Campaign mailers / Photo by Dagny Salas

An amendment to the lawsuit against former County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and the Metropolitan Transit System has come to light this week.

Fletcher’s accuser now states in her suit that MTS offered a belated $10,000 severance — and included a section saying she could not disparage Fletcher or MTS. (MTS as the time was the accuser’s employer and Fletcher was the board chair.)

It could be an even bigger deal than before for the public agency. If this is true, it could imply MTS knew about the relationship between Fletcher and the employee even sooner and perhaps that it condoned Fletcher using his personal attorney to handle the matter of him allegedly harassing and assaulting her.

So now, the election: To replace Fletcher on the board, a special election is coming Aug. 15. If no one wins outright, it’ll go to a November runoff. The winner will serve the final three years of Fletcher’s term.

As ever, elections mean mailers. And in the words of VOSD Podcast host Scott Lewis, “Mailers are like the core concentrate of local politics. If you boil down politics, you’re left with mailer content.”

In this episode, Lewis described to co-hosts Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Jakob McWhinney that mailers — while objectively annoying inbox filler that most people throw away immediately — are created by strategists who have a lot of data about who they’re targeting. Therefore, in addition to the argument for or against any given candidate, this postal padding also serves as a proxy for what the experts think they know about the electorate.

On the show this week, our crew reviews a few of the mailers that have landed in District 4 as well as some historical artifacts that illustrate tactics often taken through the art of mailcraft.

Got a good mailer? Send it our way! You can re-mail them to us so Lewis can keep it in his personal mailer drawer (not kidding). Or you can send pictures via email ( or Twitter (@natejohn or @vosdscott).

Plus: Every day this week, we’ve gotten more news about who’s leaving the Union-Tribune after it was sold again. And the wild world of water politics continues — now reaching Sacramento to determine how regional water entities can manage themselves.

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Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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  1. These mailers are the birthright of special interest groups and proxy attack dogs. The voters buy into this horse s et voila! America may be choke full of professional people who vote but these voters are really not that bright otherwise they could decern the truth. So pathetically sad. I voted for the gunnery Sargeant because he fights on his own feet like a man. The others are shameful and disgusting. Dan Smiechowski is a candidate for San Diego Mayor.

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