Why does Carbajal call Lompoc the armpit?

September 13, 2016
Salud Carbajal

Salud Carbajal

OPINION by ANDY CALDWELL

Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara County supervisor and candidate for Congress, likes to rib people, but sometimes his ribbing rubs people the wrong way. Such was the case when Mr. Carbajal walked into a meeting of local elected representatives and asked a staff person about her recent move to Lompoc.

He asked her how she liked living in the armpit of the county. Of course, describing a community as an armpit is the ultimate insult, meaning that place is a most miserable or undesirable area. The comment was wrong on so many levels, I don’t quite know where to begin, considering the fact that I was raised in Lompoc.

Like countless other people, the staff member had moved because she could no longer afford to live in the South County. She joins tens of thousands of others now forced to commute long distances due to the jobs/housing imbalance and the related high cost of housing. To say that Mr. Carbajal’s comments were elitist, rude and insensitive would be an understatement.

One thing I want to say about armpits is that it is one of the best places to accurately take one’s temperature. In other words, taking the temperature of a community like Lompoc serves to inform us of our overall health as a society; accordingly, the community should be of concern to our elected officials, rather than an object of disdain and disrespect.

Lompoc is the third-largest city in our county and one of the largest in this congressional district. If Mr. Carbajal truly considers Lompoc a miserable and undesirable place to live, it begs the question: What is he willing to do to improve the quality of life for the residents of the city? Moreover, what does he think of Santa Maria and Guadalupe, two other impoverished North County communities? For that matter, what does he think of the poorer neighborhoods in Santa Barbara or SLO County?

Whereas, Mr. Carbajal has long had the privilege of rubbing elbows with constituents in Montecito, one of the most affluent communities in the nation, the fact is most residents in the 24th Congressional District can’t relate. They live from paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis. Mr. Carbajal therefore should reconsider asking residents of Lompoc, and other impoverished areas of the 24th Congressional District, for their vote. He obviously lacks empathy for the communities that need his help the most. Their plight is no laughing matter.

What Mr. Carbajal fails to understand is that a lot of people, including myself, held no hope whatsoever to become upwardly mobile apart from blue-collar manufacturing jobs. The main reason the North County suffers in relative poverty compared to the South County? It lost these very types of jobs that historically lift people out of poverty.

I witnessed the closure of Grefco, Sunoco, Arrow Automotive, Union Sugar, Santa Maria Chili and numerous other companies due to the black hole of environmental review that exists in our county. Mr. Carbajal subsequently made things worse by imposing a greenhouse gas standard 10 times stricter than any other in California, serving to threaten the highest-paying blue-collar jobs remaining in the county.

In conclusion, I am disappointed, but I can’t say I was surprised by Mr. Carbajal’s remark. For his entire political career, he has catered to a pampered constituency of armchair activists who have had their way with him at the expense of the working class. I know. I worked at one of the plants that closed. The policies supported by Mr. Carbajal cost these communities their best-paying jobs, and now he has the audacity to mock their misery?

Andy Caldwell is the executive director of COLAB and host of The Andy Caldwell Radio Show, weekdays from 3-5 p.m. on News-Press Radio AM 1290.

Under the title “For the love of armpits,” the Santa Barbara News-Press first published Andy Caldwell’s opinion.


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ODX

This is just basic political math–


Democratic view of world: Lompoc=Republican=military=armpit=Deplorables

Republican view of world: Carbajal=democratic=Clinton clone=elitist=bad for the country=don’t vote for ‘em


No need to get nasty.


Snoid

Hey there Salud, thanks for your service in our military. No go back to your McDonalds job.


Sulla

Don’t mess with Lompoc! 50 years ago I saw a documentary which included a clip of then US Senator Thomas H. Kuchel (R-Calif) mispronouncing the name of that fair city. He complained about a letter from a constituent from “Lompock”, instead of “Lompoke”. In the next election he was defeated in the Republican Primary, and was never heard from again.


Remember, an armpit is only noxious because of sweat. And sweat is a by-product of hard work. And the people who work hard are the backbone of our country and our County.


Rich in MB

Look, everyone knows that Mr. Carbajal is an establishment Candidate that holds the same view as Clinton that the small town non-Ivy League and wealthy and connected class are better than the “basket of undesirables”. The Santa Barbara and SLO elite love him…the real people that make the Country work and pay the taxes know he’s just another elitist that holds them, their values, and communities in contempt.


panflash

Just for the record, Hillary Clinton said “basket of deplorables.”


tomsquawk

i cant think of nice things


Slosum

Obviously this man doesn’t give a rat’s ass about his potential constituents whom he purports to champion. He’s a Montecito darling.


RonHolt

This is much ado about nothing. We don’t have context here. Was it an attempt at a joke with someone he knew in what he thought might have been a private setting? If so, it just shows a moment of bad judgment. Carbajal should know that a public figure is always going to be quoted and such quotes can be distorted if it is convenient to his opponents agenda.


There are legitimate reasons to oppose Carbajal’s candidacy. Stick to them and ignore this petty stuff. (It doesn’t reflect well on you, Mr. Caldwell.)


SLOBIRD

If the words came out of his mouth in any conversation then he owns them, period!


lakerhater

Because he is an elitist liberal democrat…..


CharlesInCharge

It seems to me that people on this site are appalled by negative statements about impoverished communities when it is politically expedient. Some of the worst statements trashing communities such as Lompoc or Santa Maria come from the very people who will give my post a thumbs down. My gift to you is a metaphorical mirror…one that make you think about your own statements and attitudes toward struggling communities. Can you reconcile your own behavior while lambasting someone who doesn’t share the convenient advantage of anonymity, like you? Or is it just easier to ignore that part, since what is reflecting back is hypocritical and ugly?


tomsquawk

Santa Maria…Lompac? God…..what does California want?


CharlesInCharge

I don’t get where you are going with this.


catdude

I don’t have an opinion on Lompoc one way or the other, but, gosh, Andy, if Lompoc is so nice, why is it cheaper to live there? Pretty much universal in real estate, cheaper=less desirable. In conclusion, I am not surprised at Mr Caldwell’s remarks, as he has catered to the constituency of business and the wealthy (COLAB) at the expense of the working class.


r0y

Yeah, even if one has no desire to live in Lompton, one does not have to insult the good people of Lompuke. All areas have “armpits” or S-holes, as it were, having that pointed out is nothing new. Hearing it from a candidate who purportedly represents the “under-served” (or whatever crap word democrats come up with to pretend they give a shit) is a yet another new low by the party of “the people.”


Too bad the democrat party sucks so much, I hate having to vote for republicans.


tomsquawk

yes and what about Winchester CA? The demos just want to scrape off and redevlop. maybe vineyards?


Ben Daho

1st it was a joke okay come on stop the whining and 2nd if you’ve ever been to lompoc you know it’s not just the armpit of the county it’s the armpit of California.


kayaknut

Given what’s been coming out of Sacramento for the last several years/decades they get my vote for armpit of California.


Black_Copter_Pilot

You must be kidding or you’ve never been to Stockton or Compton


tomsquawk

1 for Compton 2 for WATS and never go to Stockton. I grew up in L.A. born and raised. so was my DAD