FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Contact: Dan Rottenstreich
August 9, 2017(619) 213-9839 mobile
Nathan Fletcher Calls For Formation Of Independent County Ethics Task Force
Fletcher: “In the wake of local scandals, San Diego County must act on ethics and campaign reforms to keep politicians and bureaucrats accountable.”
SAN DIEGO – Nathan Fletcher, candidate for County Supervisor, today called for the formation of an Independent San Diego County Ethics Task Force to tighten enforcement of campaign finance laws and strengthen oversight and accountability of public officials. The Task Force would be the first of its kind for the County of San Diego.
Nathan Fletcher said: “It’s time for San Diego County to strengthen local campaign finance laws and institute real accountability through an Independent Ethics Task Force to ensure County Government is open, transparent and works for the people. The City of San Diego has had an Independent Ethics Commission for nearly two decades, but the County of San Diego has refused to take action to increase oversight and accountability for public officials. In the wake of local scandals, San Diego County must act on ethics and campaign reforms to hold politicians and bureaucrats accountable.”
Fletcher’s proposed Independent County Ethics Task Force would be modeled after the County’s highly regarded Civil Grand Jury and the City of San Diego’s and Orange County’s Ethics Commissions. Fletcher’s proposal builds on earlier calls by San Diego's Civil Grand Jury for stronger campaign finance oversight at the County. The key components of the Independent County Ethics Task Force would be:
· Independent Oversight: The Ethics Task Force will be put to a public vote so it is independent and politicians can’t eliminate it. Judges will nominate the members of the commission, mirroring the apolitical process for Grand Jury selection, and political insiders, like lobbyists and party officials will be banned from serving so the Task Force is free of political influence.
· End The Ethics ‘Free For All’: The County of San Diego needs to pass and enforce local ethics laws governing political campaigns and public officials. The current practice of relying primarily on the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission in Sacramento is a free for all that just doesn’t work - a state agency hundreds of miles away can’t reliably or effectively enforce the law here in San Diego.
· Real Investigative and Enforcement Power: The County Ethics Task Force must have subpoena power so it can fully investigate violations, hold hearings and enforce compliance with the law. Fines for violations need to be increased so the penalties actually discourage future infractions.
Fletcher’s proposal earned praise from Gil Cabrera, former Chairman of the San Diego City Ethics Commission, who said: “I applaud Nathan Fletcher’s County Ethics Task Force proposal, which will empower San Diegans to have a bigger voice in their government and make public officials more responsive and accountable to the community. As a former Ethics Commission Chairman, I’ve seen first-hand how stepped up enforcement and education of local campaign finance laws can benefit the public, by shining a light on improper campaign activity, keeping lobbyists, bureaucrats and politicians in check and making sure politicians know and follow the rules.”
In the coming months, Fletcher will be meeting with community leaders, ethics experts and government transparency advocates to build support for the proposal. Fletcher has pledged to introduce the Ethics Task Force measure and work to place it on the ballot within his first 100 days in office.
Fletcher’s Independent County Ethics Task Force proposal builds on the former Assemblyman’s established record in support of campaign finance reform and government transparency. In the Assembly, Fletcher co-authored the DISCLOSE Act, which proposed increased disclosure requirements on large political contributions to campaigns. Fletcher earned a 90% score from the California Clean Money Action Fund for his voting record in support of campaign finance record while in the State Legislature.
Nathan Fletcher is a Marine Corps combat veteran, former California State Assemblymember and a Professor of Practice at UCSD. In the State Assembly, Fletcher passed more than 30 laws to expand healthcare coverage, protect homeowners during the foreclosure crisis and strengthen penalties for violent crimes against children. Since leaving the Assembly, Fletcher founded a veterans’ advocacy foundation to help eliminate the stigma surrounding Post-Traumatic Stress and joined the teaching faculty at UCSD. Fletcher lives in City Heights with his wife, Lorena, and their four children.