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The Republican Party of San Diego’s Central Committee is considering endorsements Saturday for candidates in open seats. One of those open seats is mayor of San Diego.

With three GOP stars running in that race, the Central Committee would have to vote with a two-thirds majority to endorse one Republican over another. It has happened before in the mayor’s race.

And while I’m on the edge of my seat (seriously, it would be a big deal for one Republican standard bearer to emerge) what was more interesting was the drama that preceded the vote this week.

Central Committee members apparently each received a packet of information containing various grades about how not-conservative Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher is.

This did not please Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. And in a post on the conservative blog SD Rostra, he lit into the presumed sender of the literature, Councilman Carl DeMaio. “Let’s be honest. Let’s be truthful. And let’s be direct.”

(Update: DeMaio won the endorsement, apparently on just the first round  of voting.)

Three cheers for honesty! What most interested me, though, were two sections of Fletcher’s post. In his “facts” about the taxpayer ratings he came out poorly on, he said it was mostly due to a compromise he tried to forge recently whereby out-of-state corporations would lose tax loopholes and businesses here would get cuts.

It’s a theme that’s at the core of many of his ideas. For instance, he often talks about sales taxes. Some services, like amusement parks, don’t have a state sales tax attached. Others do. Why not lower the rate but make sure everyone pays it?

But then he wrote this:

But at least I’m consistent. Carl DeMaio says he is against higher taxes. But read this link here to see DeMaio‘s support for a billion-dollar tax increase: http://tiny.cc/mcJf2b

That link is to one of our many posts about the knots local leaders are tying themselves in while trying to support an increase to the city’s hotel-room tax rate to fund an expansion to the Convention Center. Voters twice rejected an increase to the hotel room tax rate in 2004.

The city attorney went out of his way recently to call it a tax and stress that it would be legally questionable to levy it without a vote of the people.

But here’s the thing: Fletcher also supports this “billion-dollar tax increase.”

Hmm. So maybe he was just saying he, unlike DeMaio, is willing to consider tax hikes when appropriate?

Nope. The rest of the piece is a primal scream of anti-tax fervor. He says he has taken a no-tax pledge, nobody’d be tougher with unions, etc.

I chalk this up as progress: According to Fletcher, we can now call this a billion-dollar tax increase.

Fletcher’s campaign confirmed he still supported the measure.

Then there was the second part of the note that piqued my interest.

Apparently this anonymous packet to Central Committee members also highlighted Fletcher’s rating from the Capitol Resource Family Impact that he only scored a 20 percent with them and was the “most liberal Republican” in the legislature.

This infuriated Fletcher. “Family values are very important to me. As a married father of two, I take very seriously my commitment to my wife and children. As a Christian of strong faith, I take seriously my commitment to God.”

But then he wrote this (emphasis mine):

We have looked to government for too much intervention in people’s individual freedoms and personal lives. Please know and appreciate that I am consistent in this position — regardless of what community I am speaking to and how it might affect a scorecard. I know from conversations with many of you that Carl Demaio tells you he will never advocate or push social issues related to sexual orientation. However, this doesn’t square with the statements and commitments he makes in other communities.

What? That’s a very weird accusation. My translation: He says he’s being quiet about the gay thing but he’s not!

There’s definitely a desire in the party to keep the gay thing from exploding. Tony Krvaric, the Central Committee chairman, told the Associated Press months ago that having two gay Republicans in the race wouldn’t be a problem unless …

“If the candidates don’t make it an issue, voters won’t make it an issue,” he said.

So either DeMaio has done that or Fletcher has done that by accusing DeMaio of doing that.

This is going to be a rowdy rivalry.

Update: I changed the punctuation and clarified that I was interpreting Fletcher’s comments in the above italicized sentence.

I’m Scott Lewis, the CEO of voiceofsandiego.org. 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!):

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Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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