March 2 2016 12:12 AM

These awards spotlight San Diego political theatrics

Impy awardee “twins” Jerry Sanders/Ron Roberts and Mayor Kevin “Mad Max the Campaign Contributions” Faulconer
Photo illustration by John R. Lamb

Shoot a few scenes out of focus. I want to win the foreign film award.

—Billy Wilder

In the 1982 movie My Favorite Year, the late Peter O’Toole— portraying the frequently soused, swashbuckling matinee idol Allan Swann—confides to an admirer, “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”

Not when it comes to politics in San Diego, where the shtick is thick, the hijinks induce winks and the jokes stoke smoke. Go ahead and drool like a fool over Hollywood sainthood, but those golden statuettes—dubbed the “Oscars” for reasons uncertain— have nothing on the Imp-Oscars. If “Imp-Oscar” sounds vaguely similar to “Imposter,” let Spin Cycle unequivocally set the record straight to assure you that is simply inaccurate—it totally sounds the same. (If you thought Spin intended to honor actual heroes on the political battlefield, go amuse yourself by Googling Top 10 lists.)

Without further ado, the Spincademy of Motion Under Rigorous Flatulence (aka SMURF) proudly presents the inaugural Impy winners!

Best Hairstyle/Booze Preference Reference And the Impy goes to…JERRY SANDERS, former mayor of San Diego who tripled his pay when he hopped into the operating chair at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Sanders, now relegated pretty much to opening jokester at business functions, did not disappoint in his performance last Thursday prior to the annual State of the County address.

In the role of a lifetime, Sanders regaled the assembled dignitaries with introductory tales of his frat brother and featured speaker of the night, San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts.

After noting that he often gets mistaken for Roberts—which he attributed to “the high standards of beauty upheld by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity where we were both members during our time at San Diego State University” (Roberts graduated, Sanders not so much)—Sanders revealed that they shared the same barber (until he retired last Friday) and “get our shoes shined together in Mexico.”

They differ, however, in accessorizing and imbibing. “If you’re ever wondering who’s who, I’ve got a real easy way for you to tell the difference between Ron and I [sic],” Sanders deadpanned. “Number one, I don’t wear a tie anymore, and Ron always wears a tie. And number 2, the guy with bourbon is Ron Roberts. The guy with craft beer is Jerry Sanders.”

Then Sanders let slip the prime reason for his appearance: “Karl Strauss is one of the sponsors of the event afterwards. So Ron, you really have to consider switching to beer. There aren’t a lot of folks making bourbon in San Diego, but let me tell you the opportunities for good, free craft beer abound all the time.”

Sanders would eventually turn his attention to Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who honed his credit-taking skills as a city councilmember during the Sanders administration. In a roast speech the mayor recently delivered at a Downtown San Diego Partnership gala (a speech, by the way, his office has declined to release), Faulconer advised attendees to “form a bond with a silver-haired, distinguished politician.” When Sanders departed, Faulconer turned to Roberts.

“Last week our dear mayor, Kevin Faulconer, who we’ll call Kev, poked a little fun at Ron and me, calling out our gorgeous silver hair,” Sanders said. “Well, Kev, you may have that pretty blonde hair now, but just wait until the end of your time as mayor. Just wait.”

Sanders finished his remarks by suggesting Roberts “wise up, and join the private sector like me. And you don’t have to wear a tie!”

Best Visual Effects/Sound Editing

This was a tight race, what with the mayor recently unveiling a new city logo with sail swooshes that elicited the sounds of groans and audible head scratching citywide. But the Impy goes to…RON ROBERTS, who during his State of the County speech unveiled a brief computer-generated video of his Sky Tram dream that would link downtown to Balboa Park.

Set to the tune of Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle,” the Roberts video took the audience on an imaginary flyover of the project, which he insists commuters will use. “We’ll lead the United States again!” Roberts exclaimed with total Impy-worthy acting chops. “We’re going to fly residents and visitors alike from the people-packed waterfront to the open arms and treasures of Balboa Park!”

The song kicks in—is this irony?—with the phrase “Shoe the children/with no shoes on their feet” as Roberts points to a computer image of a disabled person at a make-believe “Skyway” station. “See the wheelchair? Even the wheelchairs will go on this,” the supervisor brags. The video proceeds to show an imagined station at downtown’s Sixth Avenue and B Street that he said “will provide an opportunity for commuters to either get on or get off and use it as a vehicle to get up into the Bankers Hill area…”

“Time keeps on slippin’ slippin’ slippin’ into the futurrrre…”

“And then finally for the last part of the journey, crossing Highway 163,” Roberts says, completely skipping the longest—and likely most controversial—portion of the ride overlooking residences along Sixth Avenue. “Fly like an eagle. That’s what it’s all about!” Roberts cheers. “The little cars are flying along there without much visual impairment for anyone.”

The “cars” are barely visible but so is Roberts’ argument that commuters will flock to this tourist gimmick.

Best Actor at a Posh Hotel on Taxpayer Time

This category was no contest.

The Impy goes to…MAYOR FAULCONER, for his performance at a New Majority luncheon last Friday at the ultra-swanky hotel to stars and celebs, The Peninsula Beverly Hills.

A picture of the mayor speaking at the hotel was posted on social media Friday afternoon, but neither his campaign guru Jason Roe, nor his office, would provide context for the appearance by press time. Spin could also not determine if the mayor’s security detail had made the trip with him.

The Republican organization claims to operate the largest political action committee in the state, so well done, Mr. Mayor, on your continuing efforts to downplay any interest in a gubernatorial run in 2018. Now that’s acting!”


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