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Grading San Diego Mayoral Ads On Civility

Evening Edition

Carl Luna, political science professor and a member of the Campaign Civility Project, talks to KPBS about campaign ads.

Aired 6/4/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Carl Luna, Political Science Professor and a member of the Campaign Civility Project.


This election, some San Diego political ads have been accurate and fair. Others, not so much.

That's according to Carl Luna, a political science professor at Mesa College and a member of the Campaign Civility Project.

He told KPBS the first annual Conference to Restore Civility in Civic Dialogue included a session rating political ads on accuracy, relevance and fairness.

One ad featuring the parents of murdered teenager Chelsea King, which supported Nathan Fletcher, earned high marks, Luna said. Another ad, sponsored by Carl DeMaio, was negative, but still civil.

That DeMaio-sponsored ad features a narrator saying, “San Diego needs real reform, but Bob Filner is an Obama Democrat. In Congress, Bob Filner voted with Democrats 90 percent."

Then it shows President Barack Obama saying, "Representative Bob Filner, thank you for your leadership.”

While the ad sounds like it is against Filner, Luna said it is actually intended to be a hit on Nathan Fletcher.

“This ad was put out primarily to get Democrats to remember to vote for Filner, Republicans to vote for Carl DeMaio and leave Nathan Fletcher out," he said. "So it was actually kind of a negative ad on Fletcher. But within the content of the ad, it was fair what was said, it was relevant to the events, what sort of person you’re going to elect. It shows you can be negative and civil, be positive and civil, you can be negative and uncivil.”

Another television ad, which says "Carl DeMaio is dangerous for San Diego" and flashes the words "Political Sociopath" across the screen, earned an "F," Luna said.

It had problems with truthfulness, fairness and relevance, he said.

"It did not give voters reasonable grounds to evaluate, and it was also unattributed," he said.


Campaign Ad Against Bob Filner

This political ad, paid for by Carl DeMaio for Mayor, was give an "A" grade by the Campaign Civility Project. The group found the ad to be true, fair and relevant.


Kings' Ad for Nathan Fletcher

Political ad featuring Brent and Kelly King in support of Nathan Fletcher.

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