Oct. 6 2010 10:09 AM

CityBeat grades the Prop D campaigns and the Brown-Whitman debate


Sign language

A completely unscientific poll conducted while we were slightly sloshed revealed this: The average San Diegan doesn't know jack about Prop. D, the November ballot measure that, if passed, would raise the sales tax in San Diego by half a cent for five years if the City Council implements 10 fiscal reforms.

We're issuing turds to the Yes on D folks not because understanding the ballot measure requires more intellectual curiosity than most people can muster, but because they're sucking at signage. Number of No on D signs counted along a one-mile stretch of University Avenue: five. Yes on D: zero.

There's this thing called the “mere exposure effect”—the more you see something, the more you come to like it. Not only that: No on D nabbed the best sign colors. Black text on a yellow background is not only visible in all those poorly lit areas that could benefit from Prop. D's promise of an infusion of tax dollars, but they're also colorblind-friendly colors. The only place we've seen Yes on D signs were at a debate sponsored by voiceofsandiego.org and, later, making a nuisance of themselves in the bar at Dobson's. For now, we're offering No on D five cornflowers to complement the yellow on their signs.

Plan D from Outer Space

As she stumps for Prop. D, City Councilmember Donna Frye has zeroed in on a rhetorical tactic: The Yes on D camp has a plan to balance the city's budget and the No on D camp does not.

That was certainly news to Councilmember Carl DeMaio, who shook his head in irritation last Friday at a lunchtime debate sponsored by the Catfish Club at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. You see, DeMaio believes he has a plan and he talks about it every time he stumps against Prop D. Whether his plan would work is another matter, but he does have one and he made sure to tell Frye that at the debate.

Frye's response was to chide DeMaio for being too often on the wrong side of lopsided City Council votes. If one can't persuade others to climb aboard, she said, one does not really have a plan.

But what of all those years when Frye couldn't enlist her colleagues on her various crusades? By her logic, she didn't really have a plan and her opponents were right to dismiss her out of hand. We disagree with that logic and, therefore, issue seven smelly ones to the Yes on D campaign in honor of all the times Frye lost on 7-1 votes.

No room for debate

Attorney General and Democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brown is rocking his Republican opponent, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman in the debates. That isn't an opinion; it's a judgment based on the raw data.

Survey USA and Rasmussen polls both showed Brown winning a bump out of the debate—he had a 3-point and 1-point lead, respectively, before the debate and a 4-point and 5-point lead afterward. Brown's stock on Intrade—a site that allows gamblers to bet on election outcomes—jumped more than 10 points, so that he's now rated almost a 60-percent chance of winning the election, which has held steady. Whitman, on the other hand, dropped seven points on Intrade, which then dropped her another five points after her former housekeeper came out with accusations of poor treat- Jerry Brown ment when she confessed she was an illegal immigrant.

That bombshell, of course, obscured the impact of the debate on Saturday. We issue Brown 15 blossoms for his boom, but we issue a poo on both their houses for pulling out of a radio debate that was set for Oct. 5.

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


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