SLO County dirty politics déjà vu
January 17, 2012
By KAREN VELIE
San Luis Obispo County has had its share of dirty politics including slate mailers used in a 2010 sheriff campaign and the impersonating of opponents by a 1998 assemblyman’s campaign committee, both of which led to Fair Political Practice Commission investigations.
Aside from focusing on the issues, this years District 3 supervisor race already includes allegations of an imposter phone call to a resident and letters to the editor of the local daily taking aim at a candidate from authors who may not be who they say they are.
A few weeks ago, a District 3 resident sent a letter to the editor of the San Luis Obispo Tribune. The day it ran, the resident received a voice message from a caller illicitly claiming to be District 3 supervisor candidate Ed Waage.
“Hi, (name redacted by request) I read your letter in the Tribune, are you a communist, or a socialist, or both or maybe a Marxist, this is Ed Waage. Just wanted to let you know what I thought,” the message says.
The opinion writer is a friend of Waage and knew it was not his voice on the recording.
SLO County politics have a history of dirty tricks that include stolen yard sign campaigns and untraceable authors of letters to the editor of the local paper spreading one-sided rumors. During the past few months, the true identities of the authors of several letters to the editor posted in the Tribune and one in the New Times that bash Waage appear unascertainable.
For example, a letter was posted in the New Times on Nov. 22 which said it was from Jan Woern of Arroyo Grande. The letter slammed Waage saying that the public needed to be protected from Waage and his views.
Another letter allegedly from the same person appeared in the Tribune on Dec. 12. This time the writer of the letter claimed to be a resident of Pismo Beach while demeaning Waage saying that he “will launch another campaign of deception.” However, searches of several data bases and phone logs by CalCoastNews and a local private detective show no one by that name appears to be living in the area.
That same day, another letter was posted in the Tribune bashing Waage, this time from Troy Johnson, also allegedly a Pismo Beach resident.
Efforts by CalCoastNews’ staff and a private investigator attempting to locate anyone in Pismo Beach named “Troy Johnson,” also bore no fruit.
District 3 includes a large portion of San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, and Grover Beach. Adam Hill, a former Cal Poly English instructor, defeated incumbent Jerry Lenthall in 2008 to claim the seat.