June 30 2010 11:18 AM

CityBeat grades Ralph Denney's campaign, Democratic limpness and Ron Roberts' pot position

Jess Durfee

Each week CityBeat grades the campaign trail, tossing “turds” and “blossoms” at candidates and committees for their performances on stage and behind the scenes.

Bent numbers

Homophobes in the 76th state Assembly District won't have many choices at the ballot box. The Democratic nominee is former San Diego City Councilmember Toni Atkins, a lesbian. The Republican nominee is Ralph Denney, a gay accountant.

So, with the gay card out of play, which way will the LGBT community swing? Denney says a new poll shows that he'll beat Atkins 53 to 47 percent.

In a celebratory press release, Log Cabin Republicans of San Diego County President Will Rodriguez-Kennedy provided this canned quote: “I think this poll indicates the growing frustration in this community with the Democrats' inability to not only deliver on LGBT rights, but also their inability to govern responsibly.”

Consequently we issue Denney a half-dozen roses for his six-point lead—wait a second, hold the robocall. There's something queer about those figures.

The “poll” was simply one of those unscientific widgets on the Gay & Lesbian Times' web site. Anyone can click on it: Gay, straight, inside or outside the district, and there's no public record of how many people voted in the poll. (Heck, one CityBeat staffer voted four times in the newspaper's latest poll, “After reading this week's editorial have you had unsafe sex this year?” The answer was “No” because it would be chronologically impossible to answer the question any other way.)

Denney is feeding voters a bullshit poll; consequently, we're serving him six Hershey Kisses, if you know what we mean.

Mayor or may not

When politicos share rumors over who will and who won't run for mayor once Jerry Sanders terms out, Democrats' names are whispered less often than Twilight sequels are in Oscar predictions.

The Republicans are cheering like 12-year-old girls over the possibility of mayoral bids by Republican dreamboats like City Councilmembers Carl DeMaio and Kevin Faulconer and state Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher. If a coven of vampires is going to run on the right, then the left needs to recruit a werewolf.

At a post-election discussion held last week by the San Diego Democratic Club, an LGBT organization, one attendee asked the panel (which included CityBeat editor David Rolland) if any prominent Democrat other than Scott Peters, whom she described as a “DINO” (Democrat In Name Only), would step up and run.

Activist Alex Sachs shouted out state Sen. Christine Kehoe's name, prompting Jess Durfee, chair of the Democratic Party of San Diego County, to reveal that he's been talking to Kehoe about a run. He also quipped that if high-profile Dems aren't cited as frequently as Republicans, maybe it's because Democrats just don't hunger as lustily for power.

That's not exactly the teeth-snarling, moon-howling attitude that wins elections. We'll present a squirting daffodil to Durfee for the humor, but we'll also give his party a cup of watery stool for its apparent limp interest in seizing the opportunity to shape public policy in San Diego.


Like the gay haters in Assembly District 76, marijuana prohibitionists won't have a pony to ride in the District 4 county supervisor race. Both candidates are supporting a patient's right to toke up.

Challenger Stephen Whitburn served as co-chair of the city of San Diego's Medical Marijuana Task Force,a group that crafted recommendations for regulating cannabis collectives within municipal boundaries. Incumbent Ron Roberts was the sole vote against a county ordinance that severely restricts where a collective can locate a dispensary in the unincorporated county. Roberts slammed his fellow supes for shamelessly circumventing the spirit of the medical-marijuana law with a de facto ban on dispensaries.

With legalization on the ballot in November, this kind of attention can only work in Roberts' favor. Already, the San Diego branch of Americans for Safe Access has released a “public service announcement” video featuring Roberts' performance at the hearing. At one point, the group even frames the supervisor in a heart-shaped fade—which earns Roberts a full 420 buds for taking the high road.

Follow Turds & Blossoms on Twitter (@turdsblossoms) and send tips to davem@sdcitybeat.com.


  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • 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...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • 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...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28