Wednesday, July 29, 2015     Volume: 16, Issue: 20
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Should local rapper Anthony Murillo be charged for marking threats in a song?

Yes, a threat is a threat.
No, the First Amendment protects speech.
Maybe, depends on how serious the threat was.
If he made the threat in person, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

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Citizen's Alert

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Community Notebook 7/23/15 - 7/30/15

MONDAY, JULY 27

• The South County Advisory Council has its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Nipomo Community Services District Headquarters, 148 S. Wilson St., Nipomo. 

• The Solvang City Council has its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1644 Oak Street, Solvang. agendas are available at cityofsolvang.com.

 

TUESDAY, JULY 28

• The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has a special meeting at 9 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 105 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara. Agendas are available at http://santabarbara.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx#current.

• The Guadalupe City Council has its regular meeting at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 918 Obispo St., Guadalupe. 

• The Lompoc Unified School District has its board meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the Education Center Board Room, 1301 N. A St., Lompoc.

Political Watch 7/16/15

• In the race to fill the 24th Congressional District seat in the United States House of Representatives, it’s all about the money as contenders stack their chips and prepare for what will surely become a very expensive—and potentially very nasty—all-out throw-down of an election.

On April 8, Congresswoman Lois Capps announced that she would serve out the remainder of her term and retire. The official story was that Capps, a Democrat, had fulfilled her mission as public servant and at 77, it was time to respectfully pass the torch. The unofficial speculation was that after facing a tight election in 2014, where Capps just barely beat Chris Mitchum, a Republican with a disheveled mix of Tea Party and Regan-era politics, even though she outspent him 10 to 1, the writing was on the wall—it was time retire gracefully. And that she did. Now, five candidates are making their early moves. There are two Republicans—California’s 35th District State Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian, of Arroyo Grande, and Justin Fareed, the 20-something Santa Barbara native, rancher, and businessman—and three democrats, Santa Barbara County 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal; William Ostrander, a San Luis Obispo rancher, developer, and campaign finance reform advocate; and Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider. Campaign finance disclosures that each candidate recently submitted to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) on July 15 offer a glimpse into what was largely the first round of campaign fundraising. The total amounts vary widely. So far, Ostrander has only raised $8,477. At the high end, Carbajal brought in a whopping total of $629,354. Within that spread, Schneider raised $225,305 in total contributions so far; Fareed, $220,404; and Achadjian, $124,054. Carbajal’s brisk fundraising has garnered some attention, which Michael Latner (associate professor of politics at Cal Poly) says is helping him earn the support of what looks to be much of the area’s Democratic rank-and-file. Carbajal got another boost when Capps endorsed him in early June. As for the two Republicans in the race, the money may not yet be as telling. There is a fundamental difference between the candidates—Fareed is young, idealistic, and has no political experience, while Achadjian has been around the block, serving first as San Luis Obispo County supervisor, and then in the State Assembly. Even though Fareed has raised twice as much money as Achadjian, who the Republicans ultimately rally behind is “not even a question,” Latner said.

“[Achadjian] isn’t raising a lot of money, but it will come,” Latner said. As the campaigns continue, the so-called “dark money” will start showing up via the PACs and other nonprofits that donate funds. Since the United States Supreme Court infamous “Citizen’s United” decision, a lot of money will be funneled through third party organizations that have no disclosure requirements. Even though that funding can’t be used by a specific campaign, the money is targeted in a way that shows support for or opposition against a certain candidate. So while the two front-runners may eventually be spending millions, much more may enter the fray.

“That’s where you’re going to see a lot of money going in this election,” Latner said.