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Derogatory word causes ruckus in Encinitas politics

October 29, 2010 |  1:08 pm

An offensive word that caused a flap in the governor's race has surfaced in the politics of Encinitas, an otherwise gentle seaside suburb in northern San Diego County.

A supporter of a candidate for City Council allegedly called Councilwoman Teresa Barth a "whore" during a candidates' forum, prompting Barth to say, "What did you call me, sir?" according to the Coast News.

The man who allegedly said it was identified as a dentist and Rotary Club member. He left the Oct. 12 event without responding to Barth's question.

The furor then shifted to the blogosphere with an exchange of words between rival political camps.

The word that ignited the furor has some history in Encinitas politics.

After a dispute over a citation for illegal grading of his property, a neighbor of the mayor put up a 72-square-foot sign in 2006 calling the mayor a "whore." She sued for libel.

A judge ruled that "whore" is not covered by the 1st Amendment, and in 2007 the case was settled for $12,000 and an apology.

The word caused a ruckus in the governors race when an aide to Jerry Brown allegedy called Meg Whitman a "whore."

--Tony Perry in Encinitas

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