My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
  • Fri
  • Sat
  • Sun
  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu
Venice Baroque Orchestra Feb 27, 2015 Founded in 1997, the Venice Baroque Orchestra is one of the world’s premier ensembles devoted to period instrument performance, with a focus on bringing freshness and experimentation to early music. 62 other events on Friday, February 27
Advisory group apparently can pay consultants to help strategize a Chargers fix
No Life Offline
Four awesome products for your console and smartphone
Academy Award-nominated film re-imagines ‘The Book of Job’ with AK-47s and vodka
CityBeat Podcasts
Ed Decker talks with Danielle LoPresti
Our preview of the 25th-annual edition leads our rundown of movies screening around town


Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
Home / Articles / News / Turds & Blossoms /  Turds ...
. . . .
Wednesday, Feb 29, 2012

Turds & Blossoms: Remembering the Filner Finger and Fletcher's new Democratic supporter

CityBeat grades the campaign trail

By Dave Maass

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.

Fingering Filner

With the help of WikiLeaks, we’re taking a trip across space and time. The first stop: The Philippines, circa 2009. Congressmember Bob Filner is meeting with President Gloria Arroyo, House Speaker Prospero Nograles and Defense Undersecretary Antonio Santos. He also accepts the 2009 Gusi international Peace Prize, described as Asia’s answer to the Nobel.

Soon, Filner finds himself at De La Salle University in Manila and seizes control of the white board in an American Studies class. According to a leaked diplomatic cable, he delivered an impromptu lecture on what he called, in a direct quote, “the undemocratic practice of re-districting.”

It’s ironic for Filner to complain about redistricting; the Democrat hasn’t faced a competitive Congressional race in 20 years. Also, isn’t the most egregious example of bad San Diego redistricting named after him?

In an interview, Filner explained his version of events, taking us back to San Diego, circa 1990. After the census, a Democratic majority on the San Diego City Council (on which Filner served) drew new districts that would continue to favor a progressive majority. A recall election later, the council makeup changed and Republicans redrew the maps again to create conservative-friendly districts. But, as a nod to the incumbent, they added the “Filner Finger,” changing the lines by a few blocks to keep Filner’s home in his district. As a result of the shenanigans, voters instituted an independent redistricting commission in 1992.

Why did Filner support the initial redistricting if he’s so opposed to gerrymandering? He says it’s the same reason he takes private campaign donations even though he supports public financing: “I want to change the rules, but you have to play by the rules that exist to be part of the game.”

Filner says that, if elected mayor, he’ll push for a fully independent redistricting commission, one whose final maps don’t depend on a council vote. However, that is already the law, so we’ll hand him a petrified turd for living in yesteryear. But we’ll also give Filner a carnation for addressing the issue and giving us an appreciated history lesson.

Fletch flopper

Mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher, a Republican, has picked up the endorsement of a prominent San Diego Democrat, William Rodriguez-Kennedy. OK, by “prominent,” we really mean loud and a bit hyperactive on social media. And he only became a Democrat last week, having endorsed Fletcher when he was a Republican. Rodriguez-Kennedy, an openly gay veteran who made national headlines when he attempted to reenlist, says he switched parties after Rick Santorum “woke me up.” We’ll award Fletcher a blossom for the support but reserve the right to change our mind the next time Rodriguez-Kennedy does.

Send T&B nominations to