There are several things in common that recent stories about a San Diego City Councilman who is running for Mayor have and truth doesn’t seem to be one of them. In fact, these stories are so similar that one is tempted to think that those columnists and “reporters” that wrote these stories had a bit of, um, “help” writing them.
At least three stories, one by David Brooks of the New York Times, one by LA Times columnist George Skelton, and one by partisan Huffington Post blogger William Bradley, all seem to be selling the exact same talking points — and ignoring all the same facts — on San Diego City Councilman and Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio. The three pieces are eerily similar, most especially in the missed truths, accidental, I’m sure.
The central point of each of these stories where DeMaio is concerned is to relate that he is a hard-core, right-wing, Social-Con whose candidacy is the result of the GOP moving “further to the right” than ever. This is, apparently, to show that even on the left coast where “moderates” supposedly reign, the GOP can’t stay in the mainstream of the local political scene.
With these stories meaning to make Republicans look like extremists with DeMaio as exhibit number one, DeMaio is called an “orthodox conservative” (Skelton), a “more orthodox conservative” (Brooks), and a “right-wing Councilman” (The extremist Bradley).
The Party itself is said to have “moved sharply right recently” (Brooks), has set itself on “a trail to self-destruction” (Skelton), and is one that rejects “modernity and governance” (Hardcore lefty Bradley).
As Virginia Postrel quips, this DeMaio cat sounds pretty scary, doesn’t he?
So, what is DeMaio? He’s a bit of a union opponent, for one thing. He’s also a fiscal hawk and was once a member of the Reason Public Policy Institute (RPPI), a libertarian-leaning, conservative advocacy organization. Most notably, he’s proposed a lot of cost cutting measures, including privatizing some city services and strong pension reforms that are making government unions mad as hatters.
I’d contend that it is the government unions shopping this faux story, too.
So what else is DeMaio?
Well, for one, he’s the first openly gay city councilman in San Diego history… not that Brooks, Skelton, or HuffPo hack Bradley make any mention of that.
In fact, of particular note is LATimes columnist Skelton’s focus on how DeMaio’s opponent, San Diego Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, is “moderate on the environment, gay rights and immigration,” painting Fletcher as a hero of moderates everywhere. Yet Skelton never mentions that DeMaio himself is openly gay. Isn’t it interesting that Skelton emphasizes Fletcher’s “gay rights” bona fides yet never bothers to mention that DeMaio is gay while Fletcher is not? Bradley also plies this theme.
Another little fact these columnists miss is that DeMaio got elected with one of the biggest cross-cultural, and cross-party election results in recent San Diego history. Even 54% of Democrats voted him onto the City Council (He carried 87% of Republicans, 78% of independents and 54% of Democrats). Again, not that the torrid threesome of writers we are discussing here bothered to mention any of that.
It all makes one wonder, how could DeMaio be so extreme and “far right” if 54% of San Diego’s Democrats even voted for him?
No, what is really happening here is that even as San Diego is being called an “Enron by the sea” because of it’s wild over spending, deficit budgeting, pension calamities, and over all failing mien, DeMaio seems like the guy that can both help fix the problem and get Democrat and moderate support in the doing.
These badly researched stories carry another purpose and that is to flog the future candidacy of Nathan Fletcher while at the same time using his failure to get the San Diego GOP’s nod for the Mayor’s race as another example of how the California GOP has gone to the extremes.
Fletcher has since resigned from the Republican Party in order to run as an independent for the Mayor’s office, a thing all three of these writers claim prove that the GOP has gone to the dark side.
While Fletcher’s move is a prime example of naked ambition — not to mention ingratitude and disloyalty — these writers make another error not to bother to do much research to learn of the actual reasons the San Diego Republicans picked DeMaio over Iraq War Vet Fletcher.
As Jason Cabel Roe of the influential California blog the Flashreport says, “The Republican Party didn’t reject Nathan Fletcher. It embraced Carl DeMaio.”
The fact is Carl DeMaio has been fighting for reform in the city of San Diego since his arrival while Nathan pursued his political career. While DeMaio has been the driving force for managed competition, pension reform, and an outspoken critic of the downtown insiders on the left and the right, Nathan has been a non-factor. Frankly, even as a candidate he has been a reluctant voice for reform for fear of alienating the public safety unions and downtown special interests he needs for his campaign.
San Diego Republican Party Chairman Tony Krvaric agrees with that sentiment. As Flethcer announced his abandoning of the GOP, Krvaric released a statement that said in part:
Eighteen days ago Nathan Fletcher came before the Republican Party to seek our endorsement. This morning, he demonstrated why he was not endorsed by the Republican Party … It is impossible to trust Nathan Fletcher, because he isn’t about ideas, principles or solutions. Today’s move is all about his own personal ambition for higher office, nothing more … This is pandering at its worst. One wonders if he would have re-registered if he had been successful in blocking or receiving the endorsement.
Seems pretty clear that DeMaio has earned his GOP endorsement with the hard work of reform while Fletcher has been playing on his Iraq War service as his sole qualification expecting that he should have no other dues to pay for political success. Yet all these actual facts on the ground make no appearance in the stories in question.
This all reminds me that there was once a trick that shady, old-west gold mine owners used to use to sell a played out mine to victims of the con. The owner would spread a few pieces of gold around a part of the property and lead the prospective mine buyers to “find” the valuables acting surprised that it was all just there right on the surface. This trick is called salting the mine. The fooled buyer would quickly buy the mine only later to find he’d been shafted… literally.
This is how the far left salts the mines with their narrative, if you will. The leftists sell their false narrative to lazy and foolish — not to mention willing and biased — columnists and “reporters” to push their faux stories in order to make sure their versions of the “facts” become the prevailing opinion. This is how they direct the narrative and it is pretty clear that this is precisely what happened in this case. It is the partisan blind of the left leading the partisan lazy in the media.