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Wouldn't you know it? Politicians have come up with yet another way to raise money this year. You can gift it to them for their birthdays!

Just like grandma used to do.

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San Luis Obispo District Attorney Dan Dow—who will stay comfortably seated in his pastor's throne until he's up for election again in 2022—turned 50 on Sept. 4. His self-titled No. 1 Fan, wife Wendy Dow, took the opportunity for a little shameless promotion!

"Dan is 50 today! This is Wendy, will you wish Dan a Happy Birthday and support his re-election by making a quick safe and secure donation today?" she posted on his Facebook page with a link to his fundraising site. "On Dan Dow's 50th birthday say I stand with DA Dan Dow."

I definitely do not stand with Dan Dow. They won't even let me in a church! Can you believe it? Don't worry, I found another way to tell SLO County's favorite God-fearing DA happy birthday! It came in the form of an Instagram post from Black Lives Matter Community Action, @blmcaslo.

"Happy Birthday Dan Dow" the post read. "For your 50th birthday we would like to gift you 50 new voters ... that will vote you out of office."

That post came with a link for people to register to vote.

Now that's a gift, amirite? Brilliant!

Imagine if every protester out on the street and the people behind every angry social media post, like, or scroll registered to vote and actually voted in local elections. Remember 2018, when 4th District Supervisor Lynn Compton squeaked by her opponent by less than 100 votes? Your vote does matter. And anyone who tells you different is an idiot—100 percent. Don't be an idiot by not doing something about the idiots you continue to bitch and protest about. Do something about it. Vote.

However, just hang on to that anger because Dow and his law enforcement partner SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson still have two more years!

Don't forget to vote in 2022!

So. Full confession. It's not just Republicans who are shameless in their fundraising efforts. Everyone's favorite love-her-or-hate-her progressive SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon jumped on that bandwagon.

I got an email telling me her 51st birthday was on the way and I just had to sign the card!

"This is your last chance to sign Mayor Heidi's card before we send it to her—add your name now as part of our special celebration!" the email read.

Well, I had to sign the card so I clicked, and landed on a new page.

"Thanks for signing! We find that cards are always best with a few dollars tucked inside. This year, can you commit at least $3 to help make sure we keep Mayor Heidi in the mayor's office?"

Why yes, birthday cards are always best with a few dollars tucked inside—if you're a kid. But turning 51 and turning 15 are two different things. Not age-shaming, just saying.

I kind of feel like New Times missed out this year. I mean if everyone is doing it, then I'm going to be shameless too! New Times turned 34 this year! Yay! Happy birthday to journalism.

Want to keep this little beacon of journalism going so we can cover it all using good ol' "both-siderism" and actual reporting? Want to keep this cantankerous soul of a must hate-read column going? Why yes, yes you can donate. I thought you'd never ask. To give New Times some post-birthday love, head on over to the "Support local journalism" donation page. You can find it at the bottom of every article on

There, I did it. Shameless bandwagon birthday fundraising pitch. Check.

You know who else is shameless? It would appear that adjective is rather fitting for outgoing SLO Police Chief Deanna Cantrell, who tried to keep her El Pollo Loco bathroom gun incident a secret from other law enforcement agencies for as long as possible. I'm not sure exactly where it would be written in the SLO Police Department training manual, but it seems like when a not-legal-for-civilian-use, fully loaded Glock 42 is floating around somewhere in the ether, putting out a BOLO (be on the lookout) about it would be pretty high on the to-do list.

Turns out, it was very low on SLOPD's priority list on July 19, 2019, as was doing things by the book—and some SLO County Sheriff's Office deputies were not surprised at all. Deputies responded to assist the SLOPD's warrantless search of Vanessa Bedroni and Cheyne Orndoff's home, which is outside of city limits. The couple was later charged with felony child endangerment.

Bedroni's attorney filed a motion with the court to suppress SLOPD evidence found in that search. A court brief included conversations between sheriff's staffers that took place that day.

"I've dealt with the SLOPD enough to know that whatever they're telling me, only a fraction of it is going to be correct," a watch commander said.

"They have a really bad habit of not vetting stuff all the way through," a deputy chief responded.

If that isn't an indictment of the chief who sets department tone, then I don't know what is. Cantrell is leaving a mess in her wake and shouldn't let the door hit her ass on the way out. Δ

The Shredder bids Fairfield good luck. Send comments to


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