Fletcher as money magnet with billionaire John Collison, Pechanga Indians, deputy sheriffs
When Nathan Fletcher was running for county supervisor in 2018, his wife Assembly Democrat Lorena Gonzalez, routed hundreds of thousands of dollars she obtained from Sacramento special interests, including big oil and a private prison operator, to the San Diego Democratic Party, which in turn used it to help elect her husband.
Gonzalez's move made for some juicy pre-election campaign postmortems..
But it boosted the one-time Republican Fletcher, long a wanderer in the local political wilderness, into an office where county taxpayers paid him total salary and benefits of $239,172 last year, according to the website TransparentCaliornia.com.
He’s not running for reelection this year to his county gig, but Fletcher has continued the family tradition of routing major money gleaned from a bevy of California lobbyists to the local Democratic Party, most recently in support of his reelection to the board of the party's central committee.
The powerful central committee seat has given Fletcher a big sayover candidates and issues, including his controversial opposition to this year's Proposition A, a growth control measure also opposed by county Republicans.
This year, the local Democrats have endorsed Assembly Democrat Todd Gloria for mayor of San Diego and are likely to pour at least $600,000 if not more into Gloria's race against a fellow Democrat, San Diego city councilwoman Barbara Bry, insiders say.
Fletcher's cash-raising saga began last fall when he quietly set up a political fund on November 1 called Nathan Fletcher for Democratic Central Committee 2020, fronted by Encinitas campaign professional Nancy Haley.
Funding of the committee began early this year, with separate $10,000 donations on January 30 from Manpower of San Diego, co-owned by Gloria backer Mel Katz, and the Building California Together PAC.
The Building California Together political action committee has been financed in part by labor unions and the California Resources Corporation, "an oil and natural gas exploration and production company committed to environmentally sustainable and responsible development of properties exclusively in the State of California," per the company's website.
Also, on January 30, $1000 was donated to the Fletcher committee by the California YIMBY Victory Fund, a Sacramento-based pro-development political action committee backed by a host of San Francisco Bay Area tech executives. They include employees of Stripe, co-founded by Irish billionaire John Collison, which gave $100,000 in May of last year.
On February 15, 2019 the Deputy Sheriffs' Association of San Diego County PAC kicked in $10,000 for the Fletcher effort. The Pechanga Band of Indians came up with $2500 on February 25.
Fletcher was easily reelected to his central committee seat in the March primary.
But filings with the county Registrar of Voters show that except for $5000 paid on February 10 to the Progressive Labor Alliance PAC for a slate mailer, the Fletcher committee spent none of its funds on traditional electioneering.
Instead, on May 30, Fletcher's committee transferred $10,000 to the California Democratic Party, and on July 22 routed $5000 to the San Diego County Democratic Party.