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The weekend’s goings-on in local politics include criticism of Roger Hedgecock’s fundraising efforts for Carl DeMaio, ill will directed at Republican defector Nathan Fletcher by local party chair Tony Krvaric (delivered via a release shortly after it was disclosed Fletcher’s campaign made a $5,000 donation to the party), a continued attack by the Scott Peters congressional campaign on rival Lori Saldaña for her acceptance of money from “special interests” used on “luxury junkets,” and Congressman Brian Bilbray’s chief of staff is under fire for allegedly campaigning on government time.

In an editorial in LGBT Weekly, the openly gay DeMaio is taken to task for partnering with former mayor Roger Hedgecock to promote a fund-raising event last week.

“Hedgecock has made many attacks on the LGBT community on his talk show, as well as in print publications and during interviews,” asserts publisher Stampp Corbin, who goes on to cite examples including an attempt in 1994 by Hedgecock to place a contingent of heterosexuals he referred to as “Normal People” in the annual Pride parade, a move that resulted in a lawsuit after his group being denied participation.

“Our community would love a gay mayor, but not if it requires us to consort and cavort with those who are on record as being staunchly against us,” said Corbin in the Sacramento Bee.

Meanwhile, on Friday afternoon a release entitled “Flip-Flop Fletcher Friday” was sent out by the Republican Party of San Diego County.

“Nathan Fletcher is racking up so many flip flops that we expect him to earn an endorsement from John Kerry any minute,” begins Krvaric in what he promises is “the first edition” of a weekly Fletcher blast.

The main issue under question by Krvaric is a no-vote by Fletcher on Senate Bill 829, which would withhold state funds on any building projects that ban the use of Project Labor Agreements, a tool used by union contractors to set forth the terms of a project at its outset. This June, San Diegans will vote on Proposition A, which would put in place just such a ban in the city. A similar measure for the county passed in 2010.

Without Fletcher’s vote, the state senate bill passed the assembly 50-23, following senate approval last June.

Meanwhile, Scott Peters continues to push Lori Saldaña for details on $39,000 in gifts and trips to locales including Vietnam, China, and Chile that she received while a member of the state legislature. The two Democrats are challenging Republican Brian Bilbray in the newly drawn 52nd Congressional District.

“The only response Lori Saldaña provided last week was that she needed a luxury resort and personal butler funded by special interests in order to gain first-hand experience in the science of swine ‘methane recapture,’” Peters’ campaign Robert Dempsey says in a release.

Finally, Congressman Brian Bilbray’s chief of staff Steve Danon has been accused by an opponent in the race to replace retiring county supervisor Pam Slater-Price. Del Mar Mayor Carl Hilliard has called for Danon to release three years’ worth of records, claiming there’s no way he could have been both a full time candidate and full time federal staffer.

“I'm sorry, but lunch breaks and vacation time do not equal running for County Supervisor full-time. Danon needs to clear the air and provide complete transparency with detailed records,” said Hilliard’s campaign manager, K.B. Forbes via a release this morning.

“Steve is in full compliance with House ethics rules and regulations,” Danon campaign manager Élise Dufresne told the U-T yesterday. “He proactively sought and followed advice given him by the House Ethics Committee, took personal vacation time for campaign activities that occurred during work hours and carefully documented every hour.”

Danon’s campaign shows that he has taken 360 hours of vacation time, ostensibly to run his campaign, since announcing his intention to seek office in July 2009. Accusing Hilliard of raising what they counter is essentially a non-issue, Danon’s camp also says Hilliard’s ethical standing is in question itself, pointing to campaign spending issues and those involving Hilliard’s involvement in negotiating the sale of the Del Mar Fairgrounds while he was involved in racing horses at the track’s annual meet.

Republican Slater-Price has endorsed Solana Beach city councilman Dave Roberts, the lone Democrat in the race to fill her seat.

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Lagitane April 16, 2012 @ 3:28 p.m.

Mr. Rice, the Saldana campaign did in fact respond to these ridiculous charges at length, in a column by Chris Cadelago for the U-T on April 6th http://bit.ly/HIx6c2

The campaign explains that no taxpayer dollars were used for the trips, that they have been in the public record for years, and that all the trips were in the interest of learning about economic development and policy. The two bills that the Peters' campaign refers to are bills that were supported by groups such as the African-American Business Council, California Consumers Association, California Labor Federation, the Utility Reform Network, UCAN, the Western Center for Law and Poverty and the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation - hardly groups that support corporate special interests.

The "pay to play" charge is a lame attempt by the Peters' campaign to blow smoke in an effort to distract attention from the near two-month long call from the Saldana campaign to release his taxes. If the Peters' campaign really cared about transparency, they would be worrying about the tons of dirty Peters' laundry that needs airing instead of dodging questions and refusing to accept responsibility.


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