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Smeared!

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Have you seen the mailer attacking 24th District congressional candidate Helene Schneider pictured side by side with presidential candidate Bernie Sanders? It’s super cute! Their little mugs are encircled in green peas inside a pea pod, and in between them is a pink heart because they looooove each other so much. “Two peas in a pod. Too liberal for us,” reads the text underneath, with anti-gun and anti-money graphics underneath because, you know, they want to take your guns and redistribute your wealth like pinko commie fags!

The ad was paid for by American Action Network (AAN), which according to Wikipedia—because I’m too lazy to do real research—is a “nonprofit anti-liberal, pro-Wall Street advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., which promotes far-right public policy.” One of the things I love about Wikipedia is that anarchists can go on and edit its pages. Under “Activities,” the page claims “the organization’s purpose is to ‘create, encourage, and promote oligarchical policies,’” but when you follow the footnote, it brings you to AAN’s actual page, which of course doesn’t mention “oligarchy” at all. Ha-ha! You got wiki-punked, AAN!

The point is, this Washington-based right-wing/libertarian organization is spending money to sway our elections, and they’ve decided that putting Schneider and Sanders in bed together will sink Schneider’s campaign, or they’ve decided that pumping up Schneider’s liberal bona fides by linking her to Sanders will split the vote, making it harder for the Democratic Party’s anointed candidate, Salud Carbajal, to beat his conservative challengers. Yes, these mind games and reverse psychology are a thing in election advertising.

I guess AAN doesn’t realize how popular Bernie Sanders is in California, where he’s locked in a very tight race with Democratic primary challenger Hillary Clinton. When Sanders appeared in Santa Maria on May 28, more than 7,000 people showed up to listen to his progressive message. People stood in long lines for a long time, and had their re-useable water bottles taken away because—I don’t know why—they let you take in single-use disposable bottles. You could also buy a disposable bottle of water for two bucks, which thousands of people did, liberally discarding them and littering the Santa Maria High School stadium with them due to a lack of recycling receptacles, which doesn’t seem very liberal at all, but I digress. The point is, AAN may think they’re hurting Schneider by labeling her “too liberal,” but they ain’t from ’round these-here parts, so they don’t know shit from Shinola™. 

Schneider—who sends me more emails than those penis enlargement companies and I don’t even have a penis—has been endorsed by everyone from the National Women’s Political Caucus and the National Organization for Women to the International Union of Operating Engineers and Inlandboatmen’s Union, not to mention Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and California State Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson. Instead of attacking her, you’d think AAN would spend its money explaining why conservative candidates Katcho Achadjian or Justin Fareed would be better for the 24th District, but nope, they’d rather smear than promote. Is it any wonder so many people have tuned out of the political process? 

SLO County District 5 supervisor candidate Eric Michielssen—the sole candidate challenging incumbent Debbie Arnold—is getting his own taste of dirty trickery. His neighbors John Philbrick and Diane Allen recently filed a lawsuit against him for allegedly blocking an easement Philbrick uses for his farming operation and for trespassing because Michielssen’s stepson allegedly climbed a hill on Philbrick and Allen’s property to “watch a sunset.” A sunset! Why I ought to … . Interesting timing, this lawsuit coming just days before the election, eh? 

“The whole thing is full of crap. It’s politically motivated, plain and simple,” Michielssen told a New Times reporter. “They just let it sit there until the very end of the campaign and then they bring it up. That’s the smelly part of it all.”

Oh, did I forget to mention that Philbrick and his attorney, Sophie Treder, are Debbie Arnold supporters? My bad! Sometimes things get neglected, like getting the correct date on local mail-in election ballots.

Um, yeah. New County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong cited a miscommunication between his office and the printer of the ballots for why they read, “Your ballot must be received by the Elections Department or any polling place in San Luis Obispo County by 8 p.m. Election Day. MAIL EARLY. POSTMARKS DO NOT COUNT.” Except postmarks do count!

State law requires vote-by-mail ballots to be counted if they’re postmarked on Election Day (June 7 in case you’ve been sleeping) and received by election officials within three days. Who misses Julie Rodewald? I know I do!

Don’t worry, friends. The primary will soon be over and the field will narrow, probably to the lesser of two evils. Then we can decide who will run the most powerful country in the world: a bullying, bloviating fascist with a sixth grade vocabulary or a status quo political insider with more baggage than Paris Hilton

“O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command.” Hey, it’s good to practice just in case.  

The Shredder looooves politics so much. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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