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A parade of asshats 

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When your job is making fun of fools, here on the Central Coast it's like shooting fish in a barrel. Let's start with über-conservative Andy Caldwell, who wants to be a politician even though he's made a career of lambasting politicians.

On Aug. 12, good ol' Andy announced he wants the 24th U.S. Congressional District seat currently occupied by Salud Carbajal, a seat that Democrats have held since the district was redrawn in 2013.

"I already have higher name ID than Salud Carbajal in this district," he told our reporters.

Are you asking yourself, "Who's Andy Caldwell?" Because I sure am.

It's probably because I'm not one of a handful of right-wing, tin-foil-behatted listeners who can't figure out how to change their radio frequency to FM. Andy is a "radio personality" on AM 1440 in Santa Maria, which also broadcasts syndicated shows with Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity. For years, he's written conservative editorials in Santa Maria newspapers, and he likes to put his 50 cents in at government meetings.

Andy's also the founder of COLAB, the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture, and Business, which is really a cover for conservative business folks who don't like taxes, government regulations, or labor protections. The group has 1,000 members in Santa Barbara County, and SLO County has its own version with Mike Brown at its head—and yeah, he's the dude who drones on during public comment at SLO County Board of Supervisors meetings.

I guess it runs in the COLAB blood. Lucky us. Thanks, Andy!

When our reporters asked Carbajal spokesman Ben Romo if his boss was ready to face a challenger, Romo said, "Salud is always ready to run a strong campaign, will always be ready to run a strong campaign. But right now he's eight months into his first term, and he's focused on his work in Congress."

Um, hey new guy, he's in his second term, and instead of bragging how he's perpetually ready to run a campaign, how about lauding Salud's leadership and legislating? His re-election will take care of itself if he effectively represents his constituents.

Speaking of dunderheaded moves, when I'm right, I'm right. Poor old Skeeter Mangan, who found SLO Police Chief Deanna Cantrell's Glock semi-auto handgun in an El Pollo Loco restroom where she accidentally left it, is facing felony charges for finding and taking the gun.

SLOPD is urging SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow to file felony charges against Skeeter for grand theft of a firearm, possessing a loaded firearm in a public place, and burglary. Skeeter's brother-in-law, Sean Greenwood explained in a statement to KSBY-TV that Skeeter has mental disabilities.

"He is an extremely shy and quiet man, and for him, verbalizing is difficult. Because Skeeter, for the most part, is nonverbal, speaking with friends and family, holding a job, and expressing his thoughts is an everyday struggle. He doesn't have a cellphone or computer, nor does he have social media."

So Skeeter's facing felony charges, and Cantrell had her pay docked $1,600 and was ordered to undergo extra firearm safety training. Seems fair, right? Ha! This has been a clusterfuck from the get-go.

Remember Cheyne Orndoff, who was misidentified as Skeeter? Cheyne's house was searched without a warrant due to a probation database snafu, and Child Protective Services took his children. Orndoff and his wife, Vanessa Bedroni, were arrested on felony child endangerment charges. All because of a wrong identification brought the po-po to their door.

So the chief loses her gun, puts the public at risk, and three other saps end up with felony charges! Please don't lose anything else, Deanna!

I know SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon, who urged leniency for Cantrell's mistake, has her back—and possibly shouldn't. But 4th District Supervisor Lynn Compton definitely doesn't have Harmon's back, if you can trust CalCoastNews' reporting!

I always have to verify CalCoast's blog posts, because you just never know which stories bend the truth and which contain actual facts! The blog's recent post about the probation terms in the Orndoff case isn't exactly accurate, but Compton did indeed call Harmon out on Facebook.

Throw enough shit at the wall and eventually something's true! That's Karen Velie's extremely non-journalistic catchphrase.

Compton scolded Harmon over her plan to ban natural gas appliances from new buildings in SLO Town.

"I do not see how this mayor stays in office," Compton wrote. "Her ideas are beyond the fringe...on everything....banning statues of people in the parks (only "ideas" for statues), trying to kick Amazon out of SLO....and....the big red fake roses in her hair everyday single day (what is up with that!!!!)??? She is a joke! So ridiculous...and the City Council is just as bad. I hope people wake up."

Calling Harmon out for her signature red rose seems like a particularly petty thing to do for someone who obviously fusses over her own appearance. You realize Harmon's signature look is lifted from Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, right? Are you taking a play from the Lefty Handbook and scolding Harmon for cultural appropriation? No? You're just giving in to your catty ideological Facebook urges?

Consider yourself a fish in a barrel. Δ

The Shredder loves a daisy chain of disaster. Send ideas and comments to [email protected].

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