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.

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  • Known as the ‘Official Scripps National Spelling Bee Watch Party for Adults,’ guests can cheer on kids in the Scripps National Spelling Bee on ESPN before competing in a spelling bee themselves
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • 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...
  • A mass action against the closing of the UCSD University Art Gallery. Participants will meet at the Silent Tree (located near the Library Walk) and march together toward the Gallery
  • Local science illustrator Melissa Walter presents new abstract works that are literal interpretations of astronomical theories
  • So Say We All invites listeners to hear stories about real life, the internet, the ways those places intersect or the way they don't intersect at all, told by seven locals
  • The author, comic book writer, and son of Stephen King will sign his new apocalyptic thriller, The Fireman
See all events on Thursday, May 26