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Hello to all my loyal Shreddidians! I’m just beaming with pride and patriotism after the Memorial Day weekend. Even my vomit is coming up red, white, and blue. Ooh, wait, that may be combining my patriotic cake and a jug of apple schnapps. Excuse me for a moment.

Hoogaaaash! I just lost a patriotic gutful of apple pie and hamburgers. Maybe I overdid it this weekend, or perhaps I’ve “kaught” something. After all, Assembly candidate Katcho Achadjian’s campaign is “katching.”

Here comes that pie again.

In one of Katcho’s TV ads running ad nauseum (get it?) between episodes of The Hills and reruns of Jersey Shore (I don’t actually know which stations air his ads) he claims to have balanced 11 budgets and created an $81 million reserve.

Justifying such a claim takes clever marketing. To be accurate, you could call this boast a big steaming “krock.” Granted, as a SLO County supervisor, Katcho has in fact balanced 11 budgets, which holds as much awe factor as saying he went to work most of the time. Katcho didn’t really balance these budgets any more than the other four supervisors did. Sure, he sat there and made suggestions on what to cut, what to squeeze, and occasionally what to add. At the end of the day, he and the other goobers on the dais simply signed off on the budget presented to them by the financial nerds in the administrative office.

And that’s not the least of it. Katcho and his cohorts must produce a balanced budget by state law. County and city governments can’t pull all the same financial magic tricks as the state; they have to come out with a budget that takes in as much as it spends. Proclaiming to have balanced these budgets is no more Earth shattering than touting his record of not eating babies or strangling puppies.

As for that $81 million reserve, may we have some of that please? Seeing as the county has dug itself into a $17 million rut this year, that $81 million could really come in handy. Maybe he means the contingency fund every Board of Supervisors builds into the budget every year, usually around 4 or 5 percent of the whole package. He may have just added up those contingencies and whim, wham, whoozle, you get an $81 million reserve no one has seen or ever will see.

In fairness, I don’t pay much attention to these ads because I expect the claims to be mostly bologna. Matt Kokkonen for instance, is drilling himself into voters’ heads as the local Tea Party leader and the only person on the Assembly ticket who isn’t a career politician. Not that he hasn’t tried. Kokkonen jumps on every open political slot like a horny Labrador. Congress, Assembly, Treasurer—this guy’s running out of races to lose. This year he’s hoping to capture that Tea Party fire and redirect it as a strictly California movement to propel him into office.

    Which leaves Etta Waterfield to try to out-conservative her opponents. If ever there was a way to skew yourself firmly right of center, Waterfield seems to have nailed it. Most recently our favorite Sarah Palin wannabe lassooed the endorsement of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio—he’s that guy they based all the Bond villains on.

“We are letting in hundreds of thousands of dangerous criminals who only prey upon our citizens,” Arpaio wrote in his endorsement of Waterfield.

In case you believe most immigrants coming to this country are seeking a better life and—though meager—wages to put food on the table, you’re dead wrong. According to Arpaio—and now Waterfield by association—these immigrants want your wallets and to feast on your vital fluids.

For the sake of fairness, I really want to blast Fred Strong, but like most people around here, I don’t know anything about him other than he thinks offshore oil drilling is necessary to keep oil from seeping onto our beaches. If that argument makes sense, then BP must be the greatest environmental savior we’ve ever had. But who cares? Hell, rather than holding a party on election night, Strong’s staying at home and turning in early. Apparently even he doesn’t think he’ll win.

In his bid to replace Congresswoman Lois Capps, Tom Watson—I don’t know who he is, either—staged the ultimate party crash.

Watson and a few of his supporters recently stormed a Santa Barbara County Tea Party rally. At precisely the right moment, when the crowd was at its rowdiest, Watson’s supporters thrust their Watson for Congress signs in the air and tried to take over the event. From what I hear, Watson’s campaign crew then took video from the event and carefully edited to make it appear as though all that Tea Party fervor was inspired by Watson and his creepy grin—seriously, the photo on his website will steal your soul if you look directly into his oddly far-apart eyes.

And in that Morro Bay race you’re probably not paying attention to, The Bay News reporter Neil Farrell is casting aside his pen and notepad for a cushy mayoral seat. It seems Farrell has gotten fed up with being a fly on the wall for 18 years and now wants to buzz into the soup that is the Morro Bay City Council. It’s not a big deal for a reporter to cross lines and run for office. But how does Farrell do this and continue to “report” on the City Council? Might as well take that journalistic objectivity, blow your nose with it, fold it nicely, and pass it off to your readers as a clean napkin. Could I borrow that, Neil? I still have some apple-pie schmutz on my chin.


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