By Doug Porter
San Diego’s Democratic Central Committee met last night to consider the question of endorsing a candidate in the upcoming special mayoral contest.
Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, civic activist Bruce Coons, former assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and City Councilman David Alvarez all pled their case behind closed doors in Kearny Mesa.
The Dems could have voted not to endorse at this point in the process. Or they could have endorsed more than one candidate. But either move would have effectively left the party’s ability to raise unlimited funds at the sidelines for the Nov 19th primary.
So in the end City Councilman David Alvarez won the endorsement with a
63-40 40-24 vote over Nathan Fletcher. In the event of a runoff after the special election, the committee agreed to back whichever Democrat advances, whether or not it’s Alvarez.
The decision to back Alvarez was a big victory for area progressives. Earlier this month he gained the backing of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council winning the support of 128 of its 135 member unions.
Fletcher got his own boost earlier in the day with Assemblypersons Ben Hueso and Lorena Gonzalez, along with State Senator Marty Block, holding a press conference announcing a coalition of nearly 20 present and former State legislators who’ve agreed to support his Mayoral candidacy.
The former assemblyman seemed resigned to not winning last nights’ endorsement, despite a furious push by his supporters over the past few days.
From UT-San Diego:
Asked about the upcoming meeting of local Democrats, Fletcher sought to minimize the role party politics will play in his own campaign. A former Republican while in the state Assembly, Fletcher later switched to independent mid-race during his unsuccessful run for mayor last year and then announced in May he was joining the Democratic party.
During his eight years as a GOP lawmaker, Fletcher frequently voted against bills carried and supported by many of those legislators now supporting him.
“I’m proud to be a Democrat, I’m comfortable as a Democrat,” said Fletcher, now an executive at Qualcomm. “Party politics have never been my strength; finding solutions is. Whatever decision is made tonight I will respect and I will do what I do every single day, which is step forward and build coalitions and deliver results and get things done.”
Last night the Fletcher campaign seemingly took the bad news in stride, with the candidate assuming a statesman-like stance coming out of the meeting, including a cordial conversation with Alvarez.
Not everybody was so accepting of the vote. Professional pundit Carl Luna, whose support of the Fletcher candidacy has been so transparent that he might as well take a position with the campaign, went on Twitter to vent:
Dems pull a Fletcher: (v) To endorse the ideological candidate and not the moderate one more likely to win….
Earlier in the day, Luna had obviously gotten around to reading SDFP columnist Jim Miller’s piece on the Fletcher vs Alvarez battle within the labor movement and took to Twitter to publish this rant:
…At Last! SD Democrats have a clear road map to irrelevance: become the Tea Party of the left! Kucinich in 2016!
UT-San Diego columnist Logan Jenkins continued his personal narratives/interviews with candidates this morning with this ditty about the former assemblyman:
Buoyed by citywide name ID, wealthy high-tech backers and key Democratic pols who know a good-looking ballplayer when they see one, Fletcher is floating ahead of the field like a huge piñata, waiting to be hit.
At least Nathan Fletcher doesn’t have to depend on the party largess for funding. As of this morning (in $1000+ contributions) his campaign has raked in a total of $115,000. David Alvarez has a mere $15,000 in large donations. Both treasuries are dwarfed by City Councilman Kevin Faulconer’s war chest which amounts to $227,500. (h/t inewsource/Follow the Money)
The Rest of the Pack
The City Clerk’s office announced yesterday that, out of the 40 people who’d filed an intent to run, 11 candidates had submitted the required signatures and paperwork to qualify for the November ballot.
Despite earlier rumors to the contrary, civic activist Bruce Coons was on the list. After Alvarez, Coons, Fletcher and Faulconer, the other names on the ballot will be:
- Attorney Hud Collins
- Navy veteran and business administrator Harry Dirks
- San Diego State student Michael Kemmer
- Businessman and engineer Sina “Simon” Moghadam
- Construction superintendent Tobiah Pettus (who ran in last year’s mayoral primary)
- Retired contractor and guns rights activist Lincoln Pickard
Along with the release of the names came a pdf file with scanned copies of each candidate’s ballot statement. Click here to read those statements. (The markings on them were last minute edits suggested to make them compliant with ballot regulations)
The Phrase ‘Stupid Television’ is Not an Oxymoron
Papa Doug Manchester’s UT-TV (which thus far has the franchise on mayoral debates) continues to prove there is no low to which they won’t sink.
This morning’s “news chatter” included an interview with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who’s proven her ability to walk out of the Mission Valley lion’s den unscathed many times. But this particular visit was over the top stupid…
Host Scott Kaplan (paraphrased, via Evan McLaughlin): “Did Filner ever ask you out? Because he should’ve: You’re hot.”
Droning on at the County Building
Yesterday San Diego’s County Board of Supervisors, having been persuaded that there’s money and jobs to had, unanimously supported a proposal submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration to test unmanned aerial systems and vehicles in Southern California.
The San Diego Military Advisory Council and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, have proposed a drone testing area spanning from Bridgeport to the U.S.-Mexico border, from the state line to 100 miles west into the ocean.
A decision is anticipated in December. The testing site would become one of six in the nation. Supervisor Ron Robert promised the majority of testing would be over unpopulated areas, and would not impact local airports.
Maybe they didn’t read the papers yesterday. This drone flying business is rapidly losing popularity overseas, where it’s already commonplace.
From the Washington Post:
At least five drones based at Camp Lemonnier have crashed since January 2011, Air Force records show, including one that plowed into the ground next to a neighborhood in Djibouti’s capital, which goes by the same name as the country.
Last year, the Pentagon was forced to suspend drone operations in Seychelles, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, after two Reaper drones crashed on the runway at the main international airport, which serves half a million passengers a year.
The overseas accidents could have repercussions in the United States, where the military and the drone industry are pressing the federal government to open up the skies to remote-controlled aircraft.
And if that doesn’t cause a bit of concern, check out this video, via NPR, of a test flight by an F-16 fighter retrofitted as a drone last week.
The test flight took off from Florida and went over the Gulf of Mexico. Boeing thinks such aircraft could be used to spar with fighter jocks during training maneuvers, a la Top Gun.
Green Eggs and ObamaCare
Finally, I’d been remiss if I didn’t mention Senator Ted Cruz’ long winded not-a-filibuster speech on the Affordable Health Care Act. The Texas Tea Bagger’s been busy fighting for your freedom to be denied care by the insurance company you pay every month in an effort to shore up his credibility.
For the record, Cruz negotiated the terms of his long talk with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, so no matter what you see on the tube, it wasn’t a real filibuster.
Within minutes of starting his epic quest, he had compared President Barack Obama’s health care reform law to slavery during the Civil War and Nazis during World War II.
Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, who took to the Senate floor vowing to “speak until I am no longer able to stand,”appears to be making up for his lack of legislative traction with some grand hyperbole.
The possibility of a government shutdown on October 1 has some in the GOP worried about a repeat of the 1995-1996 shutdown. Cruz, however, is focusing his comments on far less recent history in an attempt to contextualize his largely-symbolic opposition to Obamacare.
We saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, ‘accept the Nazis’… I suspect those same pundits who say [defunding] can’t be done…would have been on TV and they would have been saying ‘you cannot defeat the Germans.’
Even though he went on to(ironically) read from Dr. Suess’ Green Eggs and Ham, Cruz’s speech doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect, notes NY Times political correspondent Jonathan Martin on Twitter:
Cruz holding the floor is obscuring some of the biggest news to come out of O’care/shutdown: [Sens] McConnell&Cornyn breaking from hardliners
Meanwhile, back in the real world, there’s this from today’s edition of the Times::
The Obama administration on Tuesday provided the first detailed look at premiums to be charged to consumers for health insurance in 36 states where the federal government will run new insurance markets starting next week, highlighting costs it said were generally lower than previous estimates….
…Under the 2010 health law, most people buying insurance in the exchanges will be eligible for federal subsidies in the form of tax credits. Taking account of these subsidies, the administration said, a family of four with income of $50,000 will generally be able to buy a silver-level plan for $282 a month, while a 27-year-old with income of $25,000 will be able to get such coverage for $145 a month.
“We are excited to see that rates in the marketplace are even lower than originally projected,” said Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services. Insurance, she said, will be affordable even to low- and moderate-income people.
On This Day: 1690 – One of America’s earliest newspapers published its first and last edition. The “Publik Occurences Both Foreign and Domestik” was published at the London Coffee House in Boston, MA, by Benjamin Harris. 1975 – Jackie Wilson collapsed while performing “Lonely Teardrops” at the Latino Casino in Cherry Hill, NJ. He had suffered a heart attack that caused brain damage. He was 41 years old. He died in 1984 after spending the rest of his life in hospitals. 1983 – A Soviet military officer, Stanislav Petrov, averted a potential worldwide nuclear war. He declared a false alarm after a U.S. attack was detected by a Soviet early warning system. It was later discovered the alarms had been set off when the satellite warning system mistakenly interpreted sunlight reflections off clouds as the presence of enemy missiles.
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