Fresh patches of campaign signs are sprouting at intersections across the city, and public events are teeming with campaign volunteers. The fall campaign season is upon us, and through the sunblock and smack-talk, we detect two distinct odors: blossoms and turds.
Let's talk turds first: The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council just unleashed a bombardment of shit-missiles on City Council candidate Lorie Zapf.
In June, CityBeat published an editorial headlined “The Dems got Zapf 'd,” which basically took the local Democratic Party to task for allowing Zapf, a Republican, to pick up more votes than Democrat Howard Wayne in the primary considering the amount of dirt we've dug up on Zapf. The two will face each other in a runoff on Nov. 2.
The Labor Council took our message to heart. In fact, they stole our wordplay for its “Don't Get Zapf 'd” campaign. We award them a bouquet of forget-me-nots for forgetting us not.
“I'm saying there will be plenty of mail plugging your good reporting in voters' mailboxes,” the Labor Council's political director, Evan McLaughlin, told us via Twitter.
As first reported on SDRostra.com, the Labor Council sent out its first attack mailer last week through the political committee San Diego Works! On one side of the card, Zapf is surrounded by her most venomous quotes about sinful, unhappy homosexuals who she believes should be kept out of public office. On the back, Zapf is pictured with Republican City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, “who is gay.” The claim is that Zapf temporarily sold out her homophobia in order to win an important endorsement.
The Labor Council followed up with its second attack this week, accusing Zapf of “Political Perjury.” The mailer examines how Zapf worked for a group called Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse and yet her family filed “at least six petty lawsuits of their own—including one against Lorie Zapf 's own in-laws.”
We'll assign them three turds for inaccuracy: When City- Beat broke this story in March, we counted nine lawsuits.
Aguirre, wrath of God
On Tuesday, the Deputy City attorneys Association of San Diego (DCAA) threw a rally celebrating the bipartisan support it's received from San Diego City Councilmembers Carl DeMaio (a hard-line fiscal conservative) and Todd Gloria (a soulful progressive) and City attorney Jan Goldsmith (a DeMaio ally) for Proposition B. The ballot measure would make it so that deputy city attorneys with more than two years' experience can be fired only if there is “good cause,” as opposed to serving at the pleasure of the elected city attorney.
The idea is this will insulate attorneys from political influence We were unsure why DCAA needed to roll out the big guns when no opposing argument has been filed with the City Clerk.
The answer: Former City attorney Mike Aguirre. He's gone Rambo now that the proponents are using his record to argue for the reform. Quoting a grand jury report, the DCAA says that under Aguirre's reign, “the nearly 100% turnover rate significantly harmed the city.”
Aguirre calls bullshit, saying the reason so many lawyers “left” (estimated 124 out of 135) is he was cleaning house after the San Diego pension scandal. He says that the measure will tie the government's hands just like any other union-backed employment reform.
Alone and without a formal organization, Aguirre is slamming Prop. B at every Democratic meeting he can race to. He also invited Mayor Jerry Sanders and Goldsmith to a back-to-back televised debate: 30 minutes on Prop. D (which Aguirre also opposes), followed by another half-hour debate on Prop. B.
That's worth 30 snapdragons for Aguirre; the DCAA can even the score if Goldsmith steps up to the challenge.