Opinion » Shredder

Not that special

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Praise the powers that be! The election’s finally over and I can get back to my life. I guess you can get back to yours, too. Hold on, mail’s here. Graaaaw! Stick me in the left eye with a plastic spoon! Another sample ballot for another election? It’s not fair, I tells ya.

Try as we might to forget, everyone must hit the polls again on June 22 to refill Abel Maldonado’s wistfully empty Senate seat. If outgoing Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee wins, the Reps will ensure a stronghold against a Dem super majority. If former assemblyman John Laird wins, the Dems will be one vote shy of the two-thirds majority that’s stymied every budget for the past three years. And if third-party candidates independent Jim Fitzgerald or Libertarian Mark Hinkle win, it will be the end of days and we won’t have to worry about the politics anymore.

By the latest estimate, this bamboozle of an election—which is special in the same way some Olympics are special—is going to cost the county (all of us) $500,000, and every other county in the district an equally obscene amount that won’t be paid back until the state feels like it. And in that last election—you know, the one you just voted in—about 70,000 SLO County registered voters turned out. That’s roughly 45 percent. And that ballot had all sorts of other sexy offices going for it, like county sheriff and assembly and a fairly enticing supervisor race.

So if it, in fact, costs half a million dollars, that’s $7.14 spent per voter—if all the same voters turn out. That’s about the equivalent of a decent lunch. If, say, only 28 percent turns out like they did in the May 2009 special election, it’ll be more like $11.60 per voter, which is about two semi-satisfying lunches or a truckload of Hot Pockets. Interestingly, eating that many Hot Pockets leaves one with the same queasy feeling as thinking about this election.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is banking that few voters will turn out. I don’t care if you’re left or right or center or floating somewhere in orbit around the third moon of Jupiter along with the rest of the Tea Partiers, but please, go out and vote in droves just to stick it to Arnie and the rest of the scumlord-toadlicker-satanic-monkey-douches who futzed with this election to swing things their way. If not, you may as well take that $11.60 and flush it down the toilet, or spend it on Hot Pockets and spend a week of misery on the toilet. (Shut up! My logic is flawless.)

Here’s the kicker. Although this is technically a special primary, it’s not a primary in the sense that the election will go to a runoff (that’s Aug. 17 for this one) if no single candidate gets 50 percent plus one. Nope, if no one takes that majority then it’s going to a runoff between all four candidates, which isn’t really a runoff. It’s a do-over. They’ll just have the same election all over again with the same four guys. Now, you’re probably sitting there sipping your banana daiquiri wondering, “What happens then?” Well, anonymous flamboyant cocktail drinker in my head, the winner in that race will be whoever gets the most votes. With four candidates running, it’s possible that someone will pull away from this thing with 25 percent plus one vote and win the seat. Yay! That means only 75 percent minus one vote will be pissed at the outcome.

Earlier this month, Los Osos’s (that’s hard to say) favorite whak-a-doo, Tom Murphy, was arrested in Lake Havasu. No, he wasn’t flashing camera crews from a party boat. It seems Mr. Murphy, inventor of The Reclamator, which recycles wastewater into drinking water for your home (eeewww), was arrested for impersonating a public servant. According to the police report, he marched into the city attorney’s office claiming to be a “private attorney general,” flashed a fake badge, and said he was conducting a criminal investigation against the city and the state of Arizona for blocking a device that purifies sewage that he and the Citizens for Clean Water (which doesn’t have a license, the report says) were trying to bring to the city.

“My authority actually is higher than U.S. Attorney General,” he’s quoted as saying in the report. Isn’t that a Judge Dredd line?

Murphy’s pulled this kind of stuff before, like in late 2008 when he sent out an official-looking letter to people in Los Osos, telling them that they had to purchase a Reclamator or they’d be fined. Damn, this guy is tenacious.

He sued the State Water Board because they wouldn’t sign off on his invention, but he lost. That’s when he started sending out phoney documents and now, apparently, has taken to another town where he’s upped the ante and actually has the gumption to waltz into a city attorney’s office with a fake badge and title. Problem is, he sucks at it and got arrested.

On a totally different track, in this week’s cover story, Bill Wilson said the intersection of Prado and Broad would be just 20 feet from the smallest field of Damon-Garcia Park where its smallest athletes play and, “The kids huffing and puffing out on the field would be sucking down car fumes.”

Really? That’s your argument to stop the extension of Prado Road? You might have more luck hammering on the growth issue. I dunno, it may just be me, but I always thought the best way to light a fire under the 40,000-something asses in San Luis Obispo was to scare people with nightmarish predictions of L.A. sprawl and endless stretches of strip malls.

“Boo! Growth!”

Agh! You’ve got my vote.

Please tell me I’m special … and pretty. Reach the shredder at shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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