Supervisor candidates clash over hobo bash

September 5, 2014


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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What does that have to do with Compton’s insulting and bigoted hobo-themed fundraiser?

fishing village

WHY does running for office have to be so awful?

But, think about what you are doing….dressing as ‘hobos’ is something little children do for Halloween isn’t it?

Just go a support your candidate, and drop the ‘theme’, it is childish and not a good image for anyone to be using.

It seems only right…..


Notice how Caren Ray is having else do the dirty work on this one, she wants to keep her hands clean on this in case it backfires like to the BB gun shot in her window, when she claimed she was attacked.

What a loser but then, what would we expect, she is using the folk campaign management firm as Adam Hill!


Sounds like its time to make a big $$$$ donation to the Compton campaign. Shame on Caren Ray. Just goes to show that sleeping with dogs does give you fleas!


If you support bigotry, support Lynn Compton.


I don’t know if Caren Ray was involved in making this claim or not. But I do know that often times supporters of a political candidate can make stupid, short-sighted comments on their own. This is more likely to happen in local elections where the candidates usually have less control over their supporters. I guess we will find out if Ray agrees by seeing whether she distances herself from the comment or just ignores it.

I remember the 2000 GOP presidential primaries when Bush supporters pulled a nasty, last-minute trick to gain the support of the racists in South Carolina. It turned the tide against McCain who was leading Bush at that point. Bush’s campaign director, Karl Rove, did eventually disassociate the campaign from the action but not until after the damage was done leading many (including me) to suspect that he approved of it even if he didn’t arrange it.


Is there anyone left who still thinks Caren Ray (and this Kathie Matsuyama person) are not just really, really not the right people to be running things? I have no idea about who or what Lynn Compton is or stands for, but judging by the ridiculousness of the Ray campaign, I’d have to say Compton should win by default.

Caren Ray seems petty and ignorant enough to run for SLO office! We love electing those kinds of people here (with the exception of Mr. Carpenter).


Compton’s fundraiser screams a let-them-eat-cake elitest attitude.

It is, at the very least, insulting to those who are homeless…at its worse, it is hateful, divisive, and bigoted.

If this is what Compton feels is acceptable, then she has no place in a government position where her bigoted attitude can cause great harm to those who can least afford it.


Ms. Malone, I suggest you google the definition of Hobo. Yes, they were transient folks, riding trains (thus the Train Depot connection) city to city LOOKING FOR WORK! I do not consider them homeless individuals. You are way off on this one.

And, look who is calling the kettle black? Ms. Ray’s extra-curricular activates are not so wholesome to me. I guess the only person she is insulting is herself.


I suggest you look up definitions of “hobo.” They include the term “homeless in the descriptions.”

You appear to be attempting to rewrite history by deifying the term “hobo.” They were usually a transient population who differed in the way they dealt with the problems that contributed to being homeless.

Many were on the road because of economic bad times, but some had preexisting problems, such as mental illness and/or drug or alcohol problems, which often made them unable to find and keep employment….or housing.

Many did not use railroads for transportation, but would buy an inexpensive vehicle and then charge other homeless people to travel to work locations.

So the reality of hobos is similar to that of homeless populations.

About Caren Ray…I am not voting for her because I recoil from her lack of ethics. However, who I am voting for is beside the point.

The point is Lynn Compton’s repeated demonstration of poor judgment, her clueless elitist mindset, and her inability to take responsibility for her self-created problems make her a very poor choice for County Supervisor.


The fact that Caren Ray even associates with anyone as crazy as Adam Hill speaks volumes about her character, or lack thereof. That man is nuts!


But that has nothing to do with Lynn Compton’s elitist mindset which led her to use a disadvantaged group of people to laugh at as the theme of her political fundraiser.

Dirk Anderson

This is bull crap. I see no intent to demean or condescend in this.

I’m more offended that this apparently is being turned into some sort of nothing political issue. Much ado about nothing give me a break.

None of these hypocrites represent me. Don’t get me wet with your tears.

I do wonder about those who feel a need to “crown” themselves at someone else’s expense, especially when it is not justified as those who tend to do this are inferior themselves. When it comes in my direction, I send it back.


Blaming the messenger is a logical fallacy.

The blame for Compton’s latest fail lies on Compton. She is the one running for county supervisor, so she is the one responsible for the fallout from her mean-spirited fundraiser theme.

Really, I would not vote for either Ray or Compton. However, just by her insensitive bigotry in okaying the theme of her fundraiser, the idea of Compton being elected to a government seat is frightening.

Not only has she shown a degree of eliteism which makes her feel it is quite all right to denigrate those who are homeless, she makes it worse by attempting to white-wash her latest PR disaster by redefining “hobo.”

Her elitist bigotry and her inability to aaccept responsibility for her own mistakes makes her a dangerous candidate for county supervisor.


Are you saying because she owns a successful business, had the most votes in the last election, is successful in fighting the bang gang at the Court House, and would make a great Supervisor that she is elitist. Where is the bigotry? Did you complain when the Oceano Elks had their Hobo Dinner? Or is the truth just against Lynn Compton?


My sentiments exactly, SLOBIRD. The Oceano Depot holds an annual Hobo

Bash as do many clubs, depots, railroad museums, and groups across the

country. Ms. Compton needs to thank Ray and Adam Hill for just assuring that Lynn Compton will be elected 4th District Supervisor in November.


Oh, great. You are now stooping to the “everybody-else-does-it” argument. How old are you? Twelve?

This topic has to do with Compton’s fundraiser. It is not what the Elk’s club has, or has not done in the past.

If you want to discuss the Elk’s club’s functions, you might want to write an opinion piece and submit it to CCN for publication.

In regard to your other statements, I have not mentioned Compton’s business.

I have already made my argument regarding Compton’s inexplicably poor judgment in having a fundraiser that uses a disadvantaged class of people to laugh at.


You are the one who seems to have redefined “hobo” as the same as homeless. Maybe that is what many young people think these days but those of us who are older don’t and we aren’t going to accept your view that this is “insensitive bigotry” just because you lack an older perspective.


Maybe you’re the one lacking a 2014 perspective. The romance that used to be connected with “riding the rails” is now connected with the sadness of Homelessness. It’s nice that you and Compton are still holding on to the romantic era, but maybe it’s time to enter our current time period, especially for someone who intends to be our Supervisor. Older perspectives are nice if you are stuck there.


Riding the rails equates to homelessness…really???

If a 2014 perspective means blowing things totally out of proportion, have at it, but don’t expect those with good common sense to fall for it.


I agree, except there never was much romance in riding the rails. That was a fantasy created by the elitists of that time to justify the large class of people who found themselves homeless and unemployed thanks to hacker’scorruption that led to the depression.

Kevin Rice

Mary! You’re blithering like an idiot now. No romance riding the rails?!!?? Are you kidding me???? I am *CERTAIN* you never have ridden a freight train because there is hardly anything more Americana, free-spirit, adventurous and beautiful than watching the world–deep city and desolate nature–go by from your own personal Pullman to the rhythm of steel wheels, rocking, and bumping.


My, my, my Mary Malone…you have gone off the rails on this one.


MaryMalone, your post makes no sense (were you trying to be funny?). It’s an empty bunch of trigger words: Fallout, mean-spirited, insensitive, bigotry, frightening, elitism, denigrate, homeless, white-wash, disaster, inability, mistakes, dangerous…..blah, blah blah. You are WAY off the mark in trying to twist a simple fundraiser into something negative in order to vent your anti-Compton position.

As the world turns

Caren Ray is an idiot.


Anyone ever hear of Woody Guthrie? We would not have his great folk lore music and such songs as THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND, BOUND FOR GLORY, RIDING IN MY CAR if it was not for him riding the rails. There was a time in this great Country when people could do things like ride the rails and they weren’t condemned or belittled. These men made their own camps, looked out for each other, worked for their meals or a few bucks and sang their songs and asked for nothing of society.

Get over it Caren Ray, go find the person who you said attacked you at your home (probably was Adam Hill making a joke again) and I am sure you are jealous you didn’t think of this idea.

Just sent my check to Compton’s campaign!


I really take exception to your evocation of Woody Guthrie in your attempt to help Compton get out of her own self-created campaign disaster.

Guthrie was homeless/a hobo, as we’re many people during the depression.

I highly doubt Guthrie would have embraced the likes of Lynn Compton turning the plight of the homeless into a cartoon theme for a political fundraiser for an elitist candidate and her elitist supporters.

So if you want to pimp an American icon to support Compton, you might want to try Ronald Reagan who, while California governor, kicked thousands and thousands of mentally ill psychiatric hospital inpatients out in the streets, trusting that these severely psychiatrically-impaired people will magically be able to participate in an outpatient setting.

Reagan’s ignorance and elitist lack of regard for those who cannot care for themselves led to an explosion in California’s homeless population…a result that experts predicted would happen.


Homeless is not the same as hobo. Hobos were self sufficient and they weren’t looking for homes, food or clothing. They worked when they needed money to travel on to a new place or to buy food. They were men traveling by themselves, and weren’t known to steal or commit violent acts.


The first thing that pops up on Google when you type in “hobo definition” is: “a homeless person; a tramp or vagrant.

synonyms: tramp, vagrant, vagabond, derelict; informal bum, down-and-out; drifter, transient, itinerant. a migrant worker.”

I am aware that there are various definitions…others highly romantic. However I would not say that the ones above would fill that bill except maybe migrant worker and I’m sure there are many migrant workers today who will tell you their lives are not full of mystery and excitement and worthy of a “party theme.”


Oh, Prunella! Talk about fantasyland.


Not to mention Pete Seeger or Jimmy Rodgers!


And let’s not forget Boxcar Willie.


The California state Railroad Museum in Sacramento has a display on hobo life. Hobo’s are

celebrated every year in the state of Ohio at the annual hobo convention. There are songs,

artists, and countless ways the hobo culture is brought to life in this country. What about

Boxcar Willie? Hobos traveled the country looking for work, they had their own lingo, made

symbols to leave for people who came after them letting them know what to expect in the

town. I think people like the sense of wonderlust and simpler times. Haven’t you ever

thought about hopping a freight and just going until it stops? I do not see an issue at all with

a hobo party, especially in a train depot. Nobody is making fun of homeless or ignoring

their plight, I am appalled that the Caren Ray camp is stooping to this.


OMG. Do you really think that an annual festival to rise money, targeting families, would have negative content?


How about Ray’s treasurer Kathie Matsuyama one upping the Compton campaign by hosting an extravagant fundraiser and inviting actual homeless hobos. That will show tremendous compassion to the hobo community.


Ray had nothing to do with Compton’s insulting cartoon hobo-themed fundraiser. This is Compton’s blunder.

Compton needs to take responsibility for her own mistakes.

If you think inviting homeless people to a campaign fundraiser is a good idea, lean on Compton to do it.

Really, you cannot expect others to clean up Compton’s disastrous decisions.


You miss the I will spell it out – Politicians would never invite bums to a fundraiser because all politicians care about is money, and the hobos have none.


Yes, so don’t expect pretty girl Compton to be bringing in the Homeless to mingle with her upper crust friends. That would make for a very short party and very little $$$ raised.


I think Caren Ray is pretty, but that matters less to me than the fact that she’s not the kind of person I’d want teaching my children, or representing my family as our supervisor.

Do you suppose Caren and Adam are hanging out with the homeless in the country club?


Agag – short for Agriculture? You wouldn’t be from North County where Compton had her campaign kick-off party would you? We know where her support really lies. The North County wealthy wine makers just want to buy our South County vote away from us so they can have their way with water. Compton has made it pretty clear that she doesn’t think South County has a water problem…pretty much like Teixeira. He would never commit to our water problems down here. That’s what Compton said, if you loved Teixiera you’ll love me.


Oh justducky if you only knew just how wrong you are! Wrong, wron, wrong!

But I’m not surprised you jump to far fetched conclusions and charge on, all the while assuming you’re correct. Shame on you!

So much anger from one who wants to give the appearance of being so much more compassionate and understanding than those you disagree with speaks volumes.

Though I didn’t know Paul well, I do know this–he was a man who gave a lot of time to his community, we could use a lot more people like him.


I’m sure the Compton campaign will appreciate the donation I’m sending on your behalf.


I understand the irony and am aware that most politicians would rather stick needles in their eyes than invite homeless people to a political fundraiser.

My comment was a response to achillesheal, who was trying to shift blame for Compton’s clueless blunder to the Ray campaign, challenging them to invite homeless people to a Ray campaign fundraiser.

Clearly, Ray and her campaign have nothing to do with Compton’s decision to use a disadvantaged group of people to laugh at for her fundraiser.

Compton needs to put on her big-girl under-drawers and take responsibility for her own blunder.