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.


Fingering Filner

With the help of WikiLeaks, we're taking a trip across space and time. The first stop: The Philippines, circa 2009. Congressmember Bob Filner is meeting with President Gloria Arroyo, House Speaker Prospero Nograles and Defense Undersecretary Antonio Santos. He also accepts the 2009 Gusi international Peace Prize, described as Asia's answer to the Nobel.

Soon, Filner finds himself at De La Salle University in Manila and seizes control of the white board in an American Studies class. According to a leaked diplomatic cable, he delivered an impromptu lecture on what he called, in a direct quote, "the undemocratic practice of re-districting."

It's ironic for Filner to complain about redistricting; the Democrat hasn't faced a competitive Congressional race in 20 years. Also, isn't the most egregious example of bad San Diego redistricting named after him?

In an interview, Filner explained his version of events, taking us back to San Diego, circa 1990. After the census, a Democratic majority on the San Diego City Council (on which Filner served) drew new districts that would continue to favor a progressive majority. A recall election later, the council makeup changed and Republicans redrew the maps again to create conservative-friendly districts. But, as a nod to the incumbent, they added the "Filner Finger," changing the lines by a few blocks to keep Filner's home in his district. As a result of the shenanigans, voters instituted an independent redistricting commission in 1992.

Why did Filner support the initial redistricting if he's so opposed to gerrymandering? He says it's the same reason he takes private campaign donations even though he supports public financing: "I want to change the rules, but you have to play by the rules that exist to be part of the game."

Filner says that, if elected mayor, he'll push for a fully independent redistricting commission, one whose final maps don't depend on a council vote. However, that is already the law, so we'll hand him a petrified turd for living in yesteryear. But we'll also give Filner a carnation for addressing the issue and giving us an appreciated history lesson.


Fletch flopper

Mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher, a Republican, has picked up the endorsement of a prominent San Diego Democrat, William Rodriguez-Kennedy. OK, by "prominent," we really mean loud and a bit hyperactive on social media. And he only became a Democrat last week, having endorsed Fletcher when he was a Republican. Rodriguez-Kennedy, an openly gay veteran who made national headlines when he attempted to reenlist, says he switched parties after Rick Santorum "woke me up." We'll award Fletcher a blossom for the support but reserve the right to change our mind the next time Rodriguez-Kennedy does.


Send T&B 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