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Dum-dum-dum

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Do you smell that, SLO County Republicans? Breathe it in! That's the "fresh" scent of a conservative power grab that's going to benefit your tribe for the next decade. The SLO County Board of Supervisors' three conservative members voted to approve the so-called Patten redistricting map, which offers clear advantages to Republican voters.

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Also, do you smell that, SLO County Democrats and progressives? That's the stench of you "libtards" getting "owned."

Let's break it down: Mostly liberal SLO Town will no longer have its voters represented in three districts, which helped balance conservative and liberal votes in those three districts and throughout the county. Now we'll have mostly one district in SLO (District 3) with a reliable Democratic base, a second reliably liberal district along the coast (District 5), and three districts with reliably conservative bases, solidifying the 3-2 conservative board majority for years to come. Plan to suck it, losers. And in a sweet twist of fate, rancher and conservative 5th District Supervisor Debbie Arnold's district will move to a liberal coastal 5th District that used to be in the North County. Hilarious, amirite?

Here's the real rub. When you shuffle voters from one district to another, some will have their next election vote accelerated from, say 2024 to 2022, while others will have theirs deferred from 2022 to 2024. Can you guess which political party is on the short end of this stick? Yep, it's the Dems.

Of the nearly 50,000 who have their vote accelerated, 41 percent are registered Republicans compared to 32 percent Democrats; as for those whose next vote will be deferred, 47 percent are Democrats and only 25 percent are Republicans. That's according a voter data analysis commissioned by a group of citizens because, well, the board majority can't "see" that! Power grabs are way more fun done "blind," you know? Any potential "swing" districts are gone, meaning the chance of a liberal majority coming to power between now and the next redistricting has practically vanished.

To get the Patten map voted in, Republicans had already organized their troops with talking points. The Republican Party of SLO County sent out info for their Nov. 16 "Redistricting Training" meeting that read, "Learn What to Write What to Say." It instructed its little storm troopers to recite, "I like the citizen Richard Patten's map for these reasons: Templeton is not split. It is kept whole. District 5 no longer reaches into SLO city and grabs Cal Poly. SLO city is not divided among three different supervisors. Instead it is kept whole."

That's cute (and inaccurate), but why not simply state why you really want the Patten map: "We can't win on our ideas or fair representation, and slicing up the districts will ensure my conservative minority views supersede the liberal will of the county majority. Plus, libtards suck and are destroying the American way of life. Also, let's go, Brandon."

In case you didn't know, about 51 percent of the county is registered Democrat versus 45 percent Republican, but with this new redistricting, that majority will be rendered meaningless. Democracy shmockracy, eh?

After the unfairness of the vote acceleration/deferral point was brought up at the last meeting, the conservative majority pooh-poohed the idea of having staff gather the breakdown of which party would be most negatively affected.

"We're not allowed to know that info," the conservatives said, as if they didn't already know Democrats would be losing out. Do they think Democrats are stupid? Yes, they do, because they are. Democrats play fair. Idiots!

Speaking of idiots, where has all the money gone, Paso Robles Joint Unified School District? In 2016, Measure M dropped a cool $95 mil on the district to refurbish its two oldest schools, Georgia Brown Elementary and Glen Speck Middle School. Five years later, only $5 million in spendable dollars and $25 million in sellable bonds remain, which according to district Superintendent Curt Dubost isn't enough to fix Georgia Brown, so the district most likely will sell it as "surplus" property, displacing the school's dual-immersion language program. But $13.8 million was supposed to be set aside to save Georgia Brown, and now that money—poof!—is gone?

Meanwhile, Glen Speck's students are being taught out of portable classrooms at a "temporary" site while the original campus is being refurbished, and Dubost is talking about moving Georgia Brown students into the rebuilt Glen Speck site, which would leave Glen Speck students where exactly? They were supposed to be displaced for one year, but it's now year three, and the temporary site is costing the district $1.5 million a year. Using my third grade math skills, that's a wasted $3 million and counting, right?

It seems like the only person connected to the school district with a clue is PRJUSD board member Chris Bausch, who suggested consolidating Flamson and Lewis middle schools at Lewis' site, while Georgia Brown students move into Flamson's site and expand to a K-8 dual-immersion school. He claimed the plan would leave $9 million left over to build an aquatic complex. His idea wasn't even considered at the recent school board meeting. Meanwhile, $95 million minus the $30 million left over means they've spent $65 million on ... what? And $13.8 million for Georgia Brown is where? This new math is killing me! Δ

The Shredder is has a political and mathematical headache. Send commendations or commiserations to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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