Opinion

Nathan Fletcher Was There When It Mattered

Nathan Fletcher Was There When It Mattered

Image via Shutterstock

The California state capitol.

One of the attacks lobbed at Nathan Fletcher concerns his attendance record in the Assembly.

fix san diego opinionAs someone whose time directly overlapped with Fletcher’s, and who worked with him extensively, I simply cannot stand by and watch someone I know to be so hardworking and genuinely committed to serving the public be the subject of false attacks.

First of all, this attack is a great example of how numbers can lie. Fletcher’s opponents tout days they say he wasn’t in Sacramento voting. What they don’t tell you is three-quarters of the days they cite, there wasn’t a single vote being cast.

It also distorts the job of a legislator and attempts to fool voters to focus on one metric and believe a certain conclusion. An effective legislator doesn’t spend all of his or her time in the Capitol, nor does he or she count showing up to vote alone as doing a good job.

Representing your district at the state requires interaction with residents in your district, which usually means working from your district office so you can attend events, hold town halls and neighborhood coffees, and other means of engaging constituents to better understand their needs. These are the people you represent, and spending all your time in Sacramento isn’t the best way to serve them.

Writing and getting legislation passed requires months of work on policy and building coalitions, all of which is a significant part of the job. Fletcher wasn’t one to rack up his bill count with symbolic or inconsequential bills. He undertook some truly ambitious pieces of legislation, many of which I worked with him on.

I personally saw how conscientious he was about the policy and how skillful he was at garnering support from both sides of the aisle at a time when gridlock and partisanship was the norm in Sacramento. His ability to pass Chelsea’s Law with a broad coalition of support in an environment where the trend was to lighten sentences, not toughen them, is a perfect example of his ability to unite people behind a common good.

Fletcher understands the job is about more than just showing up, and many took notice. During his two terms in the Assembly, he was recognized as Legislator of the Year by 10 different business, public safety and health organizations for his leadership and accomplishments in the Legislature.

He also was regularly described as a highly effective legislator by his peers and by Capitol media outlets. His leadership and ability to get things done earned him the endorsement and support from dozens of his fellow legislators, as well as Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Kamala Harris, with whom he worked to get the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights passed.

What stands out about Fletcher for all of his supporters is his willingness to work with anyone to advance a good idea — no matter their party, whether they supported him in the past or whether he’d get credit for the accomplishment in the end. That’s exactly the type of person we need in the mayor’s office to move our city forward, and that’s why I’m supporting him.

Marty Block is a California state senator, representing the 39th District. Block’s commentary has been edited for clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us what to check out here. Want to respond? Submit a commentary.

Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit that depends on you, our readers. Please donate to keep the service strong. Click here to find out more about our supporters and how we operate independently.


  • 5
    Followers

Show comments
Before you comment, read these simple guidelines on what is not allowed.

28 comments
Vic Asselin
Vic Asselin

Yada, Yada, Yada.....Marty if Fletcher is an empty chair, you are an Empty Suit, a wholly owned suibsidary of the Teachers Union. If there were a run-off between Fletcher and Alverez, I would vote for Alverez - and I'm a Conservative. I live in your district, Marty, can't wait until you're up for reelection.

Don Blucher
Don Blucher

So Marty-
Citing YOUR OWN WORDS, "Three quarters of the days they cite, there wasn't a single vote being cast......."
SO, what about the OTHER 25 PERCENT of the time??? Absent without leave??????
That totals over 137 votes that Mr. Fletcher knowingly missed, if you allow for the 550 days cited in the ad.
STILL not fulfilling all of his responsibilities in my book.
Mediocre is not good enough!!!!!! Oh, and Marty....You "Progressives" still can't seem to figure out the difference between, "attack", and, "criticism". The ads were CRITICISM of Fletcher's record...He was not "ATTACKED".

Don Blucher
Don Blucher subscriber

So Marty-
Citing YOUR OWN WORDS, "Three quarters of the days they cite, there wasn't a single vote being cast......."
SO, what about the OTHER 25 PERCENT of the time??? Absent without leave??????
That totals over 137 votes that Mr. Fletcher knowingly missed, if you allow for the 550 days cited in the ad.
STILL not fulfilling all of his responsibilities in my book.
Mediocre is not good enough!!!!!! Oh, and Marty....You "Progressives" still can't seem to figure out the difference between, "attack", and, "criticism". The ads were CRITICISM of Fletcher's record...He was not "ATTACKED".

don lindsay
don lindsay subscriber

marty block, liberal union hack

don lindsay
don lindsay

marty block, just another liberal, union, pelosi hack. The liberals in Sac should be imprisoned for crimes against humanity

don lindsay
don lindsay subscriber

marty block, just another liberal, union, pelosi hack. The liberals in Sac should be imprisoned for crimes against humanity

Dan Butler
Dan Butler

All well and fine..For me it would be alot more believable hearing it come from Fletchers own lips..Something Fletcher has not been willing to do and with the election just 5 days away its too late to do now anyway..

Dan Butler
Dan Butler subscriber

All well and fine..For me it would be alot more believable hearing it come from Fletchers own lips..Something Fletcher has not been willing to do and with the election just 5 days away its too late to do now anyway..

David Crossley
David Crossley

Marty Block--perhaps your time in Sacramento has passed...or, let's look at it another way. If Fletcher was there "when it mattered", he didn't have to be there very much (which he wasn't); why does anyone have to be there all the time? Cut all the legislator's salaries and make it a part-time job.

David Crossley
David Crossley subscriber

Marty Block--perhaps your time in Sacramento has passed...or, let's look at it another way. If Fletcher was there "when it mattered", he didn't have to be there very much (which he wasn't); why does anyone have to be there all the time? Cut all the legislator's salaries and make it a part-time job.

La Playa Heritage
La Playa Heritage

http://tinyurl.com/20110218a

Nathan Fletcher did rack up his bill count with symbolic and inconsequential legislation. Example of legislative bills authored by Nathan Fletcher include Assembly Bills AB-1177, AB-1279, AB-1282, AB-1336.

Changes, therefore new laws, made by Fletcher include the insertion of a comma on existing laws, that may or may not have been needed; changing the word "Director" to "Secretary"; changing the word "Pound" to "Animal Shelter"; and changing the word "assure" to "ensure," etc.

Many of Fletcher authored bills seems like housekeeping or writing style items, rather than legislation that changes actual laws. Of the authored laws by Fletcher, how many needed legislative analysis? How many were approved on consent as Housekeeping items compared to actual relevant law changes that require Leadership and cooperation with Democrats? How many of the new laws required an advocate, and effort to author and pass?

La Playa Heritage
La Playa Heritage subscribermember

http://tinyurl.com/20110218a

Nathan Fletcher did rack up his bill count with symbolic and inconsequential legislation. Example of legislative bills authored by Nathan Fletcher include Assembly Bills AB-1177, AB-1279, AB-1282, AB-1336.

Changes, therefore new laws, made by Fletcher include the insertion of a comma on existing laws, that may or may not have been needed; changing the word "Director" to "Secretary"; changing the word "Pound" to "Animal Shelter"; and changing the word "assure" to "ensure," etc.

Many of Fletcher authored bills seems like housekeeping or writing style items, rather than legislation that changes actual laws. Of the authored laws by Fletcher, how many needed legislative analysis? How many were approved on consent as Housekeeping items compared to actual relevant law changes that require Leadership and cooperation with Democrats? How many of the new laws required an advocate, and effort to author and pass?

Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor

First, Chelsey's law was an empty feel good bill that no politician could oppose if they wanted any possible future in politics. It does little or nothing to actually protect people.
2nd, his back door, underhanded redevelopment deal stunned lots of people. Fortunately for him most Americans have a short memory.
3rd, we meet a lot of politicians at this company. Met him way back when he was playing himself off as a republican. After shaking his hand I instantly understood the term "slimy politician". The only one who put me off more was filner...

La Playa Heritage
La Playa Heritage

Fletcher's illegal and secretive midnight deal to end the Cap on Redevelopment downtown lead to the demise of RDA statewide. The legislation was pass by the rest of the San Diego delegation excluding Lori Saldana, without approval by the downtown Redevelopment Agency Board of Directors, our elected City Council. The elected City Attorney Goldsmith was also out of the need-to-know loop. When ask to fix the mistake that hurt Affordable Housing, Fletcher said it was not his job to involve himself in City business.

www.tinyurl.com/20131031a
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_fHftxFXFhyY0l3aDJjbEV4Qjg/edit

Civic San Diego and IBA staffs have gone Rogue on an unsuspecting City Council. The staff blocked easy solutions put forward by former Mayor Filner, selling out the poor. Due to irresponsible management practices the City of San Diego's Successor Agency will give (have given) the CAC $166 million, including $100 million in Cash, to the Taxing Agencies instead of staying within the City Council's direct control. The $166 million distribution will go directly to both the City and County of San Diego’s General Funds instead of social and economic justice to negate the ongoing discrimination and violations of the Fair Housing Act and HEARTH Act.

For example Civic San Diego, the former CCDC hid $1.88 million in their Reserves by hoarding undistributed assets from the poor, as documented in the July 31, 1999 NTC Homeless Agreement for Liberty Station redevelopment. Including 14 year-old outstanding balances of $350,000 for Catholic Charities, $380,000 to St. Vincent de Paul, and $1,150,000 to Volunteers of America. The City Council as the Successor Agency to the former Redevelopment Agency (RDA) approved the release of these funds in previous ROPS hearings. Instead Civic San Diego staff tried to hoard the cash assets belonging to the poor. Civic San Diego did not release the funds as required by law and instead tried to keep the approved funds into new Reserve accounts. This lack of financial judgment and good faith by Civic San Diego staff is resulting in the $1.88 million not being distributed to the poor to finalize the 1999 NTC Homeless Agreement, but instead is divided between the City of San Diego’s and County of San Diego’s and General Funds.

The poor and homeless are out $1.88 Million due to failure by Civic San Diego staff to analyze solutions from former Mayor Filner to add to the ROPS spreadsheets to keep all $166 million in the hands of our City Council. By law, the DOF will not discuss solutions during Meet and Confer unless line items are added to the ROPS

Help is needed by State Politicians based upon mitigating circumstances, not yet presented due to blockage from Civic San Diego and IBA Staff. The time frame to get justice through Political help without relying on lawsuits is almost over. The status quo will result in an influx of General Fund revenue that will be diverted to pensions (City) and law enforcement (County) instead of its original intent. Thwarting justice at the direct expense of the least amongst us.

The full City Council's position is to let Civic San Diego staff negotiate with the State DOF, and long-term litigation by City Attorney Goldsmith. There is a small window of opportunity to get ministerial political support to intervene at the State level due to ongoing misinterpretation, fraud, and abuse by Civic San Diego and IBA staff. Including bypassing the Civic San Diego Board of Directors, the City Council, and the Successor Agency for approval of the $616 million Non-Housing Other Funds Due Diligence Report (DDR), including over $100 million in Cash. The Oversight Board approved the Non-Housing DDR on May 14, 2013.

http://www.sandiegooversightboard.com/department_of_finance_communications/docs/08_29_13___Other_Funds_and_Accounts_Due_Diligence_Review.pdf

Civic San Diego staff failed to present the August 29, 2013 preliminary Other Funds Due Diligence Report (DDR) letter to the Civic San Diego Board of Directors, the City Council, and the Successor Agency. Therefore the City Council members were never able to give direction or input to Civic San Diego Staff before the Final Determination Letter for Non-Housing Other Fund DDR that demands $166 Cash be sent last week.
20131031_DOF_Non-Housing_DDR_Revised_Final_Determination_Letter_$166_Million.pdf - Google Drivehttps://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_fHftxFXFhyY0l3aDJjbEV4Qjg/edit

La Playa Heritage
La Playa Heritage subscribermember

Fletcher's illegal and secretive midnight deal to end the Cap on Redevelopment downtown lead to the demise of RDA statewide. The legislation was pass by the rest of the San Diego delegation excluding Lori Saldana, without approval by the downtown Redevelopment Agency Board of Directors, our elected City Council. The elected City Attorney Goldsmith was also out of the need-to-know loop. When ask to fix the mistake that hurt Affordable Housing, Fletcher said it was not his job to involve himself in City business.

www.tinyurl.com/20131031a
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_fHftxFXFhyY0l3aDJjbEV4Qjg/edit

Civic San Diego and IBA staffs have gone Rogue on an unsuspecting City Council. The staff blocked easy solutions put forward by former Mayor Filner, selling out the poor. Due to irresponsible management practices the City of San Diego's Successor Agency will give (have given) the CAC $166 million, including $100 million in Cash, to the Taxing Agencies instead of staying within the City Council's direct control. The $166 million distribution will go directly to both the City and County of San Diego’s General Funds instead of social and economic justice to negate the ongoing discrimination and violations of the Fair Housing Act and HEARTH Act.

For example Civic San Diego, the former CCDC hid $1.88 million in their Reserves by hoarding undistributed assets from the poor, as documented in the July 31, 1999 NTC Homeless Agreement for Liberty Station redevelopment. Including 14 year-old outstanding balances of $350,000 for Catholic Charities, $380,000 to St. Vincent de Paul, and $1,150,000 to Volunteers of America. The City Council as the Successor Agency to the former Redevelopment Agency (RDA) approved the release of these funds in previous ROPS hearings. Instead Civic San Diego staff tried to hoard the cash assets belonging to the poor. Civic San Diego did not release the funds as required by law and instead tried to keep the approved funds into new Reserve accounts. This lack of financial judgment and good faith by Civic San Diego staff is resulting in the $1.88 million not being distributed to the poor to finalize the 1999 NTC Homeless Agreement, but instead is divided between the City of San Diego’s and County of San Diego’s and General Funds.

The poor and homeless are out $1.88 Million due to failure by Civic San Diego staff to analyze solutions from former Mayor Filner to add to the ROPS spreadsheets to keep all $166 million in the hands of our City Council. By law, the DOF will not discuss solutions during Meet and Confer unless line items are added to the ROPS

Help is needed by State Politicians based upon mitigating circumstances, not yet presented due to blockage from Civic San Diego and IBA Staff. The time frame to get justice through Political help without relying on lawsuits is almost over. The status quo will result in an influx of General Fund revenue that will be diverted to pensions (City) and law enforcement (County) instead of its original intent. Thwarting justice at the direct expense of the least amongst us.

The full City Council's position is to let Civic San Diego staff negotiate with the State DOF, and long-term litigation by City Attorney Goldsmith. There is a small window of opportunity to get ministerial political support to intervene at the State level due to ongoing misinterpretation, fraud, and abuse by Civic San Diego and IBA staff. Including bypassing the Civic San Diego Board of Directors, the City Council, and the Successor Agency for approval of the $616 million Non-Housing Other Funds Due Diligence Report (DDR), including over $100 million in Cash. The Oversight Board approved the Non-Housing DDR on May 14, 2013.

http://www.sandiegooversightboard.com/department_of_finance_communications/docs/08_29_13___Other_Funds_and_Accounts_Due_Diligence_Review.pdf

Civic San Diego staff failed to present the August 29, 2013 preliminary Other Funds Due Diligence Report (DDR) letter to the Civic San Diego Board of Directors, the City Council, and the Successor Agency. Therefore the City Council members were never able to give direction or input to Civic San Diego Staff before the Final Determination Letter for Non-Housing Other Fund DDR that demands $166 Cash be sent last week.
20131031_DOF_Non-Housing_DDR_Revised_Final_Determination_Letter_$166_Million.pdf - Google Drivehttps://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_fHftxFXFhyY0l3aDJjbEV4Qjg/edit

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw

A truly inspirational testimonial from one of the most reliably liberal, biggest spenders in Sacramento.

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw subscribermember

A truly inspirational testimonial from one of the most reliably liberal, biggest spenders in Sacramento.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

A little dated reference but not only did Fletcher miss over half his 2012 votes, he applied different standards to his tally and Filner's to make himself look better.

"The U-T found Fletcher’s numbers for his opponents to be fairly accurate — Filner had 138 missed votes and DeMaio had 91. But Fletcher didn’t reflect his own record with nearly the same accuracy. In 2011, according to a Sacramento Bee database, Fletcher missed 136 votes or more than twice what he stated."

So Marty, isn't it sort of laughable that you are here accusing others, who are putting out accurate figures, of lying because only 25% of the days Fletcher wasn't in attendance there was a vote, when Fletcher's campaign, intentionally or not, misrepresented how many votes he missed when he ran for mayor?

Anyway Marty, after your vote on SB 161 to allow schoolkids with epilepsy to die waiting for an ambulance (that thankfully better politicians than you carried forward) and your following vote to kill SB 1530 that would protect kids from teachers who sexually abuse them, you would think Fletcher would want you to stay the heck out of his campaign, wouldn't you?

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/May/10/filner-fletcher-missing-many-votes/



Filner, Fletcher miss many voteshttp://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/May/10/filner-fletcher-missing-many-votes/Rep. Bob Filner and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher have each missed more than half of the votes cast by their respective legislative bodies so far this year as they run for San Diego mayor, according to a U-T San Diego review of candidates' voting recor...

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

A little dated reference but not only did Fletcher miss over half his 2012 votes, he applied different standards to his tally and Filner's to make himself look better.

"The U-T found Fletcher’s numbers for his opponents to be fairly accurate — Filner had 138 missed votes and DeMaio had 91. But Fletcher didn’t reflect his own record with nearly the same accuracy. In 2011, according to a Sacramento Bee database, Fletcher missed 136 votes or more than twice what he stated."

So Marty, isn't it sort of laughable that you are here accusing others, who are putting out accurate figures, of lying because only 25% of the days Fletcher wasn't in attendance there was a vote, when Fletcher's campaign, intentionally or not, misrepresented how many votes he missed when he ran for mayor?

Anyway Marty, after your vote on SB 161 to allow schoolkids with epilepsy to die waiting for an ambulance (that thankfully better politicians than you carried forward) and your following vote to kill SB 1530 that would protect kids from teachers who sexually abuse them, you would think Fletcher would want you to stay the heck out of his campaign, wouldn't you?

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/May/10/filner-fletcher-missing-many-votes/



Filner, Fletcher miss many voteshttp://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/May/10/filner-fletcher-missing-many-votes/Rep. Bob Filner and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher have each missed more than half of the votes cast by their respective legislative bodies so far this year as they run for San Diego mayor, according to a U-T San Diego review of candidates' voting recor...

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga

I didn't know about SB 161, so I looked it up. I figured it was a dispute about who gets to give a kid a pill. Nope. It's more complicated.

Anyway, I'm glad to see you're concerned about kids with epilepsy. I know you have strict views regarding the right of people like me to have health coverage. We've discussed my insurance woes in the comments here before. You adopted a "tough, deal with it"-type approach regarding me in particular, as I recall.

Back to kids, like those with epilepsy. Do you think they have a right to health coverage? Do they even have a right to not be around unvaccinated kids who threaten their health?

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga memberauthor

I didn't know about SB 161, so I looked it up. I figured it was a dispute about who gets to give a kid a pill. Nope. It's more complicated.

Anyway, I'm glad to see you're concerned about kids with epilepsy. I know you have strict views regarding the right of people like me to have health coverage. We've discussed my insurance woes in the comments here before. You adopted a "tough, deal with it"-type approach regarding me in particular, as I recall.

Back to kids, like those with epilepsy. Do you think they have a right to health coverage? Do they even have a right to not be around unvaccinated kids who threaten their health?

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Randy, your question is based on your reading a different SB 161 than the one I referenced, but I'll play along.

People might deserve better than they have, better cars, better jobs, better houses, better schools, better governments, better reporters certainly, but as Clint Eastwood's character in the Unforgiven says, "Deserves got nothing to do with it", 20,000 children under 5 die every day in the world, often for lack of a $0.20 cent dose of a common medicine. For all that do all have a "right" to health insurance paid for by someone else? No. Health insurance is not a right. Free speech is a right, religious freedom, owning guns, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, right to a trial, etc... those things are rights. Spending someone else's money on insurance that feeds big medical companies a guaranteed profit and keeps prices spiraling? Not a right, especially in a country where you don't even have a right to be born rather than be vacuumed out of your moms womb because you're inconvenient, paid for by other people as well.

It's a messed up world Randy, leeching off of others doesn't fix it, it makes it worse.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Randy, your question is based on your reading a different SB 161 than the one I referenced, but I'll play along.

People might deserve better than they have, better cars, better jobs, better houses, better schools, better governments, better reporters certainly, but as Clint Eastwood's character in the Unforgiven says, "Deserves got nothing to do with it", 20,000 children under 5 die every day in the world, often for lack of a $0.20 cent dose of a common medicine. For all that do all have a "right" to health insurance paid for by someone else? No. Health insurance is not a right. Free speech is a right, religious freedom, owning guns, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, right to a trial, etc... those things are rights. Spending someone else's money on insurance that feeds big medical companies a guaranteed profit and keeps prices spiraling? Not a right, especially in a country where you don't even have a right to be born rather than be vacuumed out of your moms womb because you're inconvenient, paid for by other people as well.

It's a messed up world Randy, leeching off of others doesn't fix it, it makes it worse.