The Motivation of Nathan Fletcher And His Political Metamorphosis | KPBS San Diego Public Radio & TV: News, Arts & Culture

19 мая 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
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The Motivation of Nathan Fletcher And His Political Metamorphosis

Aired 10/15/13

Is Nathan Fletcher willing to break from party ranks because he values compromise or is he voting to secure his political future?

SAN DIEGO Nathan Fletcher has been every man — a Republican, an Independent, a Democrat — right down the middle. A comprehensive analysis of his thousands of votes in the California legislature backs that up: it places him between the most conservative Republican and most liberal Democrats.

But what the data doesn’t reveal is whether Fletcher’s willingness to break from party ranks is motivated by political expediency or by an ability to compromise for the greater good.

His former allies in the Republican Party, now among his most ferocious foes, believe his record shows he is more an actor than politician, motivated by ambition not policy.

Fletcher’s new Democrat friends say he’s a man willing to listen to the other side; one who has the ability to change his beliefs with new information; a consensus-builder who gets things done.

Fletcher, a California assemblymember from 2008 to 2012, is running for San Diego mayor for the second time. He lost last year’s primary as an Independent, and now has a do-over as a Democrat. It’s a non-partisan race, but party status has increasingly played a financial and philosophical role in the outcome.

Boris Shor. an assistant professor at the Harris School of Public Policy in the University of Chicago, has been studying state legislative records for years, and analyzed Fletcher’s for inewsource.

He used the 2,692 votes Fletcher cast as both a Republican and Independent over four years, and concluded Fletcher was more centrist than ideologue: the data placed him nearly equidistant from the most conservative Republicans and the most liberal Democrats.

“I wouldn’t be surprised in that short amount of time he could move sufficiently to the left to be competitive in a race like the San Diego’s mayor race,” Shor says.

Fletcher himself believes his overall record is probably where most San Diegans would land.

“Somewhere between the extremes on each end…. And,” he says, “where most folks would like to see their mayor.”

Whether Fletcher wins or loses this election may come down to whether voters believe he truly transcends partisan politics or whether he’s crossed the aisle for political opportunity.

“It’s hard to know what’s inside people’s hearts and minds,” Shor says.

“I’ve Been A Republican My Entire Life. ”

Above: Nathan Fletcher says most San Diegans are probably like him politically, somewhere in the middle.

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