Why is this woman smiling?
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Assembly Democrat Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher has taken some time away from a busy legislative agenda — including a newly introduced bill to merge the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority back into the port district — to do some big-time fundraising among a plethora of the state capitol’s most powerful and controversial special interests. On just a single day earlier this month, Thursday, March 8, the local politico managed to round up a tidy $52,400, campaign disclosures show. Among donors were traditional labor union sources, including the American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees and the California State Council of Service Employees, commonly known as SEIU, each with $8800. The latter has also been a backer of Gonzalez Fletcher’s husband Nathan Fletcher’s bid for the board of county supervisors, going so far as to pull out of the Working Families Council, a group of local unions, after it endorsed rival Democrat Lori Saldaña for the post.

Two plumbers’ union locals in Burlingame and Millbrae in the San Francisco Bay area each kicked in $5000. Other major chunks of Gonzalez Fletcher’s March campaign change included $3300 from Axcess Financial Services, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio, a so-called payday lender. The industry has been criticized for gouging low-income workers with high-interest rates. Onlookers say the contribution has the potential to dent the Gonzalez Fletcher couple’s political image at a critical time. High-tech energy storage outfit Stem, Inc. of Millbrae came up with $4000, and MSG Sports & Entertainment, operator of the Forum in Inglewood, gave $3000.

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