DeMaio Recycles Empty Chair Attack - Voice of San Diego


DeMaio Recycles Empty Chair Attack

The mayoral candidate uses identical ads to hit his opponents in the primary and general elections.


San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio says he’s a fiscal conservative. That certainly applies to his willingness to pay for stock photos of empty chairs.

During the primary, DeMaio hit Nathan Fletcher for missing Assembly votes as he campaigned for mayor.

In the general, DeMaio is lobbing the same charge at Bob Filner and his missed votes in Congress.

How identical is DeMaio’s line of attack? Look at his mail advertisements.

A mailer from the primary includes a photo of Fletcher displayed on an empty chair. The ad asked, “Do YOU Show Up For Work?” and listed Fletcher’s missed votes. The opposite side of the ad highlighted individual votes and read: “Nathan Fletcher(:) Not showing up to work this year. But still getting paid.”

In the general election mailer, the same exact empty chair returns, only with a photo of Filner swapped in. The ad asks, “Do YOU Show Up For Work?” and listed Filner’s missed votes. The opposite side of the ad highlights individual votes and reads: “Bob Filner(:) Not showing up to work this year. But still getting paid.”

DeMaio campaign manager Ryan Clumpner said substituting Filner for Fletcher in a separate ad makes sense. “Why not? The only difference is that Bob Filner has the worst attendance record out of 435 members of Congress.”

Here are images of the ads:









Liam Dillon is a news reporter for Voice of San Diego. He covers San Diego City Hall, the 2012 mayor’s race and big building projects. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5663.

Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

Like VOSD on Facebook.

Show Comments

We’re striving for the best possible discussion and may delete comments using our editorial judgment. All comments containing links will be reviewed by VOSD staff before they are published.
Read our full comment policy.
For longer comments, consider submitting an op-ed to Voice of San Diego.
Read the guidelines here.

We have recently updated our commenting system. If you are unable to submit a comment, please clear the cache and cookies in your browser, or use a private browsing window. Click here for detailed instructions.