U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, home for the Congressional recess, addressed nearly 100 people at a “Coffee Party” (a liberal response to the grassroots conservative Tea Party movement) on April 11 at Queen Bee's in North Park. Although the event's organizers tried to filter out the frothing fringe element with an RSVP list, a “civility pledge” and a security guard, they couldn't keep out “Duane,” clad in a “Don't Tread on Me” T-shirt, and his partner, armed with a mini video camera.
Clearly, Duane was spoiling for a fight. But Filner was also asking for it:
On calls to repeal the healthcare bill, Filner said: “Make my day!”
On conservative Democrats: “We're afraid to lose them. I say let them go!”
On the Democrats' earmark deals: “I formed a little group in Congress called, ‘Jews for Pork.'”
Hold up—what? Filner didn't elaborate, and his staff hasn't returned calls.
When it was his turn to talk, Duane gabbed about how disgusted he was at Filner's “intolerance” before ranting incoherently about immigration reform.
“My question is this,” he said. “Obviously, you live in a gated house, and I want to be like an illegal person, and I would like to know where your house is so I can break through your gates, go into your house and sit in there and eat your food and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Congressman. Thank you for letting me come and be an illegal resident.'”
Clearly, Duane didn't read CityBeat's story two weeks ago about how not to make rhetorical threats against politicians. Filner wins a bouquet of lilies for shaking Duane's hand on the way out. Filner's home isn't gated, and his address is already online.
San Diego's Tea Party movement earns a whole county-fair Port-o-Potty's worth of chili dogs and churros for wasting this opportunity. The five or so protesters across the street couldn't even be bothered to hold up their “Media Ignores Nazi-like Racism” poster of Obama and Hitler for the full duration of the event.
If “Congressman admits to founding secret spending sect” isn't a viral video by the time this column reaches your eyes, then Duane has proven his movement is completely full of shit.
In the hole
Last November, Sheriff Joe Arpaio—the Arizona lawman famous for housing inmates in a “Tent City” and staging controversial immigration sweeps—brought his posse to San Diego to raise money for Jay La Suer, a Republican running to replace Sheriff Bill Gore.
Yet, according to campaign-finance reports, Arpaio never actually made a monetary donation.
“I never asked for one,” La Suer says. “I thought he was being extremely helpful and extremely generous by coming over here and taking the time out of his schedule to help me out.”
That's too bad, because La Suer could use a little more cash. While Gore reported an ending balance of more than $100,000 for the first quarter of 2010, La Suer reported his campaign was in the red.
Playing down the deficit, La Suer attributed it to an “accounting error” and said his campaign will soon amend the forms.
What was the error? “I don't know,” he said. “I didn't make it.”
La Suer's good attitude about Arpaio's donations (or lack thereof) wins him 250 blossoms—roughly equivalent to the price of a round-trip ticket to Phoenix. But for pleading ignorance about his campaign's bungled bookkeeping, we credit him 2,276.27 turds—accounting for every penny he owes.
Memo to Union-Tribune cartoonist Steve Breen: It's time to retire your pony-tailed, sandaled caricature of the California pot-smoker. We're awarding an ounce of Humboldt County's finest flowers to the marijuana movement—on behalf of its Republican supporters.
Last week, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson—a Republican proponent of legalization and potential 2012 presidential candidate—revved up Tea Party crowds in Fresno and told California Independent Voter Network, “Bravo, California!” for putting an initiative to legalize pot on the ballot. Meanwhile, former San Diego mayor and right-wing talk-radio host Roger Hedgecock tweeted: “I AM VOTING YES TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA,” with a number to call into his show.
Nine out of 10 callers agreed.
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