May 2 2012 10:33 AM

CityBeat grades the campaign trail

Photo by Dave Rolland

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.

Deploring Lori

CityBeat's gotten used to the silent treatment from politicians—but not from ones with whom we agree on nine out of every 10 positions.

A few weeks ago, we were set to interview progressive sparkplug Lori Saldaña for a feature, just as we had two of her opponents in the Congressional District 52 race, moderate Dem Scott Peters and Tea Partier John Stahl. Then, suddenly, Saldaña handler Joe Kocurek emailed us that she was pulling out because she didn't like one of our tweets.

Responding to a question about the difference between Peters and Saldaña, editor had tweeted: "The ability to build consensus behind the scenes is the big diff." How was this a bridge-burner? We posed three questions to Kocurek via email:

Q: What exactly was Saldaña's problem with Rolland's tweet?

A: The tweet echoed Peters' talking points nearly verbatim, confirming Rolland's bias in favor of Peters.

Q: What adjective would Saldaña use to describe the last-minute cancellation of the interview? Her opponents may use terms like cowardly, retaliatory, over-sensitive, petty, unpredictable or unhinged.

A: Principled.

Q: If elected, will Saldaña cut off the press whenever they tweet something she perceives as critical?

A: No.

We issue 2,400 turds to Saldaña because that was roughly the word count we set aside for her in the paper. We also give Peters' campaign the chance to pick the last word.

"Foolish," Peters' spokesperson MaryAnne Pintar writes via email. "If an editor says something critical, dust yourself off, gather your facts, go plead your case and change his mind. If she can't even be her own best advocate, how can the voters expect her to be theirs?"

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Editor's note: The original version of this story referred to Scott Peters as a "Blue Dog Dem." That was changed to the more generic "moderate."


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