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I really like San Diego. And not just because of Ron Burgundy (although his "legend" makes a truly funny, and surprisingly feminist movie). It's also a great place to visit, what with the San Diego Zoo, LegoLand, and more. But for the next few months, San Diego is—or at least ought to be—the center of the universe for progressives, because its mayoral election is likely the biggest opportunity we'll get between now and the 2014 midterms to flex our muscles within the broader Democratic coalition, and to move our body politic to the left.

San Diego is going to be getting lots of love between now and February, when the general election to replace the disgraced Bob Filner takes place. When Filner finally resigned, Republicans were salivating at the chance to take back the mayoralty in a city they had, until Filner's election at least, largely dominated—winning six mayoral elections in a row.

Three major candidates emerged: Nathan Fletcher, a former state assemblyman and Republican turned independent turned Democrat (all within 12 months); Kevin Faulconer, a Republican city councilmember; and David Alvarez, also a councilmember and, given that he is a progressive Democrat, our candidate in this race.

The race had a non-partisan first round, after which the top two candidates advanced to a final reckoning at the ballot box. It was long assumed—and confirmed by polls done early on—that Fletcher would certainly be among the final two. Alvarez, however, beat Fletcher by running strongly to the left, as a progressive with serious backing from labor groups (to the tune of $1 million). Here's what Francine Busby, the San Diego County Democratic Party chair, had to say about Alvarez (whom the Democratic Party endorsed over Fletcher):

“David Alvarez ran with a strong conviction to represent people who have been traditionally underserved by this city....He made it very clear that taxpayer dollars need to serve communities and neighborhoods, not big developers and special interests that have truly governed San Diego for decades.”
Alvarez embraced a populist, progressive message. His critics and doubters specifically said he was "too liberal." Vote for Fletcher, they said, he's more electable, he can get the votes of centrists and Republicans. In other words, even though this wasn't an official Democratic party primary, left of center voters had a clear choice between a liberal and a middle-of-the-road kind of guy.

I wish I had been more paying attention to this race before this week. I'm sure paying attention now, and you can follow me beyond the fold to learn more about it:

Above are the unofficial results of the open primary that took place last Tuesday. Lo and behold, "too liberal" David Alvarez appears to have advanced to the final round, which will be held in February (Fletcher has conceded the race and endorsed Alvarez).

On the one hand, Faulconer looks pretty solid at 43.5 percent, however, the combined vote of the three most prominent Democrats (including former City Attorney Michael Aguirre) adds up to 54 percent of the vote. Assuming he gets virtually all of Aguirre's vote, Alvarez has to get about 3/4 of the centrist Democrat Fletcher's vote to put him ahead of the Republican Faulconer. Of course, Alvarez can also hopefully bring out Democrats who stayed home last week, in particular base Democrats who will come out and vote for someone who poses a clear contrast to a Republican.

We progressives have talked a lot about how to move our party to the left, about supporting—in the words of the late, great Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota (and later repeated by Gov. Howard Dean)—the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party," a wing now represented best by folks like Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown at the national level.

In San Diego, the voters in an open primary chose the liberal over the centrist Democrat. This is what we progressives have been trying to get voters to do. But the key now is to make sure that liberal David Alvarez doesn't end up as our side's Christine O'Donnell/Richard Mourdock/Sharron Angle (man, there are a lot of them)—nominees who were so far to one end of the political spectrum that they lost winnable races.

It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway), that those tea party-backed candidates were not only incredibly ideologically extreme but also, well, just nuts. Alvarez is neither of those things. He is a strong liberal, but we have to keep in mind that—as Eric Alterman documented—strong liberal views actually are the American mainstream.

Primaries are really where we progressives can make our mark, where we can fight for the candidate who best represents our values. But when our guy wins the primary, as happened in San Diego, we've got to do everything (DONATE HERE) we can to make sure he wins the general election, otherwise progressive candidates will be dismissed with the tag thrown at David Alvarez, that they are "too liberal."

Instead, we've got to ensure that progressive candidates in competitive races get elected. The more times we do that, the more influence we will gain in our party, and the more we will move governance in our country in a liberal direction.

And isn't that what we're all here for?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 07:50 AM PST.

Also republished by San Diego Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Yes, kind of a long shot but the only one (0+ / 0-)

      Dems have been left, and a loss here would definitely be due to a strategic mistake in the Nov 19th election.  Not a Fletcher fan (I checked him out and didn't donate in the primary), but Alvarez is a long-shot with the SD electorate.  IF he can win he can help move the city faster left over time.

      Just donated $99.  I will be sick if knocking out Fletcher gives California's second largest mayoral office back to the GOP.  The key will be turning out our constituencies in a runoff special.

  •  Thanks for writing this. (13+ / 0-)

    I really hope Alvarez wins, but it's an uphill battle. I know several Democrats who voted for Fletcher because they were worried Alvarez would be easier to beat. But the main concern doesn't seem to be that he is too far left, but his lack of experience. There are probably ways the campaign can turn that into a positive for at least some voters.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 08:08:48 AM PST

    •  The Dems you mentioned will come home (11+ / 0-)

      given that it sounds like they want to elect a Dem. I know it's uphill, but the numbers are on our side, if Alvarez runs a good race and has enough resources to get his message out.

      You're on the ground in SD, so maybe there is a Kos group you can hook up with (or lead?) to help Alvarez out?

      •  They will, although the negative campaigning (6+ / 0-)

        turned off some Fletcher supporters, and they might be harder to win over. However, Faulconer supporters did plenty of negative campaigning themselves, so I'm not sure why they would prefer him over Alvarez.

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 08:20:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  how rightwinger is Faulconer? (4+ / 0-)

          That may be the key here: will he be flexible enough to tack to the center to attract moderates and conservadems? Of course, the attack ads against Alvarez will be brutal.

          "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

          by quill on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 08:49:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He has been campaigning as a moderate (5+ / 0-)

            and has already attracted quite a bit of independent and Democratic support. "Fiscal responsibility" seems to be his main issue, which has a lot of crossover appeal.

            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 08:57:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Beware of Republicans that (7+ / 0-)

              campaign as a "moderate".  Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania governor, campaigned as a "moderate".  His TV ads showed a kind, gentle and reasonable person.  Pennsylvanians elected him governor and he is the worst governor ever.  As soon as he was sworn into office, he ripped off his sheep costume and became a champion of ALEC.  He moved PA to number 47th in job creation.  Corbett is destroying PA and is now the least popular governor in the nation.

              For Alverez to win, he must show his opponent's true intentions without sounding cruel.  Follow Faulconer's money.  Organize block parties or events in neighborhoods where Faulconer might be more popular.  Do like Obama did.  Go to the opponent's territory.  As a Republican, Faulconer won't go into the poorer neighborhoods.  Alverez may need to buy replacement shoes as successful campaigning requires a lot of walking about neighborhoods.  Another point, people are more likely to vote for someone that shakes their hand.

        •  Issue is getting Fletcher voters to vote in runoff (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz

          The challenge for Alvarez isn't the possibility that Fletcher supporters will vote for Faulconer, it's the possibility that Fletcher supporters will just skip the runoff.  

          Given all the votes Faulconer has in his pocket from the Round 1 tally, and the fact that GOTV will likely be more of a challenge on the Dem side in a February runoff, if turnout is low and a huge chunk of Fletcher voters don't vote in February, Alvarez won't win.

          The Labor Council will have to ante up another high six figures, at least, for February GOTV, in order for Alvarez to pull off the upset.

          Alvarez being "too liberal" really isn't an issue here, even though the U-T will probably say that every time they print Alvarez' name between now and the runoff. (Either that, or the U-T wingnuts will make sure they call him "Filner's closest ally" in every article.)

          Three real issues, which are interrelated, are

          1) GOTV.

          2) Convincing voters that Alvarez, a 33-year-old first-term city councilman, is not too inexperienced to be mayor of a large city.  His official biography doesn't mention how old he is, when he was born, or what year he graduated from college. To convince voters that he has enough gravitas to be mayor, he will need to take on this issue directly.

          3) Convincing donors and reluctant voters that Alvarez can actually win and is worth the money to donate and the time to vote.

  •  Balboa Park question: (6+ / 0-)

    is the Spreckles Organ still there?  I was given a tour of the inner workings of it, down below the shell, one Sunday afternoon in late 1963.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 08:09:52 AM PST

  •  San Diego is a machine politics town (17+ / 0-)

    It's not the exact same machine as it was 40 years ago, but it's still a machine. Party affiliation is less important than affiliation with the machine. And that machine right now is run by Doug Manchester, big RE developer and owner of the only significant local newspaper. Alvarez isn't on his side. Just as Filner wasn't on his side. Just as former City Attorney and 4th place candidate in the run-off Mike Aguirre wasn't on his side. It's a tough barrier to overcome, though it's now been proven that the right candidate can get elected despite that barrier. Whether they can remain in office beyond one term before getting run out of town remains to be seen. Aguirre couldn't. Filner couldn't last a year. (And there is no doubt in my mind that the accusations against Filner were heavily influenced by that political machine.)

    I'd love to see Alvarez elected. It's likely to be a pretty nasty fight.

    •  Why did Aguirre leave office? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pdxteacher, Ian Reifowitz, quill, Lujane

      And does Manchester simply back whoever he thinks will take care of him, no matter which party?

      It seems like it's possible to beat his machine in an election, since two people did it pretty recently. The accusations against Filner looked pretty bad. Weren't most of the women who accused him employees that he himself had appointed (and therefore probably Democrats)?

      But I'm on the other side of the country, where things can look very different than they do when you're right there, so I appreciate any local insights.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 08:34:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aguirre was defeated when he ran for reelection (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        whenwego, sidnora, Ian Reifowitz, Lujane

        by establishment Republican Jan Goldsmith. Aguirre has been a controversial figure, although he toned down for this election.

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 08:55:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Aguirre lost his bid for re-election (6+ / 0-)

        He got blown out in the run-off losing by something like 20%. He lost to Jan Goldsmith, who I knew pretty well from his days as mayor of Poway. Goldsmith is pro-developer, and was on Filner like flies on shit from the moment he took office. Unlike his do-nothing two decades as a congressmen in Washington, Filner mixed things up as soon as he took office, taking exception to handing over hotel-tax revenues to the convention and visitors bureau to spend as they saw fit, and refused to do so. Manchester made his fortune as a hotel developer.

        I don't doubt some of the allegations against Filner are at least partially true, he acknowledged his douchebaggery. But the sudden onslaught of accusations seemed coordinated, and had he been on the other side of the political power structure, I doubt it would have played out as it did. Manchester a hotel guy. Goldsmith works for the developers. Filner goes after ConVis. And the accusations stream in. A coincidence? Not entirely.

        •  Perhaps the timing of the accusations (6+ / 0-)

          was suspect, but we seem to have this problem in our party, over and over again: crusading Democrat takes office, makes powerful enemies, and is then shocked, shocked! when said enemies use their personal weaknesses as a tool against them. Does the name Elliot Spitzer ring a bell?

          These guys have to learn that if you're going to go up against powerful people, you better be squeaky clean yourself. Otherwise, they gonna get you.

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:22:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Spitzer, Weiner, Clinton... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sidnora, Ian Reifowitz, Lujane

            the list goes on. The higher position you have, the more you think you're untouchable…but in reality that's when you're most vulnerable. No one gives a shit who a janitor or file clerk is fooling around with when they're not on company time.

            There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

            by Cali Scribe on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:32:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "fooling around" wasn't exactly the issue. (4+ / 0-)

              It wasn't quite so benign. Some of Filner's accusers were former supporters, and at least one has since come out in support of Alvarez, so I don't think it can be argued that they were part of a right wing conspiracy.

              Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

              by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:38:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I wasn't the one (3+ / 0-)

                who suggested a RW conspiracy, but rather the person I was replying to. Since s/he seems to know the local political scene (as I'm sure you do, too), it seemed foolish for me to dismiss the idea from the other side of the country.

                However, I can assure you that Spitzer's takedown was a RW (or, more accurately, Wall St.) conspiracy, and I can even tell you who engineered it: that model citizen, Roger Stone.

                "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                by sidnora on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:53:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Didn't mean to imply that you were. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ian Reifowitz, SoCalSal, sidnora

                  Maybe I should have replied to Kane, but the phrase I quoted was in Cali Scribe's comment I replied to. In any case, the right certainly did what they could to capitalize on Filner's downfall, and may have assisted in pulling accusers out of the woodwork.

                  Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:59:18 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  When Donna Frye says you should resign... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AaronInSanDiego, Ian Reifowitz

                That's when I took the allegations seriously. She is the Democrat I have the most respect for in San Diego County.

                Those who ignore the future are condemned to repeat it.

                by enigmamf on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:25:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  The votes in places like Pacific Beach, (4+ / 0-)

    Ocean Beach,  Mission Bay and other outlying areas count as much as the "downtown" votes.   There may not be enough of them to overcome the triple basket of votes (R/I/D) that Fletcher has courted, but this is a good strategy.

    Unwitting privileged genetic lottery winner and economic engine

    by SpamNunn on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 08:25:52 AM PST

  •  When in Rome. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumbi, SpamNunn, pdxteacher, Ian Reifowitz

    It's good to know there are mayoral races in cities other than New York. Good luck!

  •  What's the date of the general election? nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 08:35:22 AM PST

  •  Ron Burgundy IS John Stossel (4+ / 0-)
  •  Alvarez (age 33) can grow to deepen Dems' bench (5+ / 0-)

    of experienced Hispanic politicians, and

    big city mayors (who can demonstrate the effectiveness of Progressive policies),

    as potential candidates for higher office.

  •  This could be very interesting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quill, atana, Ian Reifowitz

    Can a liberal Democrat win in conservative, military industrial complex San Diego? And what might this mean if Alvarez does knock off Fletcher in February?

    My guess: San Diego will experience a rebirth, and the popular media - if they even deign to notice - will write it off as some kind of aberration, or that Fletcher wasn't a good candidate, or some other excuse that papers over the hard fact that a Democrat running as a Democrat whipped the Republican in a fair fight.

    •  Filner won the last election, (7+ / 0-)

      so I'd say yes to your first question, although whether it happens again remains to be seen.

      Fletcher lost the first round, so Alvarez' opponent will be Republican Kevin Faulconer, who won 44% of the vote.

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:02:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm a little worried (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego, Ian Reifowitz

        that Alvarez could suffer a voter backlash if Faulconer turns the campaign into a referendum on Filner, linking his actions to the Democrats as a whole. But if the Fletcher voters go ahead and support Alvarez that shouldn't be a problem it looks like (I'm still waking up so haven't fully digested the numbers).

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:36:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Alvarez will suffer backlash... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz

          Remember - the same Dems who got those Lincoln Club attack mailers also got the AFT attack mailers. Comparing the two: LC attacked Fletcher mostly on party switch and voting record. AFT went the fallacy route and attacked character and connections.

          LC's attacks were annoying, but AFT's attacks were petty and divisive and indicted the voters along with the candidate for playing the "real Democrat vs faux Democrat" game.

          Remember, too: Faulconer (at least) attempted to distance himself from the mud-slinging by admonishing guys like Tony Krvaric, while Alvarez didn't distance himself from the IEs at all (at least publicly).

          Faulconer has a new campaign manager this time around - a much more "high road" guy than Manolatos, so it looks like his camp will be much more focused on the issues than the personal attacks.

          I expect Faulconer to target Alvarez's inexperience above all else. Secondarily, he'll go after the fact that the same contingent of Dems propping up Alvarez are the same "due process" Dems that stood by Filner. It'll be a dog whistle to the Dems who leaned Fletcher over Alvarez for that reason, and it just may work. Depends on how above-the-board he stays.

  •  Apologies. I have to step away for a while. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Scribe

    Family obligations call. But I will read and reply later in the day to your comments. Thanks for stopping by!

  •  Calling Anchorman feminist is a big stretch IMO (0+ / 0-)

    The fact that the four main characters' blatant sexism is repudiated isn't some feminist triumph, it's doing the bare minimum to avoid validating their sexist views, comedic/unserious as they may be. Veronica Corningstone is essentially a minority feisty. She is there (as the one main female character, of course) to reassure the audience that it's okay to laugh at the rest of it. The fact that it takes place in the '70s makes it somewhat worse I'd say because it emphasizes the idea that sexism is a thing of the past (not saying that I think that's why that setting was chosen of course, but I think that's it's an unintended consequence).

    •  I've never seen it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz

      because I'm not a big fan of Will Ferrell, but I might have to see if I can get it on Netflix just to see what the fuss is about.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:37:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The whole point of the movie is that sexism is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalSal, Sychotic1, AaronInSanDiego

      wrong, outdated, and unfair. The male sexists are clearly portrayed as doing something that the audience should disapprove of, even as they like the characters. The main character is literally undone by his sexism, as it ultimately costs him his career and sends his life into ruin. A pretty strong lesson, no?

      The moral lesson of the movie couldn't be any clearer.

      The repudiation of the sexism is the point. The point is what people take away from the movie, and reveals the filmmakers' intent. How many other movies that are seen by millions of young men show sexism repudiated? Would a stern lecture no one watched be more effective?

      This is a major Hollywood movie, with a strongly anti-sexist message. Doesn't get much more impactful for feminism than that, does it?

      •  The criticism reminds me a bit of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz

        criticism of the TV show Mad Men. Both depict sexism of an earlier era, and some see the portrayal as an endorsement of that sexism.

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:03:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't believe it is a strong lesson because (0+ / 0-)

        Ron Burgundy's brand of overt sexism is one that very few seriously subscribe to in the present day. Burgundy's sexism is buffoonish, a caricature, a quality that I highly doubt many young men see in themselves. Sexism continues to pervade our culture but it is mostly in a way that spawns from ignorance, not from outright hostility. I don't believe a film should receive a pat on the back for expressing the bluntly obvious point that women should not be barred from employment simply by dint of their gender. Almost no one would disagree with that point. Yet women continue to face challenges in the workplace and elsewhere for a bevy of other reasons. And honestly, I feel part of the problem is that people feel that if they hold the kind of sweeping, general non-sexist beliefs such as those, then there is no way they could be participating in sexism. When in reality there are all manner of more subtle/nuanced/unconscious ways in which sexism is still perpetuated.

        To be clear I'm not saying this makes Anchorman somehow an anti-feminist movie exactly, or had a responsibility to delve more subtly into feminist issues. But what I am saying is that it shouldn't be credited with being a feminist film simply because it makes a point that is really the bare minimum for being not sexist.

  •  Many voters unfortunately don't go "deep" (5+ / 0-)

    with their vote. Filner was terrible. Filner was a Democrat. Therefore, it's time to vote Republican again to correct it.
    Too many vote with this kind of simple logic. And as the diarist mentioned, San Diego has a record of Republican mayors.

    But: clearly, we can do this. San Diego needs to keep tacking left, and the latest drift and the demographics do favor this.

    I live in Long Beach, up the coast, and my wife and I used to visit the area often, from Point Loma to Mission Bay up to Oceanside, and from Del Mar to Encinitas. It's all great.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 08:53:29 AM PST

  •  Karl Rove was behind the divide and conquer (7+ / 0-)

    campaign to demonize Fletcher, thinking Alvarez the weaker general election campaign candidate.  


    (For a topical see roundtable for today 11/24/13)  

    Labor (Teachers, AFSCME, UFCW)  and the Latino/Hispanic community strongly support Alvarez.

    Plastering Rove's picture around will help.

    The election of  relatively progressive Bob Filner last year was a first for this traditionally conservative (military, developer, mil.contractor) city. It's common knowledge here  that Filner's failure was personal (serial sexual harasser) not political.  What a surprise that Rove wants to leverage Filner's private fall into the resurrection in the mayor's office of another developer's puppet Kevin Faulconer (R).

    This election had 11 candidates on the ballot.  Runners-up 2-4 (Alvarez, Fletcher, Mike Aguire (former City Attorney), all Democrats, received 110k votes in total, while the Republican Faulconer garnered only 89k.  A roughly 55/45 split.  

    Demographic trends here as elsewhere do not favor the GOP.  

    Look for the local kingmaker, developer, all-things-gay opponent and Citizen Kane wannabe Doug Manchester (owner of the San Diego Union Tribune) to play puppeteer for the general.

  •  Dec I'll chip in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz, Sychotic1

    Thank you for bring this mayors race to dailykos !

  •  I have some memories of what local (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    TV news was like in the late '70s, although I was young (I'm almost exactly the same age as Will Ferrell). Ron Burgundy and his colleagues are not that far from what I remember.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:50:01 AM PST

  •  Tipped Recc'ed and Donated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, Ian Reifowitz

    I can't see anything wrong with supporting the most liberal person in the room.  Even if he does not prevail, he is a good candidate to have on our bench.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

    by Sychotic1 on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 10:23:19 AM PST

  •  TOO LIBERAL?! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    As if that was a euphemism for being "infected", "diseased", "cursed", "amoral" or "perverted"...

    Will these middle-of-the-road, apologetic gutless wonders ever learn? I am so damned sick and tired of being placed in a negative context simply for my wanting justice for everyone instead of those who can afford it, giving everyone an equal shot at this "liberty" thing that everyone keeps barking about, trying to help people be healthy and educated so that they can contribute to our nation instead of being a drain on it - and taking care of this planet that happens to be our home.

    If Alvarez is truly a "liberal", then in my book he's the ONLY candidate - not the "democratic" candidate.

  •  Labor would not have backed Alvarez if they didn't (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, MJB, Ian Reifowitz, Nailbanger

    think he could win, despite their concern that Fletcher's more recent demographic shift of soul toward the left was for selfish reasons.  

  •  As a San DIegan.... (3+ / 0-)

    You guys gotta understand Alvarez edged out Fletcher through no real effort on his own- he had been in the low 20s in polls for a while now.

    What happened was Fletcher's support cratered thanks to his ambiguous partisan identity once the negative ads hit. And most of the supporters he lost went to Faulconer, NOT Alvarez. He fell just far enough to get third place behind ALvarez narrowly.

    THis whole time, ALvarez barely budged in support.

    Romney: Believe in (half of) America

    by kmoros on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:28:38 PM PST

  •  Alvarez not the "progressive" San Diego needs (0+ / 0-)

    Let's clear a few things up, here:

    For one, the recent and convenient calls for Democratic unity will be a very hard sell for the Alvarez camp in the upcoming election. San Diego Democrats have just endured two months of Democrat-on-Democrat slaying - mostly all coming from the Alvarez camp. It is not only disingenuous to blame all of the Fletcher attacks on the GOP, it is downright delusional. The most vitriol came from Alvarez IEs, not the GOP side, and Democrats won't forget.

    We also won't forget those in the Alvarez camp went so far as to leak information about their common rival to the GOP, and parroted almost every single talking point against Alvarez made by Tony Krvaric and the Lincoln Club.

    We won't forget the lengths some Dems went to shame other Dems like Lorena Gonzalez, Ben Hueso, and Speaker Perez for backing Fletcher, calling their Dem/Labor bonafides into question and accusing them - and any other Democrat who backed Fletcher a "faux" Democrat at best, and party traitor at worst.

    We won't forget that Alvarez's nomination by the local party was laced with contention that - on the heels of the Filner debacle - further highlighted the growing divide within the party.

    So, perhaps if it's "unity" the party is hoping for - perhaps it's time that we take a look within and have the conversation about what is dividing us in the first place. Hint: it's not a man named Nathan Fletcher.

    Secondly, the term "progressive" is in need of some much-needed fine-tuning. In San Diego - a place where innovation needs to be driving the economy - some are stuck in this mindset that "progressive" means keeping a park from evolving (as it has every decade since its inception), and picketing Walmart while simultaneously welcoming two new Walmarts into your district, as Alvarez has done.

    I'm honestly not sure what about Alvarez's short tenure as a freshman councilman proves he is progressive other than the fact that the party and those financially backing him say he is.

    He called the Labor Council a "special interest group" in 2010 when they backed his opponent in the district race, and voted for park redevelopment when those on the Left were against it.

    Fletcher was attacked during the race for being a "flip-flopper," though Alvarez's record is laced with the same flip-flopping: supporting Filner privately then admonishing him publicly when it was the shrewd political move, calling Labor a "special interest" one day, then taking their endorsement the next, "opposing" Walmart one day, then calling them "good neighbors" when two new stores moved into his district.

    I'm just not convinced this kind of equivocation equals "strong, positioned leader."

    Lastly, San Diego is a centrist town through-and-through. The far Left and many elected Dems can't stand guys like Todd Gloria - whom I, and many like me, see as the future of the party. He is smart, he is measured, and he weighs the polar opposite political extremes in this great city with a reasoned approach that ultimately satisfies the greater good.

    So, before calls for unity start - as Fletcher often stated - let's have a "real conversation" about what is dividing our city and our party. Hint: it's the sour stench of toe-the-line partisanship that lacks real vision.

    •  Oops... (0+ / 0-)

      Parroted attacks against Fletcher, I mean.

    •  Welcome to Daily Kos. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz

      Thanks for expressing your views. I don't know enough about some of the particulars you mention, but my impression of both Alvarez and Fletcher are different than yours.

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 01:37:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm also wondering how (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz

      attacking Alvarez at this point helps? Unless your goal is to elect Faulconer.

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 01:38:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not an attack on Alvarez... (0+ / 0-)

        By all accounts I've heard he's a good guy. That doesn't mean I don't have the same concerns about him today I had two months ago. Seeing the campaign unfold, I actually have more concerns about him now - namely, is he independent enough to shirk the special interests that will no doubt knock on his mayor's office door.

        My point is that by attacking the other Dem for political advantage (which actually looked like naively following the GOP lead), Alvarez put himself in the position of now having to make peace with a large contingent of Dems before he moves forward. That "making peace" doesn't come by way of demanding Dem support just because the Dems say so.

        We're a town with 243 new GOP voters, 2400 new Dems, and 5000 new independents for a reason: after the partisanship we've endured for decades, we're growing tired of the establishment types and their special interests running this city behind closed doors.

        So, no - Dems aren't just going to vote party lines. My vote is up in the air at this point (unfortunately, I can't write-in Todd Gloria). May the best man with the best vision win.

        Now that both Faulconer and Alvarez are done with campaigning against Fletcher, the citizens will finally get a better understanding of what their actual platforms are.

        •  OK, fair enough. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz

          I'm a partisan dem, which is one reason I'm at Daily Kos. I understand that many voters are not so partisan and they have to be convinced in different ways. The tactics of the runoff will clearly need to be different.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 02:23:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

            The Labor Council likely won't be leaking any docs to the GOP this time around, so maybe you're right - the tactics will be different -_-

            I expected better of Dems. I was wrong.

            •  I hadn't read about those allegations (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ian Reifowitz

              before you brought them up here, so I can't speak to that.

              Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

              by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 02:50:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It happened in August... (0+ / 0-)

                ...and was covered by local media. Someone on the LC leaked Fletcher's questionnaire to Tony Krvaric who posted it on the local GOP/Libertarian blog.

                This was around the same time someone (they think GOP) mysteriously got ahold of the updated list of Dem Central Committee member info and mailed attack packets against Fletcher just ahead of the Central Committee vote to endorse.

                See why it's so hard to just toe-the-line? Both establishment candidates are the product of shady establishment tactics. Really hard to be excited for the future of San Diego when it's clouded by the same old party shenanigans.

                •  I wasn't following the campaign yet at that point. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ian Reifowitz

                  But election tactics are not my primary concern. I am not entirely opposed to negative tactics if they get results.

                  Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 03:12:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This may be where we differ... (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't mind attacks on actual records, but I do mind personal attacks. Calling someone a sociopath that lacks a sense of identity is not OK with me.

                    I do pay attention to the sausage making, because I think it reveals the most about integrity. I can't, in good conscience, rail against the under-handed tactics of the right if I don't call my side of the aisle out when they do the same thing.

                    There's a reason less than 40% of the voting-age populace actually votes. The parties will do anything to win. I'm tired of it. If you have to win by going negative, you shouldn't win at all.

                    •  I'd rather people not engage in personal attacks (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ian Reifowitz

                      but it's not a dealbreaker for me. Politics corrupts people, and attracts corrupt people, but it is necessary in the system we have. Not voting won't change the system, in my view, it will just make things worse.

                      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 03:35:58 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't know about that... (0+ / 0-)

                        For the second time in a year, I am faced with an election I am less-than excited to be voting in.

                        Unfortunately, telling voters "not voting won't make it better," doesn't resonate like it used to. Believe me - I used to say the same thing.

                        Now, I'm faced with the second election in a year's time that is more about maintaining the relevance of the old guard of the parties (no matter which fresh face is in front, it's the same old players are in the back), than it is about the very complex community of voters in San Diego.

      •  Exactly-electing Faulconer is their point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego, Ian Reifowitz

        Lorena Gonzalez, Nathan Fletcher and other Dems have already thrown their support to David Alavarez.

        Faulconer's Youth Support (Vaunted below) consisted of the local GOP bringing in Young Republican clubs from around the state, paying for their hotels and "parties". Alvarez had 700 people going door to door on election day.

        All you need to know about Latino support for Alvarez is to look at the voting districts in the Hispanic neighborhoods in San Diego.

        128 of the 135 unions in the Labor Council backed Alvarez. Faulconer may end up with the support of two unions.

        The tech vote in San Diego is not considered a bloc, although the money from companies like Qualcomm can be a factor. They have historically given to both parties.

        The real battle in San Diego is the downtown interests (real estate/hotels) vs neighborhoods.  The vote for ex-Mayor Filner was widely seen as a vote in favor of the neighborhoods. His failures as a human being do not negate this contradiction.

        The GOP's candidate in this election has a moderate image, but his cash flow comes totally from the same crew that's historically used the resources of the city to line their own pockets.

        All you need to do is follow the money. That should tell you everything you need to know about this election. And you probably shouldn't take political advice from somebody who wants to redefine "progressive".

        The recent election was about a corporate democrat running against somebody who grew up in the Barrio and espouses progressive values.  More here:

        •  Of course... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The "don't take advice from someone who wants to redefine progressive" is coming from the likes of SD Free Press who has done their damnedest to take the term all to themselves.

          Look, Doug - I get it: anyone who likes Clinton, Booker, et al is a "corporate Democrat."

          But, you're missing one key thing, which is obvious by how you conflated by "tech" contingent to Qualcomm: Tech doesn't mean the big Q so many aging Dems are afraid of. Tech means the young, hungry, forward-thinking group who see critical infrastructure decisions as fundamental to ideology: do you go open-source, corrective platform that responds to feedback, or closed-channel hierarchically made? Even the most basic decision regarding back-end management speaks to ones political ideology. Tech also means the intersectionality of education (which we have a lot of in this city), economic growth, creativity, global-outlook, and city planning. Tech also means the eradication of the digital divide that has disenfranchised so many voices like youth and POC and those in emerging economies and including those necessary voices in the conversation.

          So, you can be simplistic and just think Qualcomm, but that just illustrates your fundamental misunderstanding of the power of tech and its underlying democratic ideology.

          THAT is why "progressive" needs to be redefined. Too many who call themselves progressive are more stuck in status quo and just too darn stubborn to actually understand the larger social value of tech.

          •  Ha! (0+ / 0-)

            Unlike you, I'm not a sore loser.

            I'll vote (with my eyes wide open) for Clinton if she prevails.

            I love it when you say SD Free Press gets credit for having "done their damnedest to take the term (progressive) all to themselves."

            As if we had enough unity to do such a thing.  It functions like a writers collective. No party line other than a vague commitment to the left side of the aisle.

            We "editors du jour" actually see each other once a month. We couldn't even get enough unity to cough up an endorsement in this past election.

            What gets posted for the most part is what our all volunteer writers and editors turn in. If an editor has a question about a story it gets passed around, three passes and it's out.

            So what you're really talking about and don't know it is that our ideas, our writers and our passion for causes own the term progresive. And we're just fine with that.

            As to your techie comments, when I see techies actually walking the walk (money, time, energy) instead of tweeting, I'll buy into them as a political force.

            •  Seriously, Doug... (0+ / 0-)

              Your last graf summed it up.

              From a "techie" perspective, let me tell you about some of the "progressive" issues you just don't seem to want to understand about Twitter and social media as a whole.

              The common complaint by most diverse, intersectional progressives my age (under 40) is that major ideological platforms exclude us. They do not represent us. Our voices are not heard. The ideological platforms of the parties are the product of the same patriarchical and ethnic privilege your version of "progressives" seem to bemoan.

              You want to talk about walking the walk? Why, as a progressive, would you eschew the single most inclusive platform that brings voices of color, voices of the underprivileged, voices of non-cisgender people, etc into the conversation those same groups have been systematically excluded from - either on purpose, or because of an inate social hierarchical platform that excludes them?

              Why would you bemoan one of the most effective platforms for erasing the digital divide that has resulted in the exclusion of disenfranchised voices? Why?

              These are not simply opinions - these are empirically analyzed conclusions by scholars of media studies and technology.

              So, you can continue to rant against Twitter and social media, but I implore you to check your privilege. And, take a look at #BlackTwitter, follow @meredithclark, or look into forums that are necessarily critical of the inherent privilege of many leftie platforms - #solidarityisforwhitewomen is one of them I recommend.

              The conversations are happening anyway, whether you want to participate or not. But, I urge you to - as a progressive. It seems you're missing a few key things in your understanding of the value of tech.

              And, I am not a sore loser, and SD Free Press is hardly vague about anything.

              You do like to erase comments you don't agree with, though.

            •  Also... (0+ / 0-)

              What does that money you speak of buy? Well, a large part is media: printed attack mailers, air time, radio spots. All media aimed at influencing and affecting attitudes. What is your paper all about, anyway? Why invest your energy in a media enterprise? To educate and inform?

              So, I'm curious as to why you would attack another form of media, if media proves to be so important?

              •  Dude... (0+ / 0-)

                You think I'm attacking Twitter???? Because I made a wisecrack?  Really? I love Twitter.

                With a half dozen accounts that I do for various non-profits, plus my own network, plus the various other platforms I work on, that's just hilarious.

                San Diego Free Press has never printed. We exist online. (There was a publication by the same name back in the 1960's)

                •  So, it was a wisecrack, eh? (0+ / 0-)

                  Not aimed at Twitter, but at Twitter users? So, is your disdain really just a judgment of those you don't feel meet your standards for political efficacy?

                  Tell me more. I want to hear all about what it takes to be a "real progressive." I'm all eyes. But, if you'll excuse me a minute, I have an IT for politicos class to sign up for, because, you know, techies never actually engage in politics, or anything -_-

    •  Votes Alvarez can't afford to take for granted: (0+ / 0-)

      Also, there are a few groups the Alvarez camp can't afford to take for granted in the general:

      - Youth: the Faulconer camp has a much more aggressive strategy for getting the Millennial vote in this college twin.

      - Enviros: Fletcher got the League of Conservation endorsement, and many who might lean Dem are pleased with Faulconer's job in his beach-side district.

      - Latinos: during the special election primary, the Latino American Political Association (LAPA) backed Faulconer over Fletcher or Alvarez.

      - Unions: though Alvarez had support of the Labor Council umbrella, Fletcher had LiUNA, UNITE30, pipe fitters, carpenters, firefighters, and police. I imagine these will split come the general.

      - Tech: of the three candidates, Alvarez had the weakest platform (if he had one at all) regarding critical infrastructure. This is a not-so-surprising dark horse issue in this tech-heavy town.

      - Dems: see above.

      •  In the last SUSA poll before the election (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian Reifowitz

        18-34 year olds had the lowest support for Faulconer of any age group, and Hispanics supported Alvarez over Fletcher 42% to 23%.

        The Sierra Club and the Environmental Health and Justice Campaign endorsed Alvarez.

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:15:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The League of Conservation Voters... (0+ / 0-)

          Supported Fletcher which caused two board members to quit. Latino support for Fletcher vs Alvarez is not the issue, it's the endorsement of Faulconer by a Latino political association that should be of concern.  

          It will all come down to who has the better GOTV for the general. Faulconer won't have to work as hard since the age bracket most likely to vote seems to swing his way.

  •  Thanks Ian! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    Republished to San Diego Kossacks!

    Progressives definitely have better chances than the 'baggers do.  As you said, our platform polls extremely well, while ultra-conservative policies barely get the 25% of crazies that will vote for anything.

    Alvarez can definitely beat Faulconer, and he will!!

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 02:37:07 PM PST

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