Nathan Fletcher Lost the Election When He Lost Mickey Kasparian

Nathan Fletcher Lost the Election When He Lost Mickey Kasparian

Photo by Sam Hodgson

Nathan Fletcher knew, the moment he left the Republican Party, that he had left behind enemies for life. Republicans don’t like him and he expected he would face a unique fury from them forever.

What he didn’t expect is what got him.

After his last mayoral campaign, Democratic Party leaders urged Fletcher to join their party. When he did, they celebrated.

Scott Lewis on Politics LogoWhen suddenly the mayor’s office was vacant, Fletcher didn’t hesitate. He was still aglow.

He had the support of Lorena Gonzalez, the assemblywoman. The woman who, as head of the local labor coalition, helped secure across-the-board victories for Democrats and workers in 2012. They both knew, however, that they needed someone else: Mickey Kasparian.

After all, Fletcher could deal with a challenger on the left. But if Kasparian, the leader of the United Food and Commercial Workers, the largest union in San Diego, wasn’t on board, things might go poorly. Kasparian is also president of the Labor Council. If a rival on Fletcher’s left were to arise, Kasparian’s support both in leadership and resources would matter.

Fletcher might be able to match the money Kasparian could muster. But the labor movement is much more than money.

Gonzalez says Kasparian offered supportive words. Some unions joined with Gonzalez and Fletcher. At the very least, she and Fletcher did not think Kasparian would go to war with them.

As I noted a couple months ago, however, that’s exactly what Kasparian did. Whatever it was that got him, Kasparian was insulted when Gonzalez got behind Fletcher publicly without waiting for the Labor Council to lead. And Kasparian began searching for an alternative.

A few passed on the opportunity. David Alvarez did not.

But that was just one decision. Kasparian made two more crucial ones.

Alvarez was not well known outside his Council district. That takes money.

Kasparian decided to find money and spend it — $1 million in all.

Then came the third decision: They had to bury Fletcher. Kasparian’s disparaging take on Fletcher was one of many that offered a green light to supporters to promote the Republican claim that Fletcher was no less than a fraud.

And with that, the two most powerful coalitions in local politics — the right-of-center business Republicans and the largest labor unions — were both spending and working to persuade voters that Fletcher simply could not be trusted.

They used the same language.

When I asked Richard Barrera, the secretary-treasurer of the Labor Council, it’s paid executive, whether he really believed that Fletcher’s job at Qualcomm was a sham, as a handout one of labor’s neighborhood walkers left at my door claimed, he wouldn’t say. “There are questions that are definitely out there.”

Fletcher’s early dominance in name recognition was wiped out. He slid, fast. His own coalition, cobbled together from groups not associated with those heavyweights, revealed its worry when it returned fire at both Alvarez and Faulconer.

It wasn’t just Kasparian, obviously. Kasparian symbolized and articulated the deep distrust many had that Fletcher was not a progressive they could trust. His record as a politician certainly didn’t help.

But distrust doesn’t automatically turn into a million dollars and boots on the ground. That’s where Kasparian mattered.

Among the dozens of mailers that were sent, supporters of Faulconer and Alvarez left each other alone. Not so for Fletcher. It became clear that the Lincoln Club, a conservative group, wanted to set up a runoff between Faulconer and Alvarez. The Lincoln Club is led by Bill Lynch, a longtime philanthropist and staunch conservative who much preferred Faulconer’s chances against Alvarez.

And his team raised significant funds to make that happen. Even Faulconer launched late attacks on Fletcher from his own campaign account.

They underestimate Alvarez at their own risk. Former Councilman Carl DeMaio, whose team boasted of helping Bob Filner through his primary campaign, watched as Filner dominated him in the runoff. But that, of course, was a general election with presidential contenders and congressional rivals and controversial propositions all attracting voters to the polls.

But again, Fletcher expected fight from the right. It was the onslaught from the left that drowned him. In a special election with low turnout, he could not withstand it. His lead over Alvarez evaporated.

The lesson is clear: In a special election, you can fight Kasparian and the coalition he leads. You can fight Lynch and his team.

But you can’t fight them both and win.

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Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis

I'm Scott Lewis, the editor in chief of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it's a blast!): @vosdscott.

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49 comments
Sarah Johnson
Sarah Johnson

I was amazed by the backlash to Gov. Brown's robocall supporting Fletcher. The people I talked to couldn't fathom why he interfered on behalf of someone he knew as a Republican instead of supporting a known Democrat. I think Brown hurt his reputation more than he helped Fletcher.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

At the end of the day republicans knew Fletcher could siphon republican votes and Alvarez could not. Sure, a lot of republicans, myself included, don't like Fletcher's overreaction over not getting the nomination, but in the end it's republicans who vote with their minds and democrats who vote with their emotions, not the other way around.

Alvarez may win, but Fletcher would have been harder to beat.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis administrator

No doubt the GOP was motivated by a unique fury and dislike of Fletcher. But it's one thing to tweet something angry, it's another to raise so much money for such a vanity kill. Did you see the mountain of mailers? Not one attack on Alvarez. In fact, in several instances, Faulconer and the Lincoln Club offered what appeared to be praise.

Also, Lynch made it known to several folks that he preferred Faulconer's chances against Alvarez. Even Faulconer's own campaign spent precious funds on negative ads about Fletcher. Why?

There was real strategy here and the Lincoln Club claimed victory for a reason.

If they honestly thought Fletcher less of a threat to Faulconer's path to the office than Alvarez, they would not have done what they did. Whether this was a valid conclusion for them to make and whether they are underestimating Alvarez are great questions.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis administrator

Thank you for the thoughtful reply.

I didn't actually use the term "tipping point" that you repeat here frequently. The headline does say something similar, I suppose. Gonzalez and Fletcher believe that Kasparian offered supportive words for him privately. Yes, I did conclude and believe that, had Kasparian supported or been ambivalent about Fletcher, none of this would have happened. Instead, he became a top foe.

The resources UFCW, AFT and AFSCME marshaled was impressive and I don't think it would have happened had Kasparian not been on board. Not sure you can say the same thing about the other "tipping points" or players you mention, though I probably could have drawn out all these other people and factors as well.

No doubt Kasparian is just one guy. And I mention in the piece that labor is more than him or money. But it also then had an effect on all the decisions you mention, including the Democratic Party's endorsement.

Kasparian may have just been an early symbol of an inevitable backlash against Fletcher. But even then, that doesn't disprove my point that it was when he decided to fight Fletcher that all these other things were set in motion. Maybe he didn't make it happen. Maybe he was just the first. But it was a big deal for him to start recruiting other candidates and then to support providing them resources.

Thanks again.

nora
nora

And one more thing, an often reported media talking point is that the Lincoln Club bashed Fletcher because they feel that Alvarez will make a weaker candidate against Faulconer. You repeated this yourself, in this article. That talking point makes it appear to be a purely strategic decision. This may be true, to a point. But there is another equally potent reason that the Republican Party and the Lincoln Club attack Nathan Fletcher - vindictiveness. Fletcher is their Benedict Arnold - he was their shining star, their new hope, and he turned on them, disavowed them, went running into the arms of the enemy. Don't underestimate the power of betrayal, as you saw yourself in your twitter exchange with Tony Krvaric. There was nothing strategic about his rant against Fletcher, that was pure bitterness. And its not just the emotional satisfaction of sticking it to the traitor, its a clear warning to other Republicans - "Turn your back on us at your own peril". And a particularly effective one, given the outcome of this race.

At the end of the day the Republicans knew that whatever Democrat made it to the runoff stands a good chance of becoming mayor, simply based on demographics. And I'm sure, given their bitterness towards him, their mindset is they'd rather anyone than him. So, this was yet another reason to support Alvarez.

To simply chalk it up to logical, non-emotional, strategic advantage, and call Alvarez the perceived weaker candidate, was an oversimplification, that was used as a talking point to damage Alvarez, and was never the complete truth to begin with.Twitter / TonyKrvaric: @vosdscott @MickeyKasparian ...https://twitter.com/TonyKrvaric/status/401102222983172096Looking back, @MickeyKasparian's distrust of @nathanfletcher seems to have had a massive impact on this mayoral race: http://voiceofsandiego.org/2013/09/25/how-labors-top-personality-went-from-welcoming-fletcher-to-fighting-him/ ...

nora
nora

Scott, while I generally thoroughly enjoy reading your analysis, sometimes, in the search for a narrative, you oversimplify the story line to the point of being, in your own fact-check language, between misleading and barely true. This is one of these times. Was Mickey Kasparian's support very significant? Of course it was. Was it the THE tipping point? Hard to say, because there were many tipping points. First of all, I would agree completely that labor played a very significant role in Alvarez's victory. Their canvassing program was second to none, and their get out the vote effort was extraordinary.

But labor is more than Mickey Kasparian. The labor council is a democratic organization, made up of a coalition of labor groups, all of which have voting members. Mickey Kasparian is the head of UFCW, which is arguably the most influential unions in the labor, but he is one of 27 executive board members, each representing a union. The head of the labor council, who, in this role, wields a large influence and has a large voice, is Richard Barrera. Richard Barrera was supportive of Alvarez from the beginning, and also had his reservations about Fletcher. So, why not call him the "tipping point"?

But at the end of the day, you are comparing apples and oranges. Lorena Gonzalez is now an elected official, her opinion and influence is reflective only of her, but the labor council is a democratic organization, so picking any one member, even a powerful one, and saying they alone are the tipping point is, at best, disingenuous. I happen to know that a number of influential members of labor that worked incredibly hard, behind the scenes, to secure the labor council endorsement for Alvarez. They too, could be considered "tipping points".

But, Lorena aside, the labor council endorsement was not the hardest endorsement to secure, because leaders like Mickey, Richard, and many others were skeptical of Fletcher from the beginning. The Democratic Party endorsement, which could be consider to be ANOTHER very significant "tipping point" was much more in doubt, and the drama of securing it was another untold story of this campaign. The Democratic Party endorsement allowed for unlimited donations to flow through the party on Alvarez's behalf. The Democratic Party endorsement also tied the hands of Democratic Clubs around the city, limiting their endorsement options to endorsing Alvarez, or no endorsement. And, coupled with the labor council endorsement, it gave the Alvarez campaign the credibility to go after other large donors who, due to these endorsements, now saw him a viable candidate. So, this endorsement was also very important to the success of the Alvarez campaign.

The Democratic Party endorsement was an uphill battle. The past president of the Democratic Party, Jess Durfee, who still holds a lot of influence, was pushing hard for Fletcher. The current Democratic Party leadership was pushing for no endorsement. So, it took a very coordinated whipping effort of a number of influential Central Committee members who had already decided to support Alvarez, some of which were associated with labor, many of which were not, to convince the body that it was more important to vote their values than to curry favor with the guy who was, at the time, seen as far more likely to win.

So, again, this was a "tipping point", made up of many, some of whom might appreciate the recognition, most of whom are happy to remain anonymous.

With Alvarez's victory, there are many organizations and communities telling their members that they made it happen - that it was THEIR resources, time and efforts, influenced at least 2,800 votes, or some significant portion thereof, that put Alvarez over the top. And guess what? They are probably right. There is plenty of room for many "tipping points".

David Hall
David Hall

When I asked Richard Barrera, the secretary-treasurer of the Labor Council, it’s paid executive, whether he really believed that Fletcher’s job at Qualcomm was a sham, as a handout one of labor’s neighborhood walkers left at my door claimed, he wouldn’t say. “There are questions that are definitely out there.”

By Fletcher's own words, he has time to make breakfast for his kids, and go surfing, before he has to report to the office. How many middle class working stiffs can take that leisurely approach to a weekday morning?

David Hall
David Hall subscriber

When I asked Richard Barrera, the secretary-treasurer of the Labor Council, it’s paid executive, whether he really believed that Fletcher’s job at Qualcomm was a sham, as a handout one of labor’s neighborhood walkers left at my door claimed, he wouldn’t say. “There are questions that are definitely out there.”

By Fletcher's own words, he has time to make breakfast for his kids, and go surfing, before he has to report to the office. How many middle class working stiffs can take that leisurely approach to a weekday morning?

Mike
Mike

Regarding Scott's assertion from the above article, I don't agree that Kasparian is what doomed Fletcher. I've listened, watched, or attended the debates they held throughout the campaign. I've read the press releases along with the news coverage during this time. One big thing that stood out to me about Nathan Fletcher is that he almost never directly answers the question. As a result, it's hard for me be sure where he stands on all the issues. He says he supports something while also not opposed to the opposite view, and every issue should involve "strong leadership" to bring all the "parties to the table" for a "real conversation." That line sounds good once or twice, but gets old fast. Faulconer and Alvarez are less "dodgy" when answering questions. They both are more firm in their views of the various issues, and their records show that. Fletcher has a lot of lofty goals in his published plans, but very little substance to outline exactly what he'll do. In my opinion, this is what hurt him in this election. He very well could have been a great mayor, but it just didn't come across. And without a voting record to judge on (since he switched parties), no one can be sure where he stands. I liked him a lot in the beginning, but in the end, I couldn't justify voting for him when there are other candidates out there whose views are well known.

Mike
Mike subscriber

Regarding Scott's assertion from the above article, I don't agree that Kasparian is what doomed Fletcher. I've listened, watched, or attended the debates they held throughout the campaign. I've read the press releases along with the news coverage during this time. One big thing that stood out to me about Nathan Fletcher is that he almost never directly answers the question. As a result, it's hard for me be sure where he stands on all the issues. He says he supports something while also not opposed to the opposite view, and every issue should involve "strong leadership" to bring all the "parties to the table" for a "real conversation." That line sounds good once or twice, but gets old fast. Faulconer and Alvarez are less "dodgy" when answering questions. They both are more firm in their views of the various issues, and their records show that. Fletcher has a lot of lofty goals in his published plans, but very little substance to outline exactly what he'll do. In my opinion, this is what hurt him in this election. He very well could have been a great mayor, but it just didn't come across. And without a voting record to judge on (since he switched parties), no one can be sure where he stands. I liked him a lot in the beginning, but in the end, I couldn't justify voting for him when there are other candidates out there whose views are well known.

Olin Hyde
Olin Hyde

The same people who brought us Filner now support Alverez. Where's the mea culpa from Kasperian and the rest of the labor council?

As an independent voter who is disgusted with both political parties, it is clear to me that Faulconer is the far lesser evil among the field of unqualified, political pansy candidates.

What is sad: Neither party can produce a candidate with real-world professional experience, vision and executive gravitas. Rather, we get two council members -- neither of whom have ever managed more than 20 people, neither with any noteable accomplishments outside of local government, and neither with a clue about making San Diego competitive in a world market.

So no matter who wins, it is a giant experiment in who will less overwhelmed, less incompetent and less influenced by their masters in labor and/or real estate development.

At least neither has a reputation for molesting women...At least Faulconer is opposed that those that supported Filner the Philanderer.

Olin Hyde
Olin Hyde subscribermember

The same people who brought us Filner now support Alverez. Where's the mea culpa from Kasperian and the rest of the labor council?

As an independent voter who is disgusted with both political parties, it is clear to me that Faulconer is the far lesser evil among the field of unqualified, political pansy candidates.

What is sad: Neither party can produce a candidate with real-world professional experience, vision and executive gravitas. Rather, we get two council members -- neither of whom have ever managed more than 20 people, neither with any noteable accomplishments outside of local government, and neither with a clue about making San Diego competitive in a world market.

So no matter who wins, it is a giant experiment in who will less overwhelmed, less incompetent and less influenced by their masters in labor and/or real estate development.

At least neither has a reputation for molesting women...At least Faulconer is opposed that those that supported Filner the Philanderer.

Kevin Wirsing
Kevin Wirsing

your coverage of the election is telling: two pieces on two time loser Nathan Fletcher, on the brave young man who got to the city council by challenging labor and its chosen candidate? nada....you really need to examine VOSD bias in favor not of any interest or ideology but of compromise just for the safe of compromise

Kevin Wirsing
Kevin Wirsing subscriber

your coverage of the election is telling: two pieces on two time loser Nathan Fletcher, on the brave young man who got to the city council by challenging labor and its chosen candidate? nada....you really need to examine VOSD bias in favor not of any interest or ideology but of compromise just for the safe of compromise

David Cohen
David Cohen

Does an Alvarez lead of ~2,500 votes with >34,000 ballots yet to be tallied really assure anyone that we know who will face Faulconer?

David Cohen
David Cohen subscriber

Does an Alvarez lead of ~2,500 votes with >34,000 ballots yet to be tallied really assure anyone that we know who will face Faulconer?

David Crossley
David Crossley

If only Mickey the Bat could do as much for the people he represents as he apparently does in local elections.

David Crossley
David Crossley subscriber

If only Mickey the Bat could do as much for the people he represents as he apparently does in local elections.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster

There is something to be for the Republican's ability to unite behind a single candidate and to also tip the balance in the selection of the ultimate Democrat candidate. That said, if Faulconer loses, they may have some remorse over their strategy.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster subscribermember

There is something to be for the Republican's ability to unite behind a single candidate and to also tip the balance in the selection of the ultimate Democrat candidate. That said, if Faulconer loses, they may have some remorse over their strategy.

Brian Peterson
Brian Peterson

How about this as an alternative explanation: Big Business and Big Labor got exactly what they wanted. They got their preferred candidates into the runoff. Neither side wanted the City Hall Outsider Fletcher. Despite collusion with Sanders, et al, on the Midnight Sacramento Redevelopment Deal, Fletcher was not steeped in City Hall insider culture. And after all, it is Big Labor and Big Business and City Hall officials—elected and staff—who run City government. February will be a victory for this Troika no matter what.
http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2013/oct/02/citylights1-san-diego-overlords-unions/San Diego overlords and unions - who can stop them?http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2013/oct/02/citylights1-san-diego-overlords-unions/A political alliance is getting almost unstoppable in San Diego: organized labor, led by the construction trades, marching alongside the downtown corporate welfare boosters. They control big chunks of both political parties. This alliance will almost...

Brian Peterson
Brian Peterson subscriber

How about this as an alternative explanation: Big Business and Big Labor got exactly what they wanted. They got their preferred candidates into the runoff. Neither side wanted the City Hall Outsider Fletcher. Despite collusion with Sanders, et al, on the Midnight Sacramento Redevelopment Deal, Fletcher was not steeped in City Hall insider culture. And after all, it is Big Labor and Big Business and City Hall officials—elected and staff—who run City government. February will be a victory for this Troika no matter what.
http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2013/oct/02/citylights1-san-diego-overlords-unions/San Diego overlords and unions - who can stop them?http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2013/oct/02/citylights1-san-diego-overlords-unions/A political alliance is getting almost unstoppable in San Diego: organized labor, led by the construction trades, marching alongside the downtown corporate welfare boosters. They control big chunks of both political parties. This alliance will almost...

Don Wood
Don Wood

DeMaio worked hard to get Fletcher out so he could face Filner in the general election. We all know how that turned out. Now Falconer's campaign has worked hard to make sure he faced Alvarez in the general election instead of Fletcher. He got his wish,. and may face the same fate as DeMaio. If that happens, let's see how long it takes the UT and Jan Goldsmith to go after Mayor Alvarez and give him the Filner treatment.

Don Wood
Don Wood subscriber

DeMaio worked hard to get Fletcher out so he could face Filner in the general election. We all know how that turned out. Now Falconer's campaign has worked hard to make sure he faced Alvarez in the general election instead of Fletcher. He got his wish,. and may face the same fate as DeMaio. If that happens, let's see how long it takes the UT and Jan Goldsmith to go after Mayor Alvarez and give him the Filner treatment.

David Cohen
David Cohen subscriber

I wonder if enough Republicans voted for Alvarez (to harm Fletcher) and thereby forced Faulconer into a runoff.

nora
nora

I don't question that the Lincoln Clubs attacks on Fletcher were strategic, they were. But its a question of nuances. The attacks were strategic and they were a warning to other republicans against defecting (a valid strategy in its own right), and they were pissed as hell at Fletcher and would prefer risk the election of a liberal who they had nothing personal against, except his politics, then let a guy who'd turn his back on them find success with the other side. Those nuances help tell a more complete story, and they are very real and rarely mentioned in the press.

I enjoy VOSD for its ability to craft a narrative, but please don't loose the nuances in the process (they make the narrative more accurate and more interesting!)

nora
nora

Yes, Kasparian was a prominent earlier supporter, but I am weary of the main gist of your piece, because regardless of whether the term tipping point is used, that is what your article implies - that Mickey Kasparian was THE key catalyst/tipping point/factor in David Alvarez's win.

My point is that there a number of people, some in a public, some in a private, manner whose actions set in motion David's win. Richard Barrera is the head of the labor council - who knows if labor's endorsement would have been possible without his support? Jim Miller rallied the teachers in an impressive fashion, and artfully used his microphone at city college, and at the San Diego Free Press, to turn progressive opinion. He too played a key role, and his article in the SDFP published just prior to the Democratic endorsement vote rallied the party delegates against Fletcher and for Alvarez. But I am weary of bestowing any one person with what one could characterized as a kingmaker role, because the victory of David Alvarez was a direct backlash, by many people, against the idea of a small circle of kingmakers.

What some people seem to miss when comparing "big" labor to big business, is that labor is a big tent - a democratic, transparent organization, where anyone can participate, vote and play a leadership role. And the leadership role in labor or the party is not that of a CEO, no one person is taking executive decisions - the labor council has 27 members on its executive board, none of which can go against the vote of the body they represent. (Strong mayor form of government, it is not...)

So, in the case of Kevin Faulconer, supported by the right wings titans of industry here in San Diego, his candidacy could be bestowed by a small, exclusive, group of insiders in a closed door meeting, with absolutely no input or voice of the larger Republican community. And on the Democratic/labor side it looked, for a moment, like something similar would happen.

Before there was even a race, before Bob Filner resigned, a small group of Democratic "insiders" were already working to make Fletcher the next mayor of San Diego. (Its no coincidence that Rachel Laing was both spokesperson for the recall and for Fletcher's mayoral campaign). This small group committed to Fletcher very early on, and assured him they could secure the support of Labor and the Democratic Party. In late August/early September delegates in Labor and the Democratic Party were being told by some of their most influential peers that Fletcher was their only choice - the only guy that stood a chance after the Filner debacle.

And plenty of progressives were weary. Not just because Fletcher's record hardly reflected his recent pledges, not just because he was seen as an opportunist, but because he was being pushed so hard and so quickly. It was obvious that key coalitions and pledges had been made without the input or vetting of the greater communities.

At that moment, there were a number of individuals and groups, working independently, looking hard for another option, for the sake of having a choice, instead of an anointment. I was not aware of how active Mickey Kasparian had been in the process, until reading your response. But if he committed to supporting Alvarez before he ran, this probably would have been a motivating factor in Alvarez's decision to enter the race. And yes, it does add more significance to his role. (Though it’s worth pointing out that many people lobbied Alvarez to run, including Citybeat - using their soapbox to the greatest possible effect!)

Alvarez did decide to run. And given another option, the collective bodies of Labor Council and the Democratic Party voted to endorse him, over the "frontrunner" being pushed by select community leaders. And if I take anything away from this, it’s that no one "leader" can claim control or exclusive influence over groups as large and democratic as the labor council, its union members, or the democratic party - not Lorena Gonzalez, not Jess Durfee, not Juan Vargas, and, dare I say it, not even Mickey Kasparian. And this is a good thing.

This is why I question your article. I agree completely that the Labor Council and the Democratic Party were key in getting David through to the runoff, but to attribute the credit due to these bodies to one of their members, even the most influential of members, even one of its leaders, is questionable and go against the ideals of either organization.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

At the end of the day republicans knew Fletcher could siphon republican votes and Alvarez could not. Sure, a lot of republicans, myself included, don't like Fletcher's overreaction over not getting the nomination, but in the end it's republicans who vote with their minds and democrats who vote with their emotions, not the other way around.

Alvarez may win, but Fletcher would have been harder to beat.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis

No doubt the GOP was motivated by a unique fury and dislike of Fletcher. But it's one thing to tweet something angry, it's another to raise so much money for such a vanity kill. Did you see the mountain of mailers? Not one attack on Alvarez. In fact, in several instances, Faulconer and the Lincoln Club offered what appeared to be praise.

Also, Lynch made it known to several folks that he preferred Faulconer's chances against Alvarez. Even Faulconer's own campaign spent precious funds on negative ads about Fletcher. Why?

There was real strategy here and the Lincoln Club claimed victory for a reason.

If they honestly thought Fletcher less of a threat to Faulconer's path to the office than Alvarez, they would not have done what they did. Whether this was a valid conclusion for them to make and whether they are underestimating Alvarez are great questions.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis

Thank you for the thoughtful reply.

I didn't actually use the term "tipping point" that you repeat here frequently. The headline does say something similar, I suppose. Gonzalez and Fletcher believe that Kasparian offered supportive words for him privately. Yes, I did conclude and believe that, had Kasparian supported or been ambivalent about Fletcher, none of this would have happened. Instead, he became a top foe.

The resources UFCW, AFT and AFSCME marshaled was impressive and I don't think it would have happened had Kasparian not been on board. Not sure you can say the same thing about the other "tipping points" or players you mention, though I probably could have drawn out all these other people and factors as well.

No doubt Kasparian is just one guy. And I mention in the piece that labor is more than him or money. But it also then had an effect on all the decisions you mention, including the Democratic Party's endorsement.

Kasparian may have just been an early symbol of an inevitable backlash against Fletcher. But even then, that doesn't disprove my point that it was when he decided to fight Fletcher that all these other things were set in motion. Maybe he didn't make it happen. Maybe he was just the first. But it was a big deal for him to start recruiting other candidates and then to support providing them resources.

Thanks again.

Venice_Buckeye
Venice_Buckeye

I think Olin is on to something. If you look at the salaries offered for City Council ($75K and Mayor (100K), who really wants to do that job? Who can live in San Diego with those salaries? No logical or reasonable person would be willing to sacrifice their personal life for those wages. It is really that simple!

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw

Come on, Olin, we have a guy in the White House with comparable management experience and look at the great job he's doing..........

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw subscribermember

Come on, Olin, we have a guy in the White House with comparable management experience and look at the great job he's doing..........

Scott Hasson
Scott Hasson

I am glad that you put this up on VOSD showing someone from the Alvarez camp purposely violating the city municipal code which means no campaign signs in the public right of way, only on private property and only with the property owners direct permission. Look carefully at that sign, it says TEACHERS ENDORSE..I guess teachers endorse violating the law also!! People will continue to take down this ugly and illegal signs!! And I am glad they do. Alvarez should be taking better control of his campaign if he wants to be mayor and CEO if 10,000 employees.

Scott Hasson
Scott Hasson subscriber

I am glad that you put this up on VOSD showing someone from the Alvarez camp purposely violating the city municipal code which means no campaign signs in the public right of way, only on private property and only with the property owners direct permission. Look carefully at that sign, it says TEACHERS ENDORSE..I guess teachers endorse violating the law also!! People will continue to take down this ugly and illegal signs!! And I am glad they do. Alvarez should be taking better control of his campaign if he wants to be mayor and CEO if 10,000 employees.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis

Telling, really? Just for context, for some reason I always write about the loser on Election Night. Last year, I wrote a piece about Carl DeMaio. In 2008, I deconstructed Steve Francis' fail. I don't know what you mean by bias in favor of compromise, but I'll think about it.

For what it's worth, we've written A LOT about Alvarez. You can read it all here, including a three-part profile about his rise to City Council and what got him in position to run for mayor.
http://voiceofsandiego.org/candidate-for-mayor-2013-david-alvarez/David Alvarezhttp://voiceofsandiego.org/candidate-for-mayor-2013-david-alvarez/David Alvarez Date of birth: July 27, 1980 Hometown: San Diego College: San Diego State University, B.A. in psychology (2002) Current job: San Diego City Councilman, District 8 (since 2010) Party affiliation: Democrat Previously held positions: Distr...

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis administrator

Telling, really? Just for context, for some reason I always write about the loser on Election Night. Last year, I wrote a piece about Carl DeMaio. In 2008, I deconstructed Steve Francis' fail. I don't know what you mean by bias in favor of compromise, but I'll think about it.

For what it's worth, we've written A LOT about Alvarez. You can read it all here, including a three-part profile about his rise to City Council and what got him in position to run for mayor.
http://voiceofsandiego.org/candidate-for-mayor-2013-david-alvarez/David Alvarezhttp://voiceofsandiego.org/candidate-for-mayor-2013-david-alvarez/David Alvarez Date of birth: July 27, 1980 Hometown: San Diego College: San Diego State University, B.A. in psychology (2002) Current job: San Diego City Councilman, District 8 (since 2010) Party affiliation: Democrat Previously held positions: Distr...

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw

Amen! I'm still shaking my head about the Kasparian disaster grocery strike a few years ago. If you're a Trader Joes customer, though, you are giving the Mick an attaboy!

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw subscribermember

Amen! I'm still shaking my head about the Kasparian disaster grocery strike a few years ago. If you're a Trader Joes customer, though, you are giving the Mick an attaboy!

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Oh look, a link to the guy who was Filner's sexual harassment apologist... How's that line going?

Fletcher is a Sacramento insider, and that is far far worse for us all than a city hall insider.

The idea implicit that Fletcher would have taken on unions or business is laughable. Fletcher would have given away the store to both sides with less regard for the average citizen than either "insider" choice.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Oh look, a link to the guy who was Filner's sexual harassment apologist... How's that line going?

Fletcher is a Sacramento insider, and that is far far worse for us all than a city hall insider.

The idea implicit that Fletcher would have taken on unions or business is laughable. Fletcher would have given away the store to both sides with less regard for the average citizen than either "insider" choice.

David Cohen
David Cohen

So far, of those who "showed up" to vote, Faulconer got around 43.5%. He doesn't look like a runoff winner to me.

David Kissling
David Kissling

Not likely because of the differences in turnout compared to a Presidential election. I voted last night, and honestly the poll workers looked surprised to see someone show up. Back in November, people showed up to vote for President Obama, and then checked off Bob Filner's name since they were already there. The reality is that unless Alvarez has a GOTV operation that he hasn't mobilized yet, the marginal "every 4 years" voters won't show up and Faulconer will comfortably win.

David Cohen
David Cohen subscriber

So far, of those who "showed up" to vote, Faulconer got around 43.5%. He doesn't look like a runoff winner to me.

David Kissling
David Kissling subscriber

Not likely because of the differences in turnout compared to a Presidential election. I voted last night, and honestly the poll workers looked surprised to see someone show up. Back in November, people showed up to vote for President Obama, and then checked off Bob Filner's name since they were already there. The reality is that unless Alvarez has a GOTV operation that he hasn't mobilized yet, the marginal "every 4 years" voters won't show up and Faulconer will comfortably win.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

What we need now is Alvarezcare, to lower costs and help the people who can't afford it on their own. We can pass it first, then see what's in it.


Really, it makes little difference who is mayor, we have a long lasting structural deficit, crumbling infrastructure that has been in crisis management for a decade, declining wages and no real pathway toward the boom needed to fix the issues. There are no real options as mayor, only a bunch of broken promises and inconsequential pandering for whoever wins as they pay the bills with a budget that barely pays the bills, and Gloria is the smartest of the bunch. In a few years if the economy every really recovers he's sitting pretty to step in with "Remember how I fixed Filner's mess as imayor, then xxx stepped in and drove us into the poorhouse while the city crumbled?" and ride the upswing into greatness.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

What we need now is Alvarezcare, to lower costs and help the people who can't afford it on their own. We can pass it first, then see what's in it.


Really, it makes little difference who is mayor, we have a long lasting structural deficit, crumbling infrastructure that has been in crisis management for a decade, declining wages and no real pathway toward the boom needed to fix the issues. There are no real options as mayor, only a bunch of broken promises and inconsequential pandering for whoever wins as they pay the bills with a budget that barely pays the bills, and Gloria is the smartest of the bunch. In a few years if the economy every really recovers he's sitting pretty to step in with "Remember how I fixed Filner's mess as imayor, then xxx stepped in and drove us into the poorhouse while the city crumbled?" and ride the upswing into greatness.