A mailer funded by backers of Nathan Fletcher aims to push fellow Democrat David Alvarez out of the running for mayor by branding him a political neophyte.

The attack zeros in on a controversial plan Alvarez pushed forward while highlighting a Fletcher-backed tax bill. Here’s the irony: The mailer paints Alvarez’s involvement in the Barrio Logan community plan — which actually passed the City Council — as a failure, while touting Fletcher’s involvement in a bill that ultimately failed as a success.

A week before the Nov. 19 special election, the two Democrats are fighting for a spot in a likely runoff early next year. A political committee sponsored by the Neighborhood Market Association, which represents small grocers and some liquor stores, hopes to brand Fletcher as the more qualified candidate.

Here’s how the group presents Alvarez and Fletcher’s political accomplishments.

And here’s the bottom-line message they hope to drive home.

The mailer criticizes Alvarez’s last-minute compromise for a new Barrio Logan community plan, saying it pits “neighbor against neighbor,” and points out shipbuilders’ ongoing effort to overturn it.

It offers an accomplishment of Fletcher’s as a contrast. But that accomplishment – the “job-creating tax bill that needed big breaks for out-of-state businesses” – never made it to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

In 2011, Brown pushed to end a tax loophole for large out-of-state companies. Fletcher and another Republican assemblyman negotiated with the governor over how to use the $1.1 billion in new revenue expected to come along with the switch.

Fletcher and GOP colleague Cameron Smyth subsequently registered the only Republican votes in favor of the bill, giving it the two-thirds support necessary to send it to the state Senate.

That’s where the bill ultimately died. No Senate Republicans stepped forward to support it.

Fletcher, who left the Republican Party less than six months later, criticized his Senate colleagues.

“It was incredibly frustrating to see California’s elected officials side with out-of-state companies at the expense of their own constituents,” Fletcher told Fresno-based KMJ-AM 580 at the time.

Bottom line: Fletcher and his supporters can accurately claim he negotiated with Brown and voted with Assembly Democrats to push the bill forward, but not that he helped end the tax loophole.

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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