July 28 2010 10:04 AM

CityBeat grades anti-labor propaganda and Juan Vargas' corporate backers

Jesse Ventura

Think of the children!

What does the movie Predator have to do with a school-district parcel tax?

Last week, after the San Diego Unified School District's Board of Education voted to put a parcel tax on the November ballot, Eric Christen, executive director of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction (who's none-too-fond of the board's support of a 2009 union-friendly project labor agreement, or PLA) sent out yet another over-the-top e-mail blast.

“What does Jesse Ventura think of SDUSD's proposed tax increase?” Christen wrote. The text links to a clip from the 1987 film in which “The Body” plays Blain Cooper, a Vietnam vet with a fondness for the M134 minigun. In the clip, Ventura snarls, “It's payback time,” while cranking up his multibarrel machine gun.

“Please join us (and Blain) in opposing this fiscal insanity and help us send a message to PLA proponents everywhere: You agree to a PLA and it is indeed ‘Payback Time,'” Christen writes.

We get it, Eric—you don't like PLAs. But, really, couldn't you come up with a more, well, kid-friendly film clip? How about this Antonio Banderas-voiced bit from Shrek II?

“Pray for mercy from Puss [pause] in Boots.” For unnecessary use of violence—and for referring to the ballot measure as a “multi-hundred million dollar tax increase” (multi?) when it's actually estimated to bring in $50 million a year for five years—we issue Christen a bazooka full of explosive diarrhea.

Recount Draculas

Back on primary election night, Assemblymember Mary Salas declared victory in her state Senate primary race against Juan Vargas. And, so, it would make sense to issue her 22 turds for actually losing the race by as many votes in the recount.

But she lost, so the whole thing is moot. She asked for a hand-count, then called it off after a few days. Salas cut the county a check for about $20,000 when it became clear she wasn't gaining any ground, allowing county Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler to finally go on her postponed vacation. However, we will award 16 shits to Vargas, who faces Republican and evangelical Christian Brian Hendry in the general election. That's how many “observers” attended the recount, supposedly on behalf of a citizen named Chris Taylor. As of deadline, we have been unable to determine whether or not the man actually exists—and believe us, we tried.

As it turns out, at least three of Taylor's “observers” are really employed by the Civil Justice Association of California, a group whose board members aren't even actual people; rather, they're mega-corporations ranging from BP to Pfizer. CJAC spent millions on independent expenditures to support Vargas' campaign. Other “observers” included the political-affairs manager for the California Farm Bureau Federation and several private attorneys, including one named Kourtney Bezanson, who told CityBeat that while she was officially representing Taylor, she was not paid by him.

Asked who did pay her, she said: “I don't feel comfortable talking about it.”

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