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Partisan shuffle 

Shouldn't we stop pretending like elected city officials are nonpartisan? It's clearly not the case. Let's take San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon, for instance.

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She excoriated SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow for the charges he filed against Black protesters involved in a July protest that shut down Highway 101. As I read through her campaign contribution email blast, I nodded my little liberal-leaning head along with the things she was saying.

Yes, arresting protesters is a form of oppressing opposition.

Yes, it was used as a form of voter suppression and it still is.

Yes, Dow is sending a message to the people with the charges.

Yes, the timing is extremely suspect with the upcoming election. It's clearly a political statement.

Wait. What? These poor men are being charged as part of a "political war by proxy" because of their association with you?

Apparently, Harmon is convinced that the filings are all about her campaign for mayor, since one of the young men being charged appeared in "a highly watched video" endorsing her—Amman Asfaw, who was also appointed to the city's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force.

"We published his name ... just one day before Mr. Dow elected to include Mr. Asfaw in his round-up," she wrote. "Arresting people who are campaigning for your political opponents is a well-recognized form of voter suppression."

Coincidence? Most likely. Did he actually get arrested? No.

"Let's stop using young people as pawns in your political games," she said.

Hmm. Well, perhaps politicians on both sides should take that advice. Hint, hint, Harmon.

Meanwhile Dow also needed to take his stand, make his statements, and feign political innocence in the name of the greater good! God. I'm so sick of this shit. Oops, did I take the Lord's name in vain? Is Dow going to charge me with a misdemeanor?

No, no. He would never do that. He would never use his office to do something with regard to race, religion, sex, or political viewpoint. Except that he did and he has. Dow's religion is an omnipresent cloud over his office. He's stated publicly, privately, and who knows where else that he won't enforce California's public health orders against singing and large gatherings when it comes to church. Gosh, it sure sounds like he's choosing what laws to enforce or not enforce based on religion.

"The mayoral candidate's dangerous and divisive rhetoric seeks to stir more unrest rather than promote peace and healing in our community," he stated in response to Harmon's attack.

Dangerous and divisive, huh? Let's take a look back at the recent Dow political rhetoric machine, shall we. We really don't have to go very far, just back to Oct. 13. There he stood, shiny-faced against a colorful backdrop—a sign touting the organization whose event he was speaking at: New California, a group that wants to split the state of California in two. A rural California and an urban one, because that totally makes sense. A squiggly border, meandering all over the state, carving out separate sections for conservatives and liberals because the liberals are tyrannical and socialist! No rhetoric to see here.

Those optics looks pretty terrible for promoting peace and healing community. But it gets better. He spoke at the event alongside the infamous Candace Owens, a Black woman who supports President Donald Trump (I can't believe I still have to call him that), law enforcement, and the idea that racism doesn't exist. Not divisive at all.

So, it totally makes sense that SLO City Council candidate Abrianna Torres showed up to that event as well, being a likeminded woman in politics and all. But her supporters continue to advocate that Torres is a nonpartisan running for a nonpartisan position, just like her running mate and mayoral candidate Cherisse Sweeney. Can we just drop the act already?

It's getting ridiculous.

You two have Republican partisan written all over you just like Harmon has the word "progressive" tattooed across her forehead. You can't see it, but we all know it's there!

Feigned nonpartisanship is so stupid. It's an election and this year is all about politics. 2020: the year of rhetoric without reason and anger without a leg to stand on. Everyone's mad and nobody can think clearly.

Well, at least one partisan is thinking clearly: 1st District Supervisor John Peschong. There's money to be made in politics, so why shouldn't the guy who runs a political consulting company weigh in on where to set the county's campaign finance limits? Do I even need to ask that question? Clearly, I do.

Peschong nudged the SLO County Board of Supervisors toward a decision to potentially set the county's limit five times higher than the state's, which is $4,700 per person. Let's put it at $25,000, he said. And you know what else? Let's put the district attorney in charge of enforcing that limit—not the state entity that's been responsible for campaign violations for years, the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Yeah, there's definitely nothing partisan about the DA's Office. I'm sure Dow would enforce the law against his fellow Republicans, especially the person whose campaign consulting company, Meridian Pacific Inc., helped him get elected in 2014. Hint, hint: That would be Peschong. Δ

The Shredder is sick of this partisan world. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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