Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KPBS Midday Edition

Santee City Council Calls Out Nathan Fletcher

County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher speaks to reporters at the opening of San Diego's Vaccination Super Site in downtown San Diego, in this photo taken Jan. 10, 2021.
Matthew Bowler
County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher speaks to reporters at the opening of San Diego's Vaccination Super Site in downtown San Diego, in this photo taken Jan. 10, 2021.
Nathan Fletcher, the chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, was chastised last week by members of the Santee City Council over his remarks about leaders of the movement to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.

Condemning his use of “divisive rhetoric,” the Santee City Council last week voted 4-0 to send San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher a letter calling on him to apologize and to step down as board chair.

The reason? Fletcher's participation with allies of Governor Gavin Newsom in a January 12 virtual news conference about the effort to recall the governor.

At that event, Fletcher said, “There is substantial evidence that those who are leading this recall effort are linked and associated with neo-Nazis, with white supremacists, with right-wing militia groups . . .” , charges which were later validated by reporting from the Los Angeles Times.

Fletcher has said he was not talking about all those who back the recall of Newsom. The city council noted that Santee continues to "reject hate in all its forms."

Related: Sheriff To Investigate Incident Of KKK-Style Hooded Man In Santee Grocery Store

Santee, has made efforts in the last few years to overcome its reputation as a haven for white supremacists and Ku Klux Klan members. Those efforts seemed to come to naught last May with incidents of a shopper in a Santee store wearing a Klan-type hood and another shopper with a swastika on his mask.

Michael Smolens, columnist for The San Diego Union-Tribune joined Midday Edition Wednesday to discuss the story.