Adam Hill apologizes to COLAB

June 22, 2011

Adam Hill

District 3 San luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill  issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“I want to apologize to the COLAB members who took offense to my recent, admittedly strident generalizations about racism.

“I feel strongly about the subject, I denounce it in all cases, and I’m not sorry about calling it out when I see it. However, I don’t believe broad-brush strokes are helpful in making the case. I can and will do better, because it’s an important subject that needs to be talked about openly and honestly.

“Over the past few years, I have received emails that appeal to the basest forms of bigotry and racism in regards to President Obama. I wish these were an aberration, and that the disturbing and demeaning imagery about the President’s race – and the related rhetoric about his origin of birth – were not part of a larger trend. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

“To me, criticizing the President and his policies is one thing; but attacking our country’s first President of African heritage by suggesting he is not a native born American, or by resorting to very familiar racist imagery, should not be tolerated by any American. These attempts at humor or forms of political disagreement are dehumanizing, and damaging to our nation.

“It may be of interest to know that two weeks ago, a member of the California Republican Party leadership, Ken Barnes, who is black, wrote a very thoughtful viewpoint published in the Sacramento Bee. In it, Mr. Barnes announced his departure from the GOP because he could no longer tolerate the racial stereotyping of the President that had become all too common.

‘In his viewpoint, Mr. Barnes wrote, “As with any large organization or group, there will always be people at the fringes who hold views that are not representative of the body.”

“I wish I had been so eloquent and tactful in my own comments, both in an email to state Senator Sam Blakeslee and in a follow-up conversation with the press as it related to COLAB.”




From the Tribune Website, originally posted by “Jazzman”:

As was explained on the Dave Congalton show this week, Mike Brown and Andy Caldwell of COLAB may not be racists, but they create racist controversies to divide communities and demonize political targets for their own selfish, money-making purposes as PAID LOBBYISTS for shady special interests and secretive backers.

COLAB San Luis Obispo County is a fraud and a sham in my opinion. It is basically two people spreading anti-government propaganda, fostering fear, and then begging for money to “protect citizens” while they laugh all the way the bank. Look at COLAB history in Santa Barbara to see the foundation for all the above.

A while back, in Santa Maria, COLAB bought and paid for large newspaper ads that purposely antagonized the Latino community, pitting races against other races, with banner headlines in their ad that read “IGNORANT MEXICAN ACTIVISTS” as Mr. Caldwell sought to discredit a grassroots Latino political organization that endorsed a local candidate that Mr. Caldwell campaigned against. COLAB’s M.O. in SLO County is to do exactly what they did when they started shaking down gullible rich conservatives in Santa Barbara County. They come town, identify a high profile “liberal” County Supervisor, proceed to attack them with all kinds of misleading propaganda, accuse them of being too socialistic or too much of an environmentalist, and then they create a recall campaign, while raking in political donations to help push the recall. And it doesn’t matter if the recall works or not. They get their money anyway.

COLABs bread and butter is in creating controversy and dividing communities and getting various factions to hate each other so much they are willing to pay big bucks to lobbyists like Caldwell and Brown to wage these lame, destructive and sad political wars that they profit mightily from.

Andy Caldwell and Mike Brown are giving a bad name to anyone who is or has been a member of “COLAB”. And, naturally, its all about money and trying to destroy the careers of politicians who see through their River City hucksterism.


Dave Congalton has the highest rated talk show on the Central Coast. Not much to worry about.

I would think the fact that Supervisor Hill Called Comedian Steve Bridges, Colab and Andy Caldwell racist is enough for Congalton to do a show.

Here is a video of Steve Bridges on the Tonight Show:


I looked at that clip, very funny and not racist. Bridges does some Bush too, hilarious!

Spirit Filled

Saying you’re sorry is easy when you just want to get it over with and move on. The changes you make within is what is important. Actions always outweigh mere words. Take it from a guy that loves to get things over with and move on. I hate being on the hot seat. Or being vulnerable.


COLAB has issued the following response to Adam Hill’s apology:

County Supervisor Adam Hill has accused me of being a racist. He has accused 2,000 Central Coast members of COLAB of being hate-mongers. He accused the nationally renowned presidential impersonator at the Santa Barbara County COLAB dinner this past April (attended by over 800 people) of using black-face and employing a “racist lynching type of humor” as he portrayed President Obama. Hill did all of this in an email to State Senator Sam Blakeslee as he accused the Senator of pandering to hate-mongers. He then copied the press on the email and expounded further in interviews.

These are very serious accusations. Can Hill defend his statements? Don’t you think he should? What proof does he offer of these allegations?

In our legal system, somebody that is accused of something has three fundamental rights in court. They are considered innocent until proven guilty. They have the right to face their accuser. And, they have the right to defend themselves. I am hoping that the good citizens of San Luis Obispo County will demand that Adam Hill give all the people that he defamed, slandered and libeled in this unprovoked attack the same rights in the court of public opinion!

Perhaps the Tribune would like to host such a forum?

I spoke at this past Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. I asked Supervisor Hill to do one of two things. Either defend the accusations or retract them! I don’t believe that is too much to ask of a public official who used his name and office to smear members of the public. Hill either has proof of his accusations or he doesn’t. Can he defend what he said in an open forum? The next day, he offered a very weak apology for what he characterized as a broad generalization on the issue. The rest of his press release was replete with issues and instances of no relevance to the issue at hand or COLAB. His apology was no apology. He did not accept responsibility for the fact that he was completely and totally wrong to associate our organization with racism. He can’t point to a single quote, mannerism, or any content of our entertainers act that could be even slightly construed as having anything to do with racial stereotyping or else he would produce it! The only way to interpret Hills follow up is to say that he didn’t mean to call ALL of our members racists! That is not a retraction.

Our organization has a right and the public should demand to hear proof from Adam Hill as versus innuendo. I want the opportunity to defend myself and the organization I represent. I consider Hill’s goal to have been nothing but an unmerited and unprovoked political attack against Blakeslee, myself and COLAB using the proverbial “race-card”. I don’t believe he has anything to base his opinion on except that which he would distort and take out of context. In that regard, the residents of SLO need to understand this man is not telling the truth about this situation. He is too proud to apologize and accept responsibility for his statements at the expense of our reputation, and that of our good Senator and the entertainer, Steve Bridges.

Bridges is the absolute best presidential impersonator in America. He impersonates Clinton, Bush and Obama in their role and style as Presidents. Race has nothing to do with his impersonation. If he had ever said anything inappropriate, believe me you would have read about it by now.

Further, Hill accused us of being a hostile and secretive organization in his email blast. Hill has thus been trying to make political hay out of the fact that COLAB is a private organization and we don’t reveal who our members are. And for good reason! We have been attacked before, just as Hill is attacking us now! So, just who are the members of COLAB?

COLAB, the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business, is comprised of members of organized labor, farmers and ranchers, and members of the business community, such as doctors, lawyers, industrialists, and other family owned businesses, including those owned by Hispanics, African Americans and Native Americans; none of whom are racist. Our members are from all walks of life. We enjoy the support of democrats, republicans, and libertarians. We are non-partisan. We don’t donate to candidates. We don’t endorse candidates. Our goal is to preserve our quality of life, but unlike the progressives in our community, we firmly believe there is no quality of life without a job! If Hill wants to know who our members are, he could have come to one of our annual meetings attended in the aggregate by over 1,400 members.

Some folks have asked who represents Labor in COLAB as if organized labor couldn’t possibly belong to a group they so desperately want to dismiss as being right-wing. During our twenty year history, we have had on our board of directors representatives from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Auto Workers, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, the Building and Construction Trades Council, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, the County Firefighters Union, and others. Do these organizations represent the right wing, as Hill has charged in his slam of COLAB and Blakeslee? Of course not.

We are of the opinion that Supervisor Hill is attacking us for the simple reason that we are exposing things about SLO County government that he would rather the public not know. Such things as the insurmountable debt burden of county government, the over-reaching of the Planning Dept as it undermines property values in the county, the folly of Smart Growth, among other things. These are the issues that should be the subject of our debate with Hill, not spurious allegations of racism and hatemongering. Hill is trying to deflect attention away from the real issues and our real concerns. We invite you to visit the SLO COLAB website at to learn more.

We would love to have a public forum and debate Hill and any of the other Supervisors on any of these hot topics on a regular basis! We are not afraid to defend our organization, our reputation or our positions in public. Can the same be said of Adam Hill and his colleagues??

Again, please ask yourself, and more importantly, continue to ask Adam Hill, if he has the courage and the proof to defend his outrageous attack on COLAB and by inference, Senator Blakeslee and our entertainer? Charges of racism are a serious matter, if Supervisor Hill called you a racist, wouldn’t you like the opportunity to defend your reputation? That is all we are asking for unless and until he publishes an unequivocal apology and retraction.


“County Supervisor Adam Hill has accused me of being a racist.” Who is the “me” in this letter since here it is not signed?

Kevin Rice

OF COURSE IT’S SIGNED!!! Go find the original instead of commenting on a cut-and-paste job posted for your convenience. Why the ignorant attack? Sheesh!!


So it is too much trouble to have the signature on the bottom of the cut ‘n paste? Sheesh indeed.

Kevin Rice

NO, but don’t blame the author who wasn’t the person that posted!


Andy Caldwell.


Dave, your friend Lani Silver is likely rolling in her grave to see you defend these guys. This is the type of stuff that Lani tried so hard to help people understand and stand up against. I suggest you go back to some of your podcasts when you had her on the show and LISTEN this time.


X-X- Wiseguy: I offered you the chance to come on the radio and take all the time in the world to make your case. As always, you declined and prefer to do your hit and run rhetoric behind your moniker. Fine. But don’t generalize with me like Adam Hill has. The only thing I have said is that the comedian Steve Bridges is not a racist and I see nothing offensive about his comedy routine. You refuse to discuss that issue in particular. I have my own issues with COLAB, but nothing about racism.


User-name-mis-use-fixed; mind the rules about user names please.


Thank you, Dave. It gives me hope that you are finally, at least on this forum, now trying to distance yourself from these two guys. But don’t necessarily bag on ALL of COLAB. There are a few decent people in Santa Barbara county who are “members”, but I doubt they would remain so if they truly understood the root of the problem with ANDY CALDWELL and his motives.

Sorry Dave. But I draw a line in the sand at San Luis Obispo County. I saw what Caldwell got away with in Santa Barbara County, but now that he’s trying to expand his game to SLO County I feel morally driven to at least voice my opinion. I mean no offense to any COLAB members in SLO County, if there are any, but anything having to do with Andy Caldwell influencing politics in the manner he has done in Santa Barbara County, I call an INFECTION that anyone who cares about the health of our community should not help spread.

As a college professor was known to say: “A word to the wise should be sufficient…”

Dave, believe it or not, I don’t like seeing your reputation and your legacy pulled down by defending these guys in the way you have been. Sorry. I just call it the way I see it, my friend.


Oh, by the way “Dave”, I used to use my “real” name on blogs and stridently urged others to do so. That was until people (likely from THIS forum) started abusing that and ILLEGALLY AND FRAUDULENTLY began using my “real” name and “real” identity in various ways that threatened me and my loved ones.

So, yes, I occasionally descend into this sucky, anonymous muck of forums like this, and compete at that level, emboldened perhaps by some vague illusion of “anonymity”, but I try to remember that I can’t ever be anonymous to myself.

But Dave, if you really imagine you know who I am, you can phone me anytime. My name’s in the book.


Another thing, “Dave”, you act like its some sin if choose a forum other than YOURS to discuss or debate a topic.

You seem to ignore the irony in you wanting me to go on YOUR show to debate YOU on a subject YOU are passionate about. I believe in fair debates, but don’t you think being on YOUR show gives YOU at least a SLIGHT advantage?

You’re vastly experienced in commercial radio and have command of the fade-outs and cuts. No doubt about it, you’re good at what you do.

I happen to prefer the written word. It’s much easier to spot and call out B.S.. If we have to have some sort of debating “duel”, you can choose radio as your weapon, I’ll choose writing. And if you choose writing, I’ll still choose writing. Fair enough?


Too much, too soon. You are beginning to sound like a whiner.


You haven’t been paying enough attention, “rOy”. I am not just ‘beginning” to sound like a whiner. I’ve been sounding like one for years. You have a problem with tat, or what? Whiners have just as much right to express their opinions as people like you, or racists or millionaire conservative lobbyists who try to shake down and/or payoff, or intimidate local politicians on the behalf of secretive special interests.


Just a quick comment. ‘Unsigned’ says “In our legal system, somebody that is accused of something has three fundamental rights in court. They are considered innocent until proven guilty. They have the right to face their accuser. And, they have the right to defend themselves. I am hoping that the good citizens of San Luis Obispo County will demand that Adam Hill give all the people that he defamed, slandered and libeled in this unprovoked attack the same rights in the court of public opinion!”

Well, is Adam guilt of defaming and slandering anyone, without a hearing? See how easy it is to jump on a high horse, maybe Adam did, now someone at Colab is doing the same.


So Supervisor Hill calls Comedian Steve Bridges, Colab and Andy Caldwell racist, but you expect there to be no response?

Kevin Rice

Criticizing one black guy for his politics is not racist, it’s equality.

Denigrating race as a whole is fairly easily differentiated and offends almost all of us.

Quit sounding the political klaxons at every pin drop. It’s disingenuous and we all know it. Instead, point out your disagreements RATIONALLY and allow some wiggle room–people are different than you. Maybe they’ll come around, maybe not. Maybe they just see things differently. Every opponent isn’t pure evil. I bet you have friends that you give “room” to at times because you otherwise agree with them politically or like them in some way.

If I were fighting to be “equal” I’d be much more offended by “supporters” that felt I couldn’t stand on my own and/or required special help.

Political criticism has ALWAYS lampooned looks, dress, mannerisms, birthmarks, speech patterns and every other trait. Nothing is sacred. If Obama is to be equal then he is no more exempt than anyone.

Equality can never be attained where there is a thumb on EITHER side of the scale.

Stop destroying equality by putting your thumb on the scale.


“Quit sounding the political klaxons at every pin drop. It’s disingenuous and we all know it.”

Best. Line. Ever.


Adam Hill needs to resign! If we are to ever be equal in our society we have to able to criticize and speak our mind about those that think differently and not worry about being called a racist. How can we have a free an open process if we can’t speak our mind about issues.


Having been to Blakeslee’s office when he was an Assemblyman on a statutory issue I was upset about, I can say that he and his mixed minority staff have a universal heart for all people, and what race you are is not a factor in their minds, they are very respectable officials.


I entered Blakeslee’s office irate, his staff never needed to call the Sheriffs, I left transformed with trust and respect for him and his staff!


What’d I tell you? COLAB/Andy Caldwell comes to town and starts demonizing “liberal” politicians and ten starts planting seeds for a “recall” to intimidate/threaten local politicians who question his self-serving agenda and tactics that appear to try to circumvent the democratic process and the will of the majority.

It’s all about intimidation, illusion and power grabbing when it comes to Andy Caldwell and Mike Brown and this shadow organization they are trying to quickly sign up members to in SLO County.


I apologize to anyone who is not smart enough to just know that I am right…


Adam Hill should apologize for simply being…Adam Hill.


I’m old, and I’m confused.

When I poke fun at Barack, which race am I supposed to be making fun of??


The human race, perhaps? I don’t give a squat what color he is; he is a horrible leader and I thank GOD my vote will cancel at least one who votes for him in 2012.


I do not agree with some of Obama’s policy or what the house has made it into with bad timing and condition, I only admire him for trying to do the best he can, what would any other president do in his shoes?

As for Hill, he has no business critizizing other proactive politicians when he can’t even do his job well.


Thats funny, you right he is half white. No one ever talks about that.


Very few blacks are pure blacks, many hispanics are mixed.

I respect our former mayor Romero, not because of his race.

It is an individual’s “sincere virtue” that makes them a saint and not their race or sur-name or race!


you right he is half white. No one ever talks about that. the reason is there are far more interesting and engaging things to think and talk about. only stupid people would want go on and on about the melanin ratio of the presidents progenitors as if it had purpose or meaning. just sayin


I’ll help you out gramps, other than your own, you don’t make fun of anyone’s race. It’s pretty basic.

Kevin Rice

Tell that to Chris Rock and George Lopez. Lampooning our differences will never stop, whether race, mannerism, or look. Outlawing marijuana would be easier. Nothing is exempt, and if it is then it should be across the board, not just for one class.

It’s a plain cop-out to claim racism or sexism any time that anyone other than a white male is put on the hot seat.


Well we are just different. If I hear racists jokes it turns my stomach, I don’t care who is saying them. Gramps whats to know what race he should make fun of,,people with intelligence and manners don’t make fun of peoples race (except for their own), that’s it, period. I don’t allow my kids to make fun of minorities, to me that’s what bullies do and I prefer not hear it.


Obama and Blakeslee DO NOT need Adam Hill’s help.

Adam Hill needs to walk in they’re footsteps to be sucessful.


to walk in anothers footsteps,you leave no print of your own. [quote ]


Walk a mile in a man’s shoes… you’ll have his shoes and have a mile head-start!