Supervisor candidates clash over hobo bash
September 5, 2014
By JOSH FRIEDMAN
A planned fundraiser for San Luis Obispo County supervisor candidate Lynn Compton involving “hobo stew” has become the center of the latest controversy in the nasty campaign for the fourth district seat.
The Compton campaign is planning an Oct. 5 fundraiser at the Oceano train depot in which attendees are invited to come dressed in hobo attire and eat soup dubbed hobo stew. The fundraiser has prompted allegations from incumbent Caren Ray’s campaign that Compton is showing contempt for homeless individuals.
“Are you appalled, offended and outraged by this disgusting lack of compassion for a segment of our county’s population which Lynn Compton is supposedly campaigning to represent,” Ray’s treasurer Kathie Matsuyama wrote in an email to supporters.
Supervisor Adam Hill also chimed in, encouraging others to forward Matsuyama’s email and to post about the issue on social media pages.
But, Compton’s campaign says that Ray’s supporters have drummed up a controversy by twisting the definition of hobo.
A hobo is not a homeless person, the Compton campaign says. Rather it is a traditional American lifestyle that values travel over stationary living and involves work, just usually in short stints. They also noted that this same type of hobo event has been done for years by the Oceano Elks.
“This is no way of disparaging homeless people,” Compton supporter Linda Austin said in an email. “Hobos are part of American lore.”
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