Opinion » Shredder

The people's business

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Thanks to a secret Republican spy I have in my employ, I was able to get the memo and survey sent to rank and file party members by Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who among other things wrote, "We need to unite now to counter this liberal onslaught. That's why I am reaching out to you to ask you to take part in this survey and to make a commitment to support President Trump and Republicans."

She sent a list of bullet points about Trump's agenda. Please allow me to translate a couple of them.

• "Reverse President Obama's unconstitutional executive orders." And replace them with President Trump's executive orders, which totally aren't unconstitutional even though they're no different than Obama's.

• "Cut job-killing regulations to get the economy growing." Screw the environment and worker safety concerns so rich people can get richer.

• "Encourage domestic exploration and production of energy sources." Frack the living hell out of everywhere, ignore the environmental degradation of the fossil fuel industry, and continue to refuse to subsidize renewable clean energy technologies while giving tax breaks to polluters like Chevron and Shell.

McDaniel goes on about draining the swamp yada yada yada before asking for money. Mmm, I love the smell of desperation! You know what she forgot to put in her bullet points? Anything against liberal-leaning protesters' ability to shut down public meetings, which San Luis Obispo County's very own Tea Party guy and Coalition of Labor, Agriculture, and Business (COLAB) representative Mike Brown believes is eroding our democracy.

"The ability of any group to disrupt an elected public body thereby preventing its legal operation is ultimately a threat to democracy by imposing force, even if it is under the guise of a peaceful demonstration," Brown ranted in a letter he sent to COLAB members.

Yeah, that whole free speech thing sure is ruining our ability to make poor public policy decisions and lob insults at fellow elected officials. It's much better to rant in private to the people who align themselves with you. That really brings the electorate together behind an issue, encourages productive public dialogue, and breeds good public policy decisions.

Mikey Mike's just pissed at that rogue band of SLO County Progressives for taking his spotlight—the public comment period during SLO County Board of Supervisors' meeting, where he makes speeches about how the left is ruining government, the democratic process, and society as a whole.

He's worried that the very public display of discontent at the March 20 supes' meeting will happen again. That those snowflakes will again shut down a Board of Supervisors meeting with silence, signs that say "Justice for Andrew," and a half-naked man on a stretcher symbolizing inmate Andrew Holland—who died in jail custody last year after spending almost two full days strapped to a restraint chair.

Think about how much the county tried to hide about what actually happened in the SLO County Jail during and after Holland's death. Isn't that what the public should be discussing? We can't make good public policy decisions without knowing the full story about the topic we are discussing. In this case, the county was the entity that prevented the public from conducting its business. Not the Progressives.

Although they're certainly attempting to galvanize support behind it—and so is your side. And now Holland's death is a political pawn. Yay! Truth be damned.

"Does this group get special treatment since they represent the SLO Progressive Left Coalition?" he asked in the recent COLAB newsletter, conveniently forgetting for a moment that the SLO Conservative Right Coalition is very much in control of the county's public policy decisions. Shouldn't preventing future horrible jail deaths be an everybody issue?

"Various organs of the progressive left ... have attacked [SLO County Sheriff Ian] Parkinson and accused him of either being personally responsible for the death or responsible for the management system which allowed it to occur," he ranted further.

So, Mayor Heidi Harmon, who's first on your organ list, she's like the heart of the movement, right? And the San Luis Obispo Tribune, which is second, is, like, the brain. The Trib did release the video footage of the Holland death that the county refused to make public—which was brought to you by community journalism, not some grand leftist conspiracy to replace the democratic system with communism, you right-wing nut jobs.

But the liver—that's one of the most important "organs of the progressive left." It's the one that's sick of digesting the toxic divisive language you sow with your newsletters. That's sick of people dying at the hands of the justice system. The diseased liver is galvanizing people to protest for a better system, because the one that COLAB is protecting is doing a shitty job of conducting the people's business.

It's hiding the broken cogs within Parkinson's department. Personnel issues are protected from the public's prying eyes, the county is refusing to release an audit of the jail, and the only word we have to depend on is the sheriff's. He's already lied. He blames SLO County Behavioral Health for the incident but also says he's at fault. I need evidence, not an elected official on the defensive.

The county Board of Supervisors needs to show us: Who is the public supposed to hold accountable, and what needs to change? Δ

The Shredder thinks everything should be a public document. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.


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