Tom Fulks: the merchant of fear

May 25, 2016
T. Keith Gurnee

T. Keith Gurnee


Is anybody out there as tired as I am of the venomous rants of Tom Fulks? In his latest nastygram published in the San Luis Obispo Tribune attacking Supervisor Debbie Arnold, Fulks begs the question; “What’s the matter with Shangri-La?” The answer: just look in the mirror, Tom!

While Fulks’ columns constantly decry the rhetoric of hate, he is in fact hate’s primary local purveyor.

Why the Tribune continues to nurture his bilious bloviating is beyond me. His drivel targeting those who refuse to heed his overblown bombastics and conspiracy theories as the would- be, self-appointed tastemaker of local politics is little more than verbal flatulence. Quite simply, Fulks has become his own cartoon.

So what does he have against Supervisor Debbie Arnold? As someone who belongs to one of the oldest ranching families in the county, does Arnold care about protecting agriculture and the character of our scenic rural lands? Absolutely. Is she an advocate for property rights? You bet. Does she want to protect taxpayers from more unnecessary taxes? Yes. Does she have the courage to do what is right rather than doing whatever is popular? Does she want to limit the incessant intrusion of government into our everyday lives? Of course.

So for all of these “sins”, Fulks has chosen to characterize Arnold as the second coming of Armageddon. His latest impersonation of a panicking Chicken Little crying “the sky is falling!” Has a hollow, self-interested ring to it.

After all, it is well-known that he is a paid political consultant for the Bruce Gibson’s of this world who oppose what Debbie Arnold stands for. As evidence of this fact, one need only look at the list of financial contributors to Arnold’s opponent to see that Tom Fulks and Bruce Gibson are among them.

In his bimonthly column published in the Tribune, Fulks constantly fulminates about the relative risk of hate when he is in fact it’s primary instigator. Rather than blame the arsonist who burned down two homes in Nipomo that were slated to become farmworker housing, he blames the neighbors. Rather than offering any constructive ideas on how to deal with that issue, he only fans the flames. Instead of constructively contributing to “the happiest place in North America”, he does his best to tear it down. Rather than questioning the state’s revenue grab of funds away from local transportation projects, he happily endorses raising local taxes to pay for the state’s mismanagement of those funds.

But back to Debbie Arnold, a supervisor who cares deeply for this county. While some might not agree with everything she does, she has the courage of her convictions, the willingness to do what is right rather than only what is popular, and the commitment to protect our county’s agricultural heritage. That she does not cave in to the lunatic fringe fueled by false flame throwing is to her great credit.

Tom Fulks is nothing less than our local merchant of fear and the purveyor of hate. Constantly resorting to fear mongering, overblown emotionalism, and self-serving outbursts make him a propagandist, not a journalist.

Give your tantrums a rest Tom. We are sick and tired of them– and you.

T. Keith Gurnee is a retired urban designer and a former member of the San Luis Obispo City Council.




T. writes:

After all, it is well-known that he is a paid political consultant for the Bruce Gibson’s of this world…

Well-known? Right-friggin-on!

I guess my blog is more popular than I thought.



Yes, that’s where I got some of my information about Fulks!


Fulks lambasting a candidate is the same as guaranteeing a victory for said candidate. Just like the Fibune endorsements…you DON’T want it if you are a candidate for office. Wasn’t it Fulks who advised Covello to go dirty against Dow and the pendulum swung even more in Dow’s favor after that? Oh, and the Tribulation’s endorsement of Covello certainly helped Dow. Has anybody other than Ass Hill ever been helped by Fulks?


Tom Fulks is considered to be sort of a local buffoon, isn’t he? I can’t recall ever reading more than one or two of his articles. Then again reading the Tribune is a waste of time and money for those seeking the truth…


Sam, yes Fulks is a clown, not a funny one, but a clown never the less. Fulks is the clown we see in the movies, like Chuckie. Fortunately Chuckie is gone once the movie is done, but Fulks just keeps going, going, going. Much like the energizer bunny, making noise with a set of cymbals. Fulks is the sort of fella that wasn’t liked much in school. The very reason, he hasn’t had proper employment for a very long time. There is a old saying, ” you can tell a persons character by the people he associates with”. Hmmmm, let’s think about that, Gibson, Bianchi, Hill, Torres, Grossman, Ochs and other nefarious characters who you wouldn’t bring to the families Christmas celebration. I’ve invited him over for while now, just to discuss “stuff”. But he doesn’t seem to want to “discuss” things Mano a Mano. Thank you Ken for pointing out his “short” comings.


I forgot something important. FIRE ADAM HILL…


I guess maybe I should start reading the Tribune occasionally (I couldn’t stomach reading the editorials regularly) — not because it is of value but because it apparently still influences a fair number of people and that matters in politics. Otherwise, why would anyone even worry enough about Fulks’ fuminations to bother responding to them?

(Is he the one behind the radio ads that accuse Carpenter of doing all the things AHill is guilty of doing while maintaining that AHill is the opposite?)


No doubt Fulks is advising him to do that…but really, Ass Hill is capable of being an idiot all by himself and really doesn’t need Fulks’s help.

Black Copter Pilot

Fulks…..he must own a lot of TT stock, that would be the only explanation


He is as worthless as the stock is becoming.


Who’se property rights?

Two words: Rock Quarry


Fulks is but the latest in a series of humor columnists at the TT… following in the tiny little footsteps of Tarica and Cuddy. The only people who take them seriously… are Fulks, Tarica and Cuddy. Oh… and Adam Hill.

Jorge Estrada

If during my scan I read Tom Fulks, I invoke error correction and move to the next subject.


The T-T is a yellow rag that is useful for kitty litter.


It’s very functional as charcoal igniter in the grill chimney. Once burned it doesn’t leave the bad taste that boy scout juice does


In addition to being a good fire starter, the T-T is also good for cleaning windows.