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Environmetal Group Endorses Fletcher For Mayor, Some Question Endorsement Process

San Diego League of Conservation Voters president Livia Borak praises mayoral...

Photo by Guillermo Sevilla

Above: San Diego League of Conservation Voters president Livia Borak praises mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher's environmental positions at a news conference on October 23, 2013.

San Diego Mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher rolled out an environmental plan this week. Improving water quality, addressing climate change and beefing up fines are among the items on his to-do list if he's election mayor, he said.

“A lot of times for polluters, it may be a situation where the risk of being caught and the relatively small fine doesn’t offset their willingness to do it," Fletcher said. "Those are instances where we need to look to increase penalties on those that pollute.”

Fletcher’s public unfurling of his plan came just days after the San Diego's League of Conservation Voters endorsed him for mayor over fellow Democrat and City Councilman David Alvarez.

The state league gave Fletcher only a 48 percent lifetime score for his votes on the environment during his four years as a state assemblyman. Averaged into that rating is an 86 percent score Fletcher received for his final year in the assembly when he voted favorably on issues like solar energy and global warming. Alvarez’s most recent grade from the league was 88 percent. Livia Borak, president of the league’s local office, said the score card is only one consideration in the endorsement process.

“Our selection of Nathan was about more than his record and plans…he’s not the only candidate with a good voting history," Borak said. "Nor is he the only candidate who takes environmental issues seriously. What put Nathan over the top is his proven leadership ability and our confidence that he will successfully bring people together behind initiatives and bring them forward.”

But Gabriel Solmer, Alvarez's campaign manager, said she quit her position on the league’s board over the endorsement process. She said while she recused herself from the vote because of her ties to Alvarez, board members who had publicly endorsed Fletcher or worked with him were allowed to vote.

Borak said it would be improper to disclose who on the board voted for an endorsement. She said the league’s policy requires board members who have taken a position on a candidate to disclose their involvement and if they feel they can’t make an endorsement with an open mind, they must recuse themselves.


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Amita Sharma
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an investigative reporter for KPBS, I've helped expose political scandals and dug into intractable issues like sex trafficking. I've raised tough questions about how government treats foster kids. I've spotlighted the problem of pollution in poor neighborhoods. And I've chronicled corporate mistakes and how the public sometimes ends up paying for them.

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