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Mud wrestling! 

It's a great time to be a printer, amirite? They're probably buying yachts and sending their neighbors' kids to college with all the fresh green they're bringing in by filling our mailboxes with glossy, full-color, card stock political mailers. Mmm. Show me the moolah!

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And us? We get the joy of witnessing small-town political battles play out in all their ugly glory! My current favorite battle is between 5th District Supervisor Debbie Arnold and her Democratic challenger Ellen Beraud (and their respective surrogates), who've been going tit for tat on the mailers. The SLO Democratic Party put out its "VALUES MATTER VOTE DEMOCRAT" mailer, which reads, "You're currently represented by Debbie Arnold, an ardent supporter of Donald Trump. Ellen Beraud is running ... to change that."

One the back, there's Ellen standing proud, arms crossed in a no-nonsense way, her slightly pulled-up sleeves silently saying, "Let's get to work! I've got the can-do spirit!" Under some red "thumbs down" icons are a list of Debbie's transgressions: Santa Margarita rock quarry, offshore oil drilling, Carrizo Plain fracking, Trump loving. What a monster!

Never fear, conservatives! Straight outta Sacramento comes a rebuttal mailer from Friends of Veterans in SLO County Primarily Formed to Oppose Ellen Beraud. They sound like kind of a niche group, eh? But here they are to the rescue! They even used the very same photo of Ellen with her arms crossed, but thanks to the magic of Photoshop, the color's been drained to gray and Ellen's now superimposed on a sinister black background. Da da duh! What a monster!

"WHY DID ELLEN BERAUD OPPOSE HONORING OUR VETERANS?" the flyer ominously asks, referencing her lone opposing vote in 2007 for the Atascadero veterans memorial. Yeah, Ellen! WTF?

Um, maybe because she didn't oppose honoring veterans and in fact supported the idea of the memorial but thought the review process was rushed and wanted to gather additional ideas for the project. But hey, F of V in SLOCPF to OEB, don't let the truth get in the way of your smear job!

Ellen, in that feisty, grassroots, liberal way has fought back with postcardstovoters.org, a website encouraging people from all over the country to write "friendly, handwritten reminders ... to targeted voters giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races coast to coast."

First of all, how amazing is it that one of our county supervisor races is "key"? Second, can we all have a moment of silence in honor of all the committed liberals hunched over their kitchen tables across America writing postcards in colored felt pen with phrases such as "Voting is your SUPER POWER," and "Your vote = Your voice," and "History is made by those who show up and vote"?

Damn, you people have a lot of time on your hands! Clap. Clap. Clap.

Meanwhile, in the 3rd District Supervisor race, incumbent Adam Hill is facing off against challenger Stacy Korsgaden, but Adam's really running against his own reputation for being an intemperate blowhard, and more importantly, he's running against the people who hate him to the core.

They don't care if Stacy or a potted plant wins the 3rd District, the Adam-haters—and they are legion!—just want him out, and preferably tarred and feathered or at least roundly humiliated—maybe an atomic wedgie or a purple-nurple! Definitely an Indian burn! They're the folks donating to Stacy's campaign so she can pay for down-and-dirty mailers like the one that asks, "HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUY ADAM HILL?" It depicts a photo of Hill's head superimposed on a well dressed and slender model with a price tag on his sleeve. Looking good, Adam! Nice!

Hey, gotta say that's some pretty good mud-slinging job for a political novice, Stacy! I'd love to know who's advising you! Former Santa Barbara County Administrator Mike Brown? Failed San Luis Obispo mayoral candidate T. Keith Gurnee? Beelzebub, the Prince of Darkness?

The mailer charges that Hill "openly demands bigger donations to get his support" and "threatens to retaliate against donors if they don't contribute to his campaign," both charges leveled by Hill-hating online blog calcoastnews.com, which has made abusing Hill a kind of cottage industry. The blog's opinion section is where Brown and Gurnee like to periodically trot out their anti-Hill screeds.

Hill, to his credit and my utter astonishment, hasn't dived into the mud after Stacy. Weird, right? The bombastic bigmouth usually would have had a meltdown by now. Maybe the therapy is working! The Hill mailers I've seen tout his record and his many endorsers, not to mention his "100% Rated Candidate" Planned Parenthood endorsement.

That's not to say that Hill isn't having his say. On his Facebook page he wrote, "Because Facebook continues to allow vile lies and misinformation in all political elections (yes, that's what my opponent has stooped to ...), we won't be running any ads on this platform and will slowly wind down all presence. The social connections are great but the deliberate division openly promoted and sought after here is bad for our civic culture and terrible for our country."

Sheesh! You're really sounding reasonable, Adam. I kind of miss the old take-no-prisoners you. You always gave me something juicy to write about. Δ

The Shredder wrestles above its weight class. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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