Advocacy or news, what is the San Luis Obispo Tribune?

June 12, 2024


It’s a shame San Luis Obispo County’s oldest news source repeatedly attacks people for having views that differ from its one-sided editorial board, especially during election years.

SLO Tribune Opinion Editor Stephanie Finucane regularly calls Republicans to ask if they voted for Donald Trump or if they support Trump, before degrading them for their answers. In her latest hit piece, Finucane refers to the answers of District Attorney Dan Dow and SLO County Republican Party Chairman Randall Jordan as “both jaw-droppingly audacious and obtuse.”

There are Republicans who both respect and plan to vote for Trump, others who do not respect him but plan to vote for him because our country performed better with him in office, and also those who do not respect or plan to vote for Trump. While we can debate passionately about the issue, demeaning those who have different views than our own sows discord.

During these hectic times, tolerance and community are very important.

And while focused on Trump, the Tribune has not called local Democrats to ask if they voted for former SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill – a drug addict with a cocaine addiction, a serial cheater, a corrupt politician who demanded bribes, and the focus of a multi-year FBI investigation – nor should they. People should not be chastised for voting for Hill or any other candidate.

But looking into those tightly aligned with SLO County’s most notorious politician is a different story. Two of Hill’s closest friends, his longtime drinking buddies Tom Fulks and Tom Jones, were well aware of the allegations of criminality against Hill. Rather than cutting ties or supporting his victims, Fulks and Jones attacked Hill’s critics.

How did the Tribune respond after the FBI raided Hill’s home and office? It provided Fulks, an on-and-off Tribune columnist, an avenue to bully Hill’s critics.

If I was the editor of the Tribune, I would promote the watchdog function of the media. I would focus on covering local issues such as assertions from developers that their projects are moved to the top of the planning department list if they donate to Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg (Hill’s former girlfriend) and pay planner Jamie Jones (Tom Jones’ wife and the owner of Kirk Consulting).

Meanwhile, it can take a non-connected local years to get a permit to build a shed or a pool house. It is unclear why, but definitely worth a close examination.

But I am not the editor of the Tribune, I am a proud member of the Republican Party and a life-long San Luis Obispo County resident. I care about my neighbors, our community and justice for all.


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Erik writes:

“Rather than cutting ties or supporting his victims, Fulks and Jones attacked Hill’s critics.”

Yes, that is exactly what Tom Fulks does, because that’s exactly what he’s paid tens-of-thousands-of-dollars by things like the “Gibson for Supervisor” campaign TO do, and was the exact point of my 2014 (2014!) blog post at this link:

THAT’s Tom’s job: Things like Supervisor Gibson’s campaign pay him tens-of-thousands-of-dollars to hatchet-job anyone that’s critical of his clients. That’s his job.

What I find interesting, and actually even more pathetic, is that the Trib — KNOWING that Supervisor Gibson’s campaign DOES pay Tom tens-of-thousands-of-dollars to hatchet-job anyone that’s critical of his client — STILL gives him an “opinion” column to do his paid hatchet-jobbing. Horrible journalism ethics.

BTW, Dave also giving Tom a free platform to do his “job” by repeatedly having Tom on his show, uh, also kinda cringee.

All news sources seem to have a slant, nowadays.

Seventeen days since the Belsher judgement and The Tribune remains silent. Why? Because the believe Belsher and Petetit just liked they believed Gearhart. How much time to they need to fact check CCN’s wild allegation of the court judgement? The Tribune is a PR firm for to the worst players in and out of government.

The TT has been labeled the Fibune, or “Daily Disappointment,” and all sorts of things. I like reading factual and pithy, emotionless news articles. I haven’t got that from the TT in years. Most of the time, I only get that by reading multiple sources.But, despite the rise in online and mobile sources, the TT has just declined in quality. Really, take any political slant out of it you want- it just isn’t a very good news source, and it hasn’t been for years.

Republicans need to understand that Lots of us want to know whether people voted for Trump or not. that’s how many of us judge a person’s character and wisdom, or the lack of such. And for whatever reason, right or wrong, very few people, conservative or liberal, give a hoot about who voted for Adam Hill. Comparing Adam Hill to Donald Trump is irrelevant to most people. Newspaper readers want to know who supports Trump. And there’s nothing wrong with newspaper reporters and editors catering to that. But Adam Hill is dead and gone, and very few tribune readers care about who was an Adam Hill supporter or not. Most people have moved on from that. But Trump, on the other hand, is considered an ever present danger And enemy of democracy by many people. And that does matter.

It is a political tactic to ask if you voted for Trump promoted by political consultants. While I am not a Republican nor a Democrat, I do care about who is tied to the corruption in our county. I do not care who people voted for on either side. And I did vote for Adam Hill in his first election.


But GreatGuy, most of your post appear to be promoting candidates, currently Jimmy Paulding, who were close with Adam Hill and the wide spread corruption in the county.

I promote what I think is good for the community. Mr. Paulding happens to be one of the finest supervisors to be on the county board in my lifetime. Check out his online newsletter to find out the real facts about Mr. Paulding. The newsletter is excellent and gives readers a much better understanding of the good that Mr. Paulding is doing in our community. It’s very informative on many of the issues that people on this forum care about. by the way, I’ve never known Mr. Paulding to have any type of close relationship with Adam Hill. For some reason, there is a lot of misinformation about Mr. Paulding posted on this forum. That’s a shame. Because some people are actually gonna believe all that BS. If you really care about bettering our community, get the facts. Perhaps try speaking directly with Mr. Paulding and learn the truth. Thank you

The two “sides” are just two sets of pigs fighting to see who gets to control the public trough. What these clown show ideological slobs need to do is get a real, PRODUCTIVE source of gainful employment.