Dear people who get mad at journalists for doing their job: Get over yourself.
If you're an elected official who gets an uppity "how dare you" attitude with a journalist when they ask you a question you'd rather avoid (cough, cough, SLO County 2nd District Supervisor Bruce Gibson), I've got a few words for you, too. Journalism wasn't invented to make you look good.
The fourth estate (Yeah buddy, we're rich! Not.) was something our democracy's Founding Fathers were pretty explicit about. We are here to watch you and hold you accountable. So, Brucey-Bruce, my liberal friend who seemed to imply that this liberal rag was somehow being underhanded by daring to ask you about a complaint that the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) decided has enough merit to warrant an investigation, I'm going to be honest with you.
We are totally in cahoots with the SLO Tribune, CalCoastNews, and the annoying thorn in everyone's side, Los Osos resident Julie Tacker. Tacker actually paid us ... one million dollars (cue pinky next to side of lip) ... to write a story about the complaint she filed against you regarding potential conflict-of-interest issues with you voting on vacation rentals in Cayucos and Cambria, both of which you own property in. Because, well, you don't really care about vacation rentals at all—so it's, like, a total non-issue, right?
Wrong. I don't think the dynamic duo of Tacker/Jeff Edwards has more than $1 to spare on bribing anybody. Plus, that money would be pretty dirty and I do like to keep my cardboard box next to the creek clean, because I listed it on Airbnb. And—here's the real reason, dude—vacation rentals are your squeaky wheel. We know you hate them.
I didn't hear you complaining when we wrote a story about 1st District Supervisor John Peschong's being part of the quiet title lawsuit over water rights in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin and his votes on the county's contentious basin water management choices.
"Consider the source," Bruce told New Times, calling Tacker's complaint "lightweight stuff" from "a longtime critic of the Los Osos sewer." Yeah Bruce, um, this isn't our first rodeo. It's super obvious Tacker doesn't like you—like, at all. And we are aware that Tacker and Edwards—being the forever schemers that they are—represent vacation rental owners in Cayucos and Cambria who would like to jump through loopholes in the county's vacation rental ordinance. And we actually even know that people like Tacker, Edwards, and Kevin "don't forget that P." Rice file FPPC complaints on the regular against elected officials with whom they have an axe to grind.
But, you know that ol' saying: Throw enough shit against the wall and eventually something stinks.
The voters do deserve to know about some of the shit that's being thrown against your wall and what you have to say about it. That's like, totally, our job man. And, if you're a jerk about it, I get to shred you, which is my absolute fave!
Speaking of being jerky, how passive-aggressive is this little email subject line from the clearly irritated 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill: "Good News Gone Unreported!" He's referring to the 50 Now program, to which the county just added another 10 spots for housing the most vulnerable in our homeless population.
"If you have a few minutes, please watch my passionate, if rambling remarks," he wrote. If rambling? Definitely rambling.
Well, sir, we sincerely apologize for not getting this "good news" out quick enough for you, but it is on page 9. We call it "60 Now" because we are super clever like that. Spending an extra $106,000 on such an effective program is commendable, but calling it "good news" misses the big picture. SLO County Homeless Services Coordinator Laurel Weir asked for so much more and didn't get it. The SLO County Board of Supervisors opted to do a lot less than it could have to address homelessness.
We are instead planning to spend $3 million on jail reforms.
Shouldn't we be addressing those issues before things get bad enough to land someone in jail?
Speaking of issues, does District Attorney Dan Dow have the thinnest skin in SLO County? He seems to feel it's appropriate to take his thoughts about our county's daily newspaper and its reporters to the Twittersphere. Dow's definitely got an axe to grind against The Tribune, and he's unprofessionally made it know via social media several times now.
In April, Mr. P. Rice filed an FPPC complaint alleging campaign finance violations against Dow's challenger Judge Mike Cummins in the DA's race. Who officially changes their first name to "Judge" anyway? That's enough to run against; no FPPC complaints needed. The Trib apparently didn't run the story Dow was hoping they would run.
"Did you research Mr. Rice's allegations?" he condescendingly tweeted.
Oh yeah, maybe a seasoned reporter wouldn't have thought of that. Thanks for the hot tip, Danny boy. I didn't know you were a journalist in your past life. Did you miss the part of the story that reported what the 54 allegations were? It was right there in black and white.
You're an elected official serving this county, subject to scrutiny and news stories you don't like, agree with, or want to read. Get over it, Danny boy. There's going to be plenty more if you get re-elected. Δ
The Shredder likes to pick on elected officials who act like babies. Send comments to.