Tuesday, November 6 should be the beginning of the end of a status quo situation in San Diego that is just. plain. wrong.. All you have to do is vote.
I know, I know. Every campaign and every ballot measure says they’re The One, but this vote will –over the next few years– improve mental health care, help the homeless, and make our corner of the country a better place for all of us to live.
Much of the power over our lives by the government is vested with the five members of the County Board of Supervisors. Most of them have been in office for more than 20 years.
This mostly morbid entity is where the real power and capital exists. Up until this year, this group of mostly white, male, Republican graduates of San Diego State University could serve as long as they cared and even got to draw the lines of the districts they represented.
There are now 170,000+ more registered Democrats than Republicans in the county and we’re somehow being represented by people inclined to an ideology rooted in the past and willfully ignorant of the future of the planet.
They’ve got the whole enchilada of power, much of delegated by the State constitution and function in legislative, executive, and quasi-judicial capacities.
More than two billion dollars sit in reserve accounts, more than three times the amount considered prudent to safeguard against economic downturns. The rules preventing additional spending by the county are mostly self-imposed.
The county government provides countywide services such as elections and voter registration, law enforcement, jails, vital records, property records, tax collection, public health, and –most importantly– social services. While funding isn’t the only answer to our regional problems with mental health and homelessness, a lack of funding certainly does help.
In 2010, the union (SEIU) representing county employees –the people who see problems first hand– did something that unions aren’t supposed to do; they advocated for (and won) a ballot measure mandating term limits. Those limits are coming into play in 2018 and 2020.
Supervisor districts four and five are up for grabs this year.
This district includes Adams North, Alta Vista, Bay Ho, Bay Park, Birdland, Castle, Cherokee Point, Chollas Creek, City Heights, Clairemont Mesa, Colina Del Sol, Corridor, Cortez, Crown Point, El Cerrito, Emerald Hills, Encanto, Fairmount Park, Fairmount Village, Golden Hill, Hillcrest, Jamacha Lomita, Kearny Mesa, Kensington, La Jolla, Linda Vista, Little Italy, Loma Portal, Middletown, Midway, Mission Beach, Mission Hills, Mission Valley, Morena, Normal Heights, North Park, Oak Park, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Park West, Redwood Village, Serra Mesa, Skyline, South Park, Swan Canyon, Talmadge Park, University Heights, Valencia Park, Webster and northeastern downtown San Diego.
Most of the City of San Diego lies within D4. Nearly 90,000 more Democrats than Republicans live within its boundaries.
Termed-out incumbent Ron Roberts has hewed left on social issues while being generally supportive of the fiscal and administrative policies favored by the more conservative members of the board.
The handwriting is on the wall. A progressive vision is needed.
The downtown/business/GOP types who’ve ruled the roost wasn’t going to give the seat up without a fight. They came up with a plan designed to divide Democrats and get the more beatable candidate into the general election.
A Faustian pact was made. Plausible denial was the name of the game where it was hoped truth would be obscured by vile noise. The scheme failed.
The candidate the Lincoln Club/Chamber of Commerce types hoped to beat in the General election placed third, despite hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to sully the name of the eventual Democratic nominee.
Organized labor stepped to the plate with monies of their own and a serious ground game.
The Republican candidate who made the runoff with a mere 23.5% of the vote now has to face the reality that 76.5% of the primary voters didn’t see fit to support her.
Now the choices are no longer muddled.
Nathan Fletcher (Democrat)
(Note: there has been significant outside spending for this seat not reflected in the totals referenced for the individual candidates.)
Issues: Real Action On Homelessness, Traffic Relief And Public Transit, Fighting For Working Families, Protecting Our Environment.
Organizational Endorsements: San Diego Democratic Party, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, San Diego Democrats for Equality, SEIU Local 221, SEIU USWW, IBEW Local 47, IBEW Local 569, United Domestic Workers (AFSCME Local 3930), San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council, CWA Local 9509, UA Local 230, San Diego County Firefighters Local 2881, Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, National Electrical Contractors Association, League of Conservation Voters – San Diego, California Nurses Association, San Diego City Firefighters Local 145, San Diego County Probation Officers Association, San Diego County Public Assistance Investigators Association, , San Diego County Young Democrats, San Diego County Medical Society, San Diego Lifeguards, Teamsters, Local 911, United Nurses Association of California-San Diego, Point Loma and OB Democratic Club, Downtown Democratic Club, Veteran’s Democratic Club, Clairemont Democratic Club, San Diego Cannabis Delivery Alliance, Public Defenders Association of San Diego County, San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention
Union-Tribune – San Diego County Board of Supervisors candidate Nathan Fletcher: The Union-Tribune interview
KPBS – District 4 Candidate Nathan Fletcher Wants To Drive Board Of Supervisors In New Direction
Voice of San Diego – Nathan Fletcher’s Union With Labor Now Completes His Transformation
Over the course of the past few months, I’ve studied a lot of campaign literature and websites. When it comes to issues, I’ve learned to expect platitudes and vague promises; it’s the safe course for most aspiring candidates.
I also interviewed Nathan Fletcher prior to the primary. I was struck by his determination and convinced of his ideological transformation, yet still harbored doubts about the depth of his grasp of the issues.
It wasn’t that I disagreed with “changing the status quo” or “standing up to Trump;” it was the urgency of the tasks facing local government in the coming years.
Now that we’re headed into the general election, my doubts have been more than addressed. Fletcher has put some meat on those bones with some of the most detailed issues/plans pages of any candidate I’ve seen.
It’s going to be an uphill struggle for Nathan Fletcher next year, assuming he wins. I am now convinced he’s capable of laying the groundwork and changing the culture in the county administration in ways that were unimaginable in years past.
Bonnie Dumanis (Republican)
Issues: Housing, Mental Health, Domestic Violence, Environment, Homelessness, Public Safety, Roads and Infrastructure, Substance Abuse, Working Families, Veterans
Organizational Endorsements: Associated General Contractors, Building Industry Association of San Diego County, California Restaurant Association-San Diego, Chula Vista Police Officers Association, District Attorney Investigators’ Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #10, Latino American Political Association, Mexican American Business & Professional Association, National Latino Peace Officers Association, New Majority of San Diego, Oceanside Police Officers Association, San Diegans Against Crime, San Diego Asian Americans for Equality, San Diego Deputy District Attorneys Association, San Diego County Police Chiefs & Sheriffs Association, San Diego Police Officers Association. San Diego Regional Chamber, Southern California Alliance of Law Enforcement.
KPBS – Bonnie Dumanis Says Making District 4 Supervisor’s Race Partisan Is A Political Tactic
Voice of San Diego – Powerful Ex-DA Volunteers to Be County Supervisor
San Diego Free Press – Bonnie Dumanis: Will She Fool San Diego Again?
With Bonnie Dumanis, it’s all about packaging. She’s the velvet fist of local Republicanism. Trump’s tweets are bad. Diversity isn’t the enemy. Social programs need to be run more efficiently. Her father was a Teamster. And everything’s too “partisan.”
It all sounds quite reasonable until you take a look at who’s paying the freight for this campaign, namely the entities who think progress involves worshiping the idols of the marketplace and working for the common good is a threat to (their) individual freedom.
San Diego’s former District Attorney is running as Judge Bonnie Dumanis, the job she stepped down from in 2003. That’s because she doesn’t want to invoke memories of the campaign finance scandals tainting her previous political efforts.
It also sidesteps questions about how she politicized the county’s prosecutorial apparatus–if you played along with Bonnie, you got along in San Diego politics.
Running as “Judge” Bonnie is also supposed to smooth over the rough edges of her antagonism towards medical marijuana and the people who tried to make it available in San Diego. And it avoids the history of racism in local law enforcement practices.
The last thing Republicans want discussed is Bonnie Dumanis’ actual record: medical marijuana pot busts, coverups of malfeasance, racial animus, negligence on domestic violence, and –lest we forget– hanging out with rich guys/now convicted felons looking to turn San Diego’s waterfront into another Miami Beach.
Other articles in this series:
- San Diego’s City Council District 2 | Republican Zapf vs Democrat Dr. Jen: Is a Change Gonna Come
- Climate Change, Clogged Drains, and Lorie Zap
- San Diego City Council District 4 | Cole vs. Montgomery: How to Make Black Lives Matter
- City Council District 6: How Can Hough Hew His Way Around An Incumbent’s Advantage?
- San Diego’s City Council District 8 | Martinez vs Moreno: It’s Complicated
- Are You Willing to Look Past Gavin Newsom’s Smile and Carl DeMaio’s Frown in the General Election?
- The Sins of Lorie Zapf – Part 1
- The Sins of Councilwoman Lorie Zapf – Part 2
(My article on the District 5 County Supervisor contest will be posted later today–this one, which was supposed to cover D4 & 5 ran a little long, so I’m breaking it into two articles.)
The San Diego Free Press Progressive Voter Guide, to be published in early October will include these and many other candidates. To see all our coverage for the 2018 elections, go here.
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