Opinion » Shredder

Trickle down paranoia

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If you'd like an example of fake news, look no further than Liar-in-Chief Donald J. Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud. According to the Trumpster Fire, dead people are voting, undocumented people ("illegals" in Trump's words) are voting, and some people are voting multiple times—they just "go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again," Trump actually said ... sigh. What kind of a rube believes this poppycock? The kind that thinks we should "rake the forest" like they do in Finland?

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Study after study and investigation after investigation proves beyond a doubt that voter fraud is astonishingly rare, and the few documented cases of it have not changed the outcome of an election. The bigger problem is disenfranchising people who have the right to vote, which is actually happening in 14 right-leaning states. That's real news.

Yet, is it any wonder that Trump's undermining of our voting system is infecting people's belief in it? Some are now claiming local voter fraud or some kind of conspiracy after SLO County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong admitted he made an error when he recommended appointing incumbent board member Christine Womack to a vacant seat on the Los Osos Community Services District. The problem was that Gong misclassified the position as a two-year appointment when it was supposed to be a four-year elected position.

Gong made the error public, took "full, personal responsibility" for it, and apologized. This is exactly how you handle this! It's a mistake, not a conspiracy! Transparency, people! He's trying to correct the error—and although I don't understand how he made that mistake, this is proof that Gong is a human being and not a robot. And seriously, if there's going to be voter fraud, is a seat on the Los Osos CSD really the target for it?

On Tuesday, the SLO County Board of Supervisors did indeed rescind Womack's appointment to the seat, and now the Los Osos CSD board will have to either call for a special election in November of 2019 or simply appoint someone to serve until 2020.

Sure, this isn't ideal, mostly for Los Osos voters/taxpayers and the other four CSD candidates who battled it out for two seats in the election when it should have been five candidates fighting for three seats. It also sucks for Womack, whose future is now up in the air.

But take off your tinfoil hat, conspiracy nuts, and look at the real problem! There's poison trickling down from the presidency, undermining everything from journalism to voting to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It should have been clear in the 2016 election that Trump was a reckless hypocrite when he said, "the election is rigged, unless I win." The Russians didn't cast fraudulent votes, but they did confuse people into voting for a bloated gasbag who pretends at patriotism but is in fact a U.S. traitor. Get a move on, Robert Mueller! Let's get this party started!

You know where you can't party? Pismo Beach! For the third time, they extended their ban on new tattoo and massage parlors, smoke shops, payday loan joints, and other businesses they think make Pismo look low-rent trashy. Dudes, you're harshing my mellow! What if I feel like taking out a high-interest loan to score a new bong, get super high, enjoy a massage, and wrap up my bitchin' day with a sweet new tramp stamp? You're interfering with my life choices!

Plus, the thing that makes Pismo cool is its seaside trashiness! Ever since Avila Beach got gentrified, Pismo is where it's at! Stay trashy, don't become classy, Pismo!

Maybe it doesn't matter anyway. It's not like I could find a parking space in Pismo, which like SLO Town and Paso Robles is trying to figure out where to park consumers' Escalades, Navigators, Armadas, Sequoias, Hummer H2s, and other vehicles bigger than my apartment. In Pismo, for instance, the City Council decided to end its off-street parking waiver program. New development projects had been allowed to pay a fee rather than meet their off-street parking requirements.

"I work downtown on Price Street, and there is no parking," Pismo Beach Councilmember Marcia Guthrie said. "I have a real problem with offering this [waiver program] and jamming up our downtown even further."

Now developers in Pismo have to revise their plans to offer 100 percent of the required off-street parking if they want to proceed. I bet that's throwing a wrench in a few developers' gears. Meanwhile, Pismo is trying to figure out where and how to construct a multi-level parking structure, which after my massage and tattoo I will totally ride my skateboard down! Bitchin'!

SLO's got a plan for a new structure on Palm and Nipomo streets opening in 2023, though maybe we won't need it when SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon's magic plan to make more people ride their bikes kicks in. It could happen!

Just close your eyes, take a deep breath, align your chakras, drive around the block one more time, don't think about the rigged election, check the back of New Times for masseuse ads, rethink that tramp stamp ... Hey, is that guy leaving?! Race over and get that parking spot! Δ

The Shredder votes early and often. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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