Restaurant News

Stingray Sushi Campaign Ads Are Totally Tasteless

He denies having anything to do with the gigantic photos of two of his political clients -- Joe Arpaio and Vernon Parker -- hanging on the wall at The Grind, but local public relations trickster Jason Rose is happily taking full credit for Stingray Sushi campaign signs popping up around town.

That's right, campaign signs. Seems the trendy sushi bar is taking a particular interest in Proposition 111, a ballot measure that would create a lieutenant governor position in Arizona, replacing the secretary of state. (Only one of the signs, which reads, "Lieutenant Governors Love Me Long Time," gives even a nod to the issue at hand, so to speak. The others are just plain racy or, depending on your taste, gross.)

Late last month a city of Phoenix official nixed Rose's bus shelter plan starring Stingray's racy, gun-toting sushi slinger, but no one's put a stop -- yet -- to the signs Rose is planting all over town.

Some folks are none too happy about this. Prop. 111 is about the least political thing on the ballot -- it's got bipartisan support and strong backing from former Supreme Sandra Day O'Connor, who certainly deserves a classier deal. 

"I can't believe he picked O'Connor's deal," one pol hissed in an email this morning. "Ass." 

See more signs after the jump.

Rose admits he picked Prop. 111 because it's not controversial. (He did imply that the prop's real backers aren't too pleased with his shenanigans.) He likens his moves to U2, a band that he says "fused commercial success and music" the way he's trying to mix politics and food. 

Sort of unappetizing, if you ask us. But we've got to hand it to Rose, it's an out-of-the-box idea. Rose -- who long ago tried to fuse politics and food, you might remember, as one of the original owners of Nixon's, a burger bar/restaurant at the Esplanade -- admits he's been trying to do this for years. 

"Frankly, it was a concept that I have had for many years and ran by many clients who balked at it."

Stingray Sushi bit. But who will bite back? 

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at