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.


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