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Ex-Republican state assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who proclaimed himself an independent during his ill-fated mayoral race last year only to turn Democrat over this past weekend, used the occasion of his conversion to take some shots on his Facebook page at his former party:

...because I grew up in a working class blue-collar Democratic family I was often asked why I was a Republican. It was because I thought their policies provided the best access to the American Dream.

I no longer believe that is true. In my opinion, the GOP today is more focused on protecting those who have already achieved the American Dream than allowing others access to it.

Fletcher, heavily backed by Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs (pictured above) and other of the company's executives, went to work for the high-rolling cell phone chipmaker after departing the Assembly last year.

Jacobs and his father, company founder Irwin Jacobs, the billionaire La Jollan, have given lots of money to Democrats, including $2 million last year from the elder Jacobs to an independent campaign to re-elect president Barack Obama.

But they and fellow Qualcomm execs also do plenty of bet-covering on the GOP side of the aisle, as demonstrated by financial disclosure statements filed this year with the Federal Election Commission by the Qualcomm Incorporated Political Action Committee, QPAC for short.

Funded with cash withheld from Qualcomm executive salaries, QPAC has been showering money on a bi-partisan host of federal elected officials.

QPAC beneficiaries so far this year have included senior Kentucky GOP Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell ($2,500); Michigan GOP congressman Fred Upton ($2,500); Republican New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte ($2,000); and GOP Pennsylvania Congressman Bill Shuster ($1,000), as well as the National Republican Congressional Committee ($5,000).

Democrats haven't been neglected.

Recipients included Senate majority leader Harry Reid ($5,000); Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska ($3,500); Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana ($2,500), and Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware ($2,500), among others.

As previously reported, Qualcomm is part of a giant tech industry lobbying push to loosen visa regulations for foreign engineers, and Fletcher is currently heading up a group calling itself San Diegans United for Commonsense Immigration Reform that is backed by Irwin and Paul Jacobs.

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