stuart: “We’re giving out 700 turkeys, so the word on the street is out there.” She added, “It wouldn’t have happened without AT&T, I have to mention that because they’re our sponsor and they have been amazing to work with.” Over the years, the cell-phone giant has kicked in more than six figures to finance the mayor’s nonprofit. The company’s latest lobbying disclosure filing, dated November 2, shows that assistant vice president Ignacio De La Torre has been pitching Faulconer’s deputy chief operating officer for Neighborhood Services David Graham on a “municipal pole attachment agreement,” and is also seeking to renew a cell-tower permit for 7480 Convoy Court.

Not to be outdone by the mayor, Assembly Democrat Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, whose husband Nathan Fletcher is running for county supervisor, conducted her free fowl event with the assistance of $5000 provided by utility giant San Diego Gas & Electric, now battling with those who seek to alter its local power-distribution monopoly. “Will host our assembly district’s annual Turkey and fresh produce distribution & Health resource fair to constituents that are in-need throughout our district,” says a so-called behesting disclosure of the Sempra Energy subsidiary’s contribution filed with the state. This year’s “Operation Gobble” was scheduled for November 15 at Cesar Chavez Park. Meanwhile, Nathan Fletcher’s bid for supervisor picked up $25,950 from the San Diego County Democratic Party’s federal campaign account on November 13.

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Comments

swell Nov. 22, 2017 @ 4:56 p.m.

"Political handout day, otherwise known as Thanksgiving, came two weeks early for embattled San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, whose One San Diego nonprofit threw its annual turkey giveaway on Saturday, November 11 in Oak Park."

Uh, make that two YEARS early. The link is dated 2015. You have any turkey news from this year?

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Visduh Nov. 22, 2017 @ 5:20 p.m.

So Kev-boy and his charity gave away 700 turkeys, did they? Sounds like a bunch of birds, and it is, but at some wide-open event like that, a line of 1000 people could easily form before the handing-out ever started. If this were such a grandiose thing, think in the range of 7,000 turkeys.

Forty-plus years ago I worked for a locally-based retailer that gave a turkey to every employee at Thanksgiving. Since you've long been able to buy the birds in narrow weight ranges, they decided to give ten pound turkeys. Using the usual rules of thumb, that would serve six, or at a stretch eight, with little or no leftovers. Generous? I leave that to you to determine.

Some years later that retailer began to cut back. There was a time when it provided the turkey at T'giving, a ham at Christmas, a birthday cake upon one's birthday, and a company-paid picnic/party in the summer. Little by little they were whittled down the freebies to only one thing. The employees decided that the turkey was the favorite, and so that was the only such gift remaining.

Some things are sacred, and a turkey for Thanksgiving is one of them. Just how much political benefit does Faulconer get out of handing out a few hundred turkeys? I don't claim to know.

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monaghan Nov. 24, 2017 @ 6:10 p.m.

Talk about turkeys! Thankful you mentioned Lorena Gonzalez's calculating boy-toy getting $25,000+ from the Democratic Party in his run for County Supervisor. It's a sharp reminder never to give the Democratic Party's online fundraising ActBlue a dime until they reform their big-money operation that is merely a clone of the GOP model.

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ICare Nov. 25, 2017 @ 11:14 a.m.

So how does it really work in the local democratic party? Amazing that local 2 time loser candidate Nathan Fletcher, who use to be a conservative republician, then inept independent and now a "progressive democrat" picks up $25,950 in one day from local party, practically 8 months before primarty election, while the other 3 democrats 2 Africian Americian men and 1 woman, plug away at their fundraising efforts. Will Nathan's wife, Chairwoman of the California Appropriations Committee "behest" her Assembly campaign war chest to the local party, which can then earmark for "Fletcher communications" and then funnel directly into Mr. Fletcher's campaign coffers? In other words, can she collect corporate dollars at $5,000 a pop from SDG&E, SEMPRA, QUALCOMM, AT&T and others for herself, which ultimately ends up as money to her husband, while other supervisorial candidates can only collect personal checks? It's certainly the opinion of those in republician and democratic circles, without the help of the powerful, effective, and smart Assemblywoman, Nathan Fletcher wouldn't have received the democratic party's endorsement nor their monies! Endorsing Fletcher wayyyy early in September, 9 months before the election, was a give away that Gonzalez-Fletcher has big influence over the meek local Democratic Chairwoman Jessica Hayes. They did everything they could to get the endorsement for Fletcher except roll out a red carpet.

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monaghan Nov. 25, 2017 @ 3:46 p.m.

Sounds to me like you know how the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee works, ICare. It is venal and close to corrupt -- though they are saved by their ever-changing by-laws and the selfish energy of Lorena Gonzalez who makes the trains run on time -- that is, in favor of her passive ideology-free husband and her own power-agenda.

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ICare Nov. 29, 2017 @ 5:15 p.m.

It all makes me sad monaghan. San Diego County really needs institutional changes to move the region economically and socially forward. We need someone who genuinely cares about why and how to implement these kind of serious and necessary changes. I am worried that the anointment of "passive-ideology free" Nathan Fletcher, by the local democratic party, was done to keep his wife quiet (this is what the word is in the trenches) rather than flip flopper Mr. Fletcher's commitment to a real progressive agenda. Scary indeed.

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