The latest installment of CityBeat's election column, Turds & Blossoms, wherein we rate campaigns and candidates and award them turds or blossoms for their latest foibles and triumphs.
Window into Sills
If the San Diego Press Club wants to maintain credibility, then it must be more selective when bestowing its annual media awards.
Case in point: Jim Sills, political consultant and right-wing toadie, who brags about his second-place recognition for “excellence in journalism” for his work on sdrostra.com, a blog maintained by a group of conservative pundits.
Now, it's not Sills' role as a partisan operative that bothers us; it's that he writes drivel composed mostly of tortured sports analogies. More repulsive: He's a paid hack.
In December 2011, he wrote puff pieces about three San Diego City Council candidates—Mark Kersey, Ray Ellis and Scott Sherman—the “GOP Unity Team,” as he calls it. During that same period, Sills was collecting checks from those candidates: $3,000 from Kersey, $3,000 from Sherman and $4,750 from Ellis, who still owes Sills $1,750.
Sills, who describes himself as a “correspondent,” doesn't disclose his financial interest on any of his blog entries. That's unethical, but not illegal, so our only recourse is to shower crap all over Kersey, Ellis and Sherman, let's say an ounce each, for affiliating themselves with Sills.
Thankfully, we can also report some sweet-smelling self-regulation: Last week, Rostra authors were provided new policies that require disclosure of conflicts of interest, “No exceptions,” on penalty of suspension of blogging privileges.
Private detective, smear master, San Diego County Republican Party secretary and failed Assembly candidate Derrick Roach was the proud second-place winner of last year's final turd tally and he's mentioned several times that he's hoping to take the top prize again this year.
We don't see how that's possible, since he isn't running for anything. However, we did find one reason to hurl a cow pie in his direction.
Roach loves to file complaints against Democratic candidates for campaign violations. In a way, that makes him a watchdog, as he was hollering about corruption in South Bay politics long before District attorney Bonnie Dumanis filed charges recently in the Sweetwater Union High School District corruption scandal. On the other hand, since he often cries out about campaign minutiae, he has opened himself up to charges of hypocrisy now that the Fair Political Practices Commission has formally scolded him.
In a Jan. 1 letter, FPPC Chief Enforcement Officer Gary Winuk informed Roach that he had broken the law by failing to file campaign statements for the first half of 2011. The violation comes with a maximum $5,000 penalty, but Winuk let Roach off the hook with a warning since he lost the election to Ben Hueso. We'll issue Roach 380 tiny turds for the $380 his campaign was in the red, according to the last campaign report he did file.
Send your Turds & Blossoms nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.