Opinion » Shredder

November's coming



The results of SLO County's 4th District supervisor race are in—again—and guess what? Jimmy Paulding still beat incumbent Lynn Compton by exactly 639 votes.

Not even one vote was off in the June 2022 primary counts. Machines counted the same exact number of votes as humans did. And that recount result, which changed nothing, only took 18 business days and cost Darcia Stebbins and whoever she's got helping her pay for this little wild goat ride a cool $53,000.


You know what that paid for, right? Peace of mind. Our county's vote tabulating machines are on point! Fraudster peddlers can suck it! Eat their words, repent for their sins against sanity. Oh wait, that's only for people who believe in reality.

Because some people (cough, cough: Stebbins and the crazier members of the Republican Party of San Luis Obispo) believe the recount just proves that the machines are fishy, obviously. These machines are so complex that they can fabricate ballots from thin air and mark them, too! We need people inside the machines! Duh!

Stebbins' PAC—the San Luis Obispo County Citizens Action Team—offers up "real solutions for real people" who believe in fake things. The website hasn't been updated to reflect the recount results, which were done on Aug. 11, but it's still claiming the need to raise $150,000 to fund the recount efforts and court costs.

I'm just waiting for that court cost shoe to drop.

Meanwhile, in the real world, real people are ramping up for a real election in November. Candidate filings are in across the county. And some of these races could get interesting!

Stacy Korsgaden is taking a page out of Paulding's book and running for a municipal office in her home city of Grover Beach after getting spanked by Dawn Ortiz-Legg in the race for 3rd District supervisor. It worked for Paulding, who lost to Compton in 2018, sat on the Arroyo Grande City Council for a few years, and now gets to sit on the Board of Stupervisors starting in January.

Stacy K. wants to be mayor, ya'll! She just has to beat current Grover Beach City Councilmember Karen Bright to do it. Is the third time a charm for Stacy? We've got to wait until November to find out!

Over in Pismo Beach, Erik Howell, who lost his City Council bid in 2020 due, in part, to some unsavory allegations about corruption during his tenure on the California Coastal Commission, is giving 'er another try! He only needs to beat out three other candidates for one of the two seats available, but does he deserve to sit on an elected governing body?

Hmm. Maybe not.

In racist matters on local school boards, our resident big-mouthed righty-tighties have some competition this year. Finally.

Women's March supporter, community activist, and Cal Poly financial aid counselor Adrienne Garcia-Specht is challenging Peter J. Sysak for his seat on the Cuesta College Board of Trustees. In 2020, Sysak got into trouble over his comments on Facebook—which were anti-LGBTQ-plus, racist against Black people, and Islamophobic.

The board decided to censure Sysak for his behavior and requested his resignation. He didn't acquiesce, no surprises there. Good thing someone is running against him!

And in North County, everyone's favorite outspoken over-explainer who's convinced he's always right is also being challenged. Two people are running against Paso Robles Joint Unified School District school board member Chris "Replace CRT with ABCs" Arend. Although I'm not sure either of the men running against him are better or worse than he is.

Candidate Peter "Dems are Socialists" Byrne, who lists his occupation as "retired," is an avid public commenter at the school board's more contentious meetings. During a July meeting, Byrne said that "critical race theory is often masked as diversity, equality, and inclusion along with the full-on intent to redefine gender ... and turn our children into activists."

"When you teach advocating for equity, you teach destruction of our government," he said, adding something about how Marxists and Communists realized 100 years ago that they wouldn't be able to take the West by direct force. "We should be giving our students the tools they need to succeed, not how to be equal."

If it was between him or Arend, I would go with the devil I know. But, Jim "I'm Going to Try Again" Cogan is attempting to will himself onto the most contentious school district in the table. And he's going after Arend to do it.

Paso might have the most exciting school board races we've had in years!

Recently appointed board member Frank "Gender Identity is Compelled Speech" Triggs, who has questions about when tolerance becomes activism, also has two people running against him. Hopefully school board hopefuls Catherine Reimer and Sondra Williams aren't as disturbed by "some of the stuff" in an LGBTQ-plus training for high school staff as he was.

Current Paso school board member Chris Bausch, who can sometimes be a voice of reason (But that's not saying much on that board!), is hightailing it off that dais and over to the Paso Robles City Council. Three people are running for the seat he's leaving behind, and he doesn't have to run against anyone!

Elections, amirite? Δ

The Shredder is the machine. Send comments to [email protected].


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