The Fletcher Story Keeps Getting Worse
As Calpeek readers know, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher resigned to seek treatment for alcohol abuse and PTSD after allegations of sexual harassment, abuse, and whistleblower retaliation became public. Fletcher’s accuser, former Metropolitan Transit System Public Information Officer Grecia Figueroa, filed a lawsuit revealing details. Fletcher has admitted to having “consensual interactions” but has denied other allegations. When Fletcher first announced the need to seek treatment, he received praise, but as more details come to light, the accolades have faded. KUSI is now reporting on the fact that Fletcher’s security detail has cost the county about $2 million over the last 1.5 years. Fletcher requested the extra security because he did not feel safe, yet, according to the lawsuit, Fletcher texted Figueroa saying that he would ditch his security detail so they could meet privately. KNBC 7 has screenshots of the text messages. They also report that Fletcher has been accused of sexual harassment by another woman who was an intern at the non-profit organization he founded. Calpeek expects there will be more to this story.
It’s Party Time!
Calpeek loves when a group of people try to form a new political party. There are currently 8 political parties trying to qualify for the 2024 elections. Calpeek has previously discussed the process of forming a new party. This week, the Secretary of State’s office announced that the No Labels Party will seek to qualify for the November 2024 ballot. According to Wikipedia, No Labels is a 501c3 and does not disclose its donors, although some of the supporters are known. Those standing around the water cooler wonder if it’s a good strategy for a new party to hide its donors, but no one asked us. Their website says they support centrist, bi-partisan issues. It does not provide a lot of specifics about policy nor does it have a party platform. If you would like to learn more about the other parties trying to qualify, here is a list. Party on!
No Recall for LA’s de Leon
The fourth attempt to recall Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de Leon has fizzled. De Leon has made it clear that he has no intention of stepping down from his seat after leaked recordings of a conversation with two other councilmembers containing racist remarks, so it looks like de Leon isn’t going anywhere. As reported by Spectrum News 1, the three prior recall attempts were centered around a tiny home village that de Leon supported in the area of Eagle Rock with which constituents were not pleased. The most recent recall attempt came in October of 2022. Even with the controversial recordings and continued protests at City Hall calling for de Leon to resign, organizers were unable to collect the 20,437 signatures of registered voters required to bring a recall to the voters.
Gavin Goes South
For a politician who says he’s not running for President, Governor Gavin Newsom’s travel schedule says otherwise. Reported by CBS, the California Governor has spent the past few days traveling throughout the Southern states as part of his “Campaign For Democracy” which he launched last week. The purpose of his tour through Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi is to support democrats and fight GOP policies by promoting progressive values ahead of the 2024 election (which is what someone running for President would be doing…just saying…). The GOP is jumping on the Governor’s tour with CAGOP Budget Chair Mario Guerra saying that Newsom needs to fix California before making the state an example for others to follow. Fox News has also had fun with the Governor’s field trip by pointing out that he and his family are traveling to the Red states to which state officials have been banned from traveling.
California’s New Health Hazard: Mosquitoes
If COVID-19, monkeypox, and the recent atmospheric rivers weren’t enough to make you wonder if hell is about to freeze over and California will soon fall off into the ocean, a new threat has come to call California home: the blood-sucking mosquito. As reported by the Sacramento Bee, the wet conditions brought on by this year’s super soakers could be fueling the life cycle of our mosquito population and thereby increasing the transmission rate of the vector-borne disease West Nile Virus for which there is no vaccine. Although the pesky critters do serve as food source for hummingbirds, dragonflies and turtles, the problem is that we are its food source. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself that don’t include a surgical mask or hand sanitizer. Experts say to avoid being outside at dusk and dawn, get rid of any sitting water, and you can use repellents that contain DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Can a Report of Registration Be Fun Stuff?
Maybe not fun stuff, but party registration data can certainly be interesting. The “Report of Registration” is only 232 pages. The Secretary of State’s office included a press release which included a comparison of data from 2019. The data, as of February 10, 2023 shows a total of 21,980,768 Californians are registered to vote, which is 82.27% of eligible Californians. The 4 year comparison is the interesting part. Since registration is up overall, there is an increase among most political parties. Democrats lead the way with a 3.78% increase from four years ago; Republicans are up .26%. However, the number of people registering as “independents” (aka No Party Preference) is down by a lot – 5.78%. So much for the conventional wisdom that more people are becoming “independent” from the political parties.