Mike Madriaga 8:30 a.m., Dec. 11
National Obama bundler hatching Fletcher for mayor draft
Democratic presidential rainmaker Christine Forester of La Jolla calls mounting allegations against Filner a "debacle," seeks to discourage others from running to replace him
Christine Forester, listed by Newsweek magazine as the nation's second biggest "bundler” of contributions to the 2008 campaign of President Barack Obama, having collected more than $500,000 from a variety of friends and associates in that year alone, is spearheading a behind-the-scenes effort to draft newly minted Democrat and ex-GOP Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher for mayor if incumbent Bob Filner falters in his effort to remain in office.
In a phone interview this morning, Forester said that Filner should step down for the sake of the city, as a result of the sexual harassement allegations lodged against him by former Democratic city councilwoman Donna Frye and others.
Forester called the current situation a "debacle," but added that the effort to get Fletcher into the mayor's race was still preliminary and dependent on when and whether Filner leaves office.
Most recently in the local news as the top speaker at the county Democrats annual fundraiser, Forester confirmed that a meeting had been held this past Sunday.
In an email invitation to the event, she wrote:
As you know our city has been turned on its head once again with the serious allegations leveled against our current Mayor. It is possible that he could decide to resign very soon and hence we would like to be prepared to immediately call for Nathan Fletcher to run for the office.
To that end, Duane Roth, Ted Roth and I would like to invite you to attend a meeting tomorrow afternoon, Sunday, at 4:00 at the CONNECT offices to discuss how we can 1) draft Nathan to declare his candidacy and 2) set up a campaign finance committee to support him. The meeting will be brief and informal.
Timing will be everything if Bob Filner resigns as there will be an election within 90 days. In the event he does resign, we would like to have a letter ready to send to Nathan that calls for him to immediately declare as a candidate.
This would allow him to say that he has received a letter from a bi-partisan group of highly respected leaders in the community (including his current employer QUALCOMM) calling on him to declare as a candidate.
Please let me know if you can make the meeting. If you can’t attend but are willing to sign the letter, we will send a final draft for your approval. To learn immediately that Nathan Fletcher has your support might discourage others to run.