The latest installment of CityBeat's election column, Turds & Blossoms, wherein we rate campaigns and candidates and award them turds or blossoms for their latest foibles and triumphs.

Mayor moves

Flyering is hard—really hard. It's humbling, perhaps even a bit humiliating, as CityBeat recently learned as we stood outside the Balboa Theatre, attempting to hand out bingo cards we printed for San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders' final State of the City address. (Each card had a variety of words that might come up in his speech; players would check them off as he delivered the speech.) What made distribution especially difficult was competing with leafleteers from Occupy San Diego, who'd disguised their demands for justice as official programs for the State of the City event (complete with Sanders' image), and a platoon of young, old and ethnically diverse Nathan Fletcher supporters (henceforth to be referred to as "Fletcherati") handing out invites to his mayoral campaign after-party across the street at The Lincoln Room.

We gave out roughly 190 cards in all. You can really tell who's a politics nerd by the size of the smile on their face when offered one, from Fletcher himself to the mayor's former chief of staff, Kris Michell. City Council President Tony Young took a bingo card (we picked one on which his name was one of the answers), also noting that he and his wife together completed CityBeat's end-of-the-year news crossword. U-T San Diego editor Jeff Light later told us the bingo cards were "awesome," but because of a cold (not the contents of Sanders' Eminem propaganda video), he felt like he was going to "spew" during the speech.

No one dared to yell out "bingo" during the mayor's speech, but Alex Bell, communications advisor to City Councilmember Lorie Zapf, was the first to Tweet "bingo," winning with the words "environment," "revenue," "cleantech," "expansion" and the free space. Lorena Gonzalez of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, prolific media gadfly Seth Hall and CityBeat "Spin Cycle" columnist John R. Lamb also scored bingos.

In his speech, Sanders took his annual sideways pot-shot at City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, who would love to succeed him, with the line, "Yet nothing in San Diego is easy, and past failures have provided a soapbox for those who intend to stall our progress, who desire dysfunction to advance their selfish agenda." Since DeMaio feeds off opposition, we give him a thistle in bloom for being the only candidate to warrant a mention in Sanders speech, however oblique and derogatory.

Meanwhile, Rep. Bob Filner, also a mayoral candidate, was absent yet again, sending campaign manager Ed Clancy as his official stand-in. The Democrat had claimed in an interview with CityBeat that he'd attended the last 10 State of the City addresses and "Mexico" had been mentioned only once—a claim later deemed "Huckster Propaganda" by's Fact Check blog. (For the record, Sanders did name-check Mexico in this year's speech, too.) Mayoral candidate and District attorney Bonnie Dumanis, whom Sanders has endorsed, comes away with neither poo nor petal because we never spotted her.

As for Fletcher: His packed after-party rocked, attended by everyone from San Diego Police Officers' Association Vice President Jeff Jordon to blowhard San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn. Fletcher even stood on the bar and addressed the whole room with his big, faux-Abe Lincoln voice. We'll award Fletcher 10 hops flowers, one for every American craft beer on the menu.

Lincoln online

We're awarding the Lincoln Club of San Diego County 343 peace-making carnations, one for every viewer of its successfully live-streamed debate last Friday—we just wish the flickering lighting at the venue had been just as functional. Second, we'll throw in an extra flower now that the club has made sure we were reimbursed for their unlicensed use of one of our Occupy San Diego images in a fundraising video.

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