Emails reveal Hill’s battle with COLAB and Blakeslee
June 29, 2011
San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill’s continuing battle with state Senator Sam Blakeslee and the Coalition for Labor, Agriculture and Business (COLAB) came to light Tuesday following the release of emails under a California Public Records Act request by Andy Caldwell and then the Tribune.
Hill initially attacked Blakeslee for scheduling a fundraiser with the executive director of COLAB Andy Caldwell as master of ceremonies. Blakeslee promptly postponed the event, saying it had become overshadowed by Hill’s dispute.
Hill accused Caldwell and COLAB of racism for bringing comedian Steve Bridges to a Santa Barbara County event. Bridges, who impersonates politicians, darkens his skin to play President Barack Obama.
In similar fashion, he uses makeup to appear as former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and others.
One local politician is supporting Hill for criticism of COLAB. Nipomo Community Services District board member Mike Winn emailed Hill after the supervisor attacked Blakeslee.
“I appreciate your standing up against racism in all its forms. This is a problem worldwide, but it has not been eradicated in our country — and certainly not in our county,” Winn wrote.
The released emails revealed Hill made comments vilifying COLAB, Caldwell and the group’s new director of governmental affairs, Mike Brown, the Tribune said. Hill said he was attempting to sway local leaders away from any associations with COLAB.
The emails show a comment made by the senator’s wife, Kara Blakeslee, criticizing a member of COLAB, San Luis Obispo County Parks Commissioner Deanne Gonzales, for using the phrase “the Jap authorities” when referring to officials in Japan allegedly minimizing the nuclear disaster at Fukushima.
In a previously released email to Blakeslee, Hill called some members of COLAB “hostile, secretive and racist”, but later apologized for those remarks.
Following the release of the emails, Hill told the Tribune he was done fighting publicly with COLAB. His goal had been to bump Blakeslee, known as a moderate, “back towards the middle.”