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.

Justice is bling'd

Here's how not to inspire faith in a balanced judicial system: Run for judge and accept a ton of money from your prosecutor buddies.

Three San Diego County deputy district attorneys have filed their first campaign-finance disclosures as they run for open seats on the Superior Court bench. Deputy District attorney Garland Peed, who serves as chief of the D.A.'s central felony unit, has raised $37,320, including $2,900 from 17 of his co-workers and $13,750 from 17 private law firms.

Meanwhile, Deputy District attorney Robert Amador raised $10,500, hitting up 18 of his prosecutor colleagues for a total $3,900. Amador's main role is to serve a liaison between the D.A. and local police; those professional relationships earned his campaign more than $1,000 from state, county and tribal officers.

Both picked up $1,000 from San Diegans Against Crime, a political committee made up of deputy district attorneys for the purpose of protecting their pensions and electing tough-on-crime candidates to office. On their websites, the candidates also remind supporters that “there are no contribution limits in this race” and that individuals, organizations and corporations can give them money directly. The language is copied verbatim because the two are running coordinated campaigns, sharing consultants for accounting and campaign literature.

Amador and Peed have been prosecutors for close to 30 years and are the anointed candidates, with long lists of endorsement from public officials, judges and prosecutors published on their websites. But, like their funding, their endorsements are also suffering from a major imbalance; although they boast the support of Public Defender Henry Coker, there's a conspicuous dearth of defense attorneys. For making Lady Justice look that much skeezier, we'll let the candidates split 17 bowel bombs, one for every 1,000 felony cases that came through the court in 2011.

At the same time, we'll tentatively give 90 strawberry blossoms to Deputy District attorney David Berry, another establishment judicial candidate, for loaning his campaign $90,000. That means, so far, he's paying for 87 percent of his campaign out of pocket. He accepted only $450 from other prosecutors and $2,750 from private attorneys.


French connection

We're straying far from local elections to recognize French parliamentary candidate Julien Balkany, an independent who supports President Nicolas Sarkozy, for campaigning in San Diego. Balkany, 31, is a hedge-fund manager in New York running to represent a new constituency of French citizens living abroad. We award the monsieur 57 iris blossoms, the national flower of France, for making a Jan. 25 stop at 57 Degrees, a cool wine bar in Middletown, on his West Coast tour.

Send your nominations to davem@sdcitybeat.com.

Calendar

  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • The former local boy and creator of the highly influential blog, Advanced Style, will be signing and discussing his third book, Advanced Style: Older and Wiser, which features inspiring pictures and stories...
  • C.J. Chenier and Bonsoir Catin headline this annual Cajun inspired festival. Also enjoy 10,000 pounds of crawfish, dancing and cooking demonstrations. Held at Spanish Landing Park, across from the...
  • A Cinco de Mayo party featuring $2 tacos, cocktails and live music from Bostich+Fussible, Javiera Mena and Gepe
  • A spoken word showcase hosted by English instructor Karla Cordero and her City College students. There will also be a special reading from poet Mercedez Holtry, as well as an art and photography show....
  • Widely known as host of "Weekend Update" on Saturday Night Live and for his role in the Showtime dramedy Weeds, Kevin Nealon brings his unique humor back to the stand-up stage
  • New works from over a dozen UCSD undergraduate students. Participating artists include Charity Algarme, Richard Lin, Joseph Maas, Ignatius Nguyen, and more
  • This video art exhibition from UCSD MFA candidate Stefani Byrd features two installations that explore the themes of breath, mediation, and the nature of time. Takes place in the VAF Performance Space,...
See all events on Thursday, May 5