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High stakes for Lorena and Nathan

Labor union pours cash into San Diego Democratic Party

Lorena Gonzalez and Nathan Fletcher at the Democratic National Convention
Lorena Gonzalez and Nathan Fletcher at the Democratic National Convention

After months of online skirmishing over who will emerge from the June primary for the Fourth District county supervisor's seat currently held by termed-out Republican Ron Roberts, a big money player is placing its bets, with plenty more cash reportedly on the way.

A hefty $20,000 contribution to the county Democratic Party arrived March 19, courtesy of the Service Employees International Union Local 221 PAC, which has endorsed Nathan Fletcher, husband of the labor union's longtime favorite, DemocraticAssemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher.

Nathan Fletcher, a twice-failed candidate for San Diego mayor who switched from the GOP to run as a self-styled independent in the middle of his first mayoral race in 2012 and then turned Democrat in May 2013, months before his second bid, obtained the local Democratic Party's primary endorsement for supervisor last September.

The political couple, wed New Year's weekend, 2017, made an appearance on national television as they emoted for each other and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at 2016's Democratic convention. Nathan has also enjoyed the Twitter favor of CNN anchor Jake Tapper regarding the former's anti-Trump stances.

But more than bragging rights are at stake in the rough-and-tumble supervisorial contest. The assemblywoman got a total of $106,559 in salary and benefits in 2016, per Transparent California, and county supervisors voted to boost their pay last year by 12 percent to $172,450, plus benefits.

After leaving the assembly, Nathan Fletcher was employed by Qualcomm — whose founding Jacobs family members were his longtime political patrons, — but no longer works there. A part-time “professor of practice” at UCSD, where officials once considered asking Irwin Jacobs to come up with his salary, Fletcher’s profession is billed as that of "Educator/Veterans Advocate” on this coming June’s ballot.

SEIU Local 221, which endorsed Fletcher last July, seeking to boost its influence over the board, is a long-time financial backer of his wife's political aspirations, most recently with $8800 for her 2018 re-election campaign.

The union also abruptly withdrew its backing of the San Diego Working Families Council after it moved to endorse Fletcher's rival and fellow Democrat Lori Saldaña in the race.

The wisdom of SEIU's all-out-for-Fletcher strategy will be tested in June, when he faces off against Saldaña, attorney Omar Passons, retired deputy chief in the San Diego Fire and Rescue Department Ken Malbrough, real estate advisor Marcia Nordstrom, and the big elephant in the majority Democratic district, Republican ex-District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

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Lorena Gonzalez and Nathan Fletcher at the Democratic National Convention
Lorena Gonzalez and Nathan Fletcher at the Democratic National Convention

After months of online skirmishing over who will emerge from the June primary for the Fourth District county supervisor's seat currently held by termed-out Republican Ron Roberts, a big money player is placing its bets, with plenty more cash reportedly on the way.

A hefty $20,000 contribution to the county Democratic Party arrived March 19, courtesy of the Service Employees International Union Local 221 PAC, which has endorsed Nathan Fletcher, husband of the labor union's longtime favorite, DemocraticAssemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher.

Nathan Fletcher, a twice-failed candidate for San Diego mayor who switched from the GOP to run as a self-styled independent in the middle of his first mayoral race in 2012 and then turned Democrat in May 2013, months before his second bid, obtained the local Democratic Party's primary endorsement for supervisor last September.

The political couple, wed New Year's weekend, 2017, made an appearance on national television as they emoted for each other and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at 2016's Democratic convention. Nathan has also enjoyed the Twitter favor of CNN anchor Jake Tapper regarding the former's anti-Trump stances.

But more than bragging rights are at stake in the rough-and-tumble supervisorial contest. The assemblywoman got a total of $106,559 in salary and benefits in 2016, per Transparent California, and county supervisors voted to boost their pay last year by 12 percent to $172,450, plus benefits.

After leaving the assembly, Nathan Fletcher was employed by Qualcomm — whose founding Jacobs family members were his longtime political patrons, — but no longer works there. A part-time “professor of practice” at UCSD, where officials once considered asking Irwin Jacobs to come up with his salary, Fletcher’s profession is billed as that of "Educator/Veterans Advocate” on this coming June’s ballot.

SEIU Local 221, which endorsed Fletcher last July, seeking to boost its influence over the board, is a long-time financial backer of his wife's political aspirations, most recently with $8800 for her 2018 re-election campaign.

The union also abruptly withdrew its backing of the San Diego Working Families Council after it moved to endorse Fletcher's rival and fellow Democrat Lori Saldaña in the race.

The wisdom of SEIU's all-out-for-Fletcher strategy will be tested in June, when he faces off against Saldaña, attorney Omar Passons, retired deputy chief in the San Diego Fire and Rescue Department Ken Malbrough, real estate advisor Marcia Nordstrom, and the big elephant in the majority Democratic district, Republican ex-District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

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Comments
8

Why doesn’t this do nothing, flip flopping excuse of a political hack, just go away. He doesn’t stand for anything, changes affiliations like the wind changes direction. Sucks up to a billionaire and his family and gets a do nothing job.

Hey Nathan why not be a regular guy for a while, do honest documented work, and earn a living instead of exploiting everyone else.

If the voters in District Four elect this Bozo, they deserve what, if any meaningful representation they’ll get.

March 23, 2018

Well, he couldn't do a worse job than Ron Roberts. Even Ronald McDonald would be better. Or Ron Reagan Jr.

March 23, 2018

The Dems really need to pull it together: no party can still afford to flood the primaries with candidates now that we have a 'top-two-take-all' system.

This is how we ended up with Kev-boy as mayor, and how we will end up with Bonnie Donothing as a supe.

March 23, 2018

San Diego would be far better off if Lori Saldaña wins this race since we would finally get a Supervisor that thinks more about San Diego than just paying Big Donors back for their Donations!

Without electing Lori Saldaña expect San Diego to swing far more toward the RIGHT since our current Mayor and Fletcher both OWE the GOP which has its eyes glued on taking over CA from the old school DEM.'s that have now also started to promote far more for big Corp.’s (Big Utility’s, Big Pharma, Big Aerospace and Big Developers to name just a few) than for regular taxpayers!

March 23, 2018

For every dollar that Labor puts into the race the business will pour much more money into candidates that are anti-worker and only represent the wealthy with no regard to those who actually do the hands-on work.

March 24, 2018

The Central Labor Council fraud notwithdstanding, Fletcher could not leverage his ZERO percent labor record to get the endorsement of the Working Families Council, when he tried to get the "Kasparian endorsement" via back room deal. How's this for sour grapes? (he only "rejected" Working Families, after they rejected him and his ZERO percent labor record. https://timesofsandiego.com/politics/2018/03/16/saldana-gets-endorsement-of-kasparians-union-group-which-fletcher-rejected/

March 26, 2018

If you check Nathan Fletcher’s record, you will see by his votes he is pro-gun & anti-environment. Lori Saldaña’s record is for sensible gun control & pro-environment.

You can see for yourself Nathan Fletcher's 93% “A” rating with the National Rifle Association (NRA) at: https://votesmart.org/interest-group/520/rating/8606 and all his votes, including Nathan Fletcher's anti-environment votes at: https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/104432/nathan-fletcher

votesmart.org is my favorite tool to check on any candidate that has held national or state office because a politician’s record is more revealing than paid ads or endorsements.

March 27, 2018

I can't verify that NRA rating. Is it part of the dirty tricks campaign? Is it from long ago?

Fletcher Voted To Ban Open Carry Of Rifles And Shotguns. In August 2012, Fletcher voted for AB 1527. The bill prohibited “the open carrying of unloaded rifles and shotguns in public places in incorporated cities statewide” [AB 1527, 8/29/12; Giffords Law Center]

Fletcher Voted To Urge Congress To Reauthorize Assault Weapons Ban. In August 2012, Fletcher voted for AJR 45, which urged the President and Congress of the United States to reauthorize the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. [AJR 45, 8/22/12]

Fletcher Voted To Require Gun Owners Report Lost Or Stolen Firearms Within 48 Hours. In August 2012, Fletcher voted for SB 1366. The bill would require that “every person whose firearm is lost or stolen must notify local law enforcement within 48 hours of the time the person knew or reasonably should have known that the firearm had been lost or stolen.” [SB1366, 8/22/12; Giffords Law Center]

May 12, 2018

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