Social media misinformation campaign prompts online bullying

Jimmy Paulding

Update: Jimmy Paulding responded shortly before the article was published to say that he had heard from CR Lara from Latino Outreach who wanted to reschedule the forum because of Supervisor Compton’s campaign. Paulding later posted on Facebook that the Latino Outreach Council is covering for Compton. The article has been updated to reflect Paulding’s comments.

After District 4 supervisor candidate Jimmy Paulding accused his opponent on Facebook of backing out on a debate, several of his supporters began making fun of Lynn Compton’s looks and calling her names such as coward and troll.

“I’m sorry to have to announce that my opponent Lynn Compton has backed out of our scheduled debate next Friday so that she can attend “Cruz Night,” Paulding posted on his campaign Facebook page. “We have been trying to schedule debates for weeks, and now it is not clear when the community will ever get the opportunity to ask us both questions and have a fair chance to compare candidates. I will continue to try to get her to join me, because voters deserve to hear from their candidates.”

However, the tentative date of the debate was changed by the Latino Outreach Council and not Supervisor Lynn Compton. The council was planning to hold the debate on April 13, until the Cruz Night event was moved to the same night.

“I have been informed that the Nipomo Chamber has changed the date of the inaugural ‘Cruise Night’ in Nipomo to April 13 due to expected rain on April 6,” Jacqueline Frederick wrote in a message to Compton and Paulding on April 4. “As a result, LOC has decided to move the candidate forum to another night to insure that the Nipomo residents can attend both major events. I apologize for the inconvenience. We will let you know of future available dates once we confirm the availability of the Nipomo High School Forum.”

Following Paulding’s Facebook posting, SLO Tribune contributor and campaign media buyer Tom Fulks shared Paulding’s post while calling Compton a troll and a coward.

On multiple Facebook pages, more than 50 people have chastised Compton based on Paulding’s accusation that she had backed out of the debate. County planner Brandi Cummings, who was under fire last year for failing to follow board direction in producing a draft marijuana ordinance, also called Compton a coward after reading Paulding’s post.

“…voters deserve to hear from their candidates,” Brandi Cummings writes under Paulding’s Facebook post. “Unfortunately, Lynn Compton does not have the best interests of her constituents or the community in mind. Lynn Compton pushes ideological rants and cherry picks facts to suit her situation. She talks fast and talks over people or cuts them off to sound authoritative and sure of her position. She cannot compete in a head-to-head debate with Jimmy Paulding because she will be going against facts, logic, and intellect. She will come out looking incompetent, uninformed, and just plain rude. Lynn Compton is a coward and in the end, it is the voters who lose. She is not only snubbing Jimmy Paulding but the election process and the constituents of this County.”

According to the county’s civil service rules, staffers can face discipline including dismissal for conduct unbecoming an employee, discourteous treatment of other employees or the public and improper political activity, according to rule 14.

After the board pulled the rogue marijuana ordinance in May 2017, Cummings began demeaning the board majority on social media. Shortly afterwards, Cummings was barred from speaking about planning department issues at board meetings.

According to Paulding, CR  Lara called him on April 3 to tell him that the forum had  to be “rescheduled” to accommodate Compton.

In response to the Cal Coast Times article, Paulding wrote on Facebook that the Latino Outreach Council is covering for Compton.

Paulding’s post on Facebook:

Hi Vita, the Cal Coast News article that you reference is full of lies. First and foremost, I responded to their request for comment at 2:10 PM today. Here’s my response: “CR Lara with the Latino Outreach Council called me on April 3rd to tell me that the debate confirmed for the 4/13 date was cancelled to accommodate a request by Lynn Compton’s campaign to reschedule the debate because the Nipomo Chamber was rescheduling their ‘Cruz Night’ event due to rain in the forecast. My Facebook post reflects this fact. Your version of events is different from what CR Lara originally told me over the phone.” And this statement reflects the truth. Here are the odd sequence of events. After I had received the call from CR Lara on the 3rd, and after my Facebook post, I received a text from Jackie Frederick on April 4th saying, “Jimmy, I have been informed that the Nipomo Chamber has changed the date of the inaugural ‘Cruise Night’ in Nipomo to April 13 due to expected rain on April 6. As a result, LOC has decided to move the candidate forum to another night to ensure that the Nipomo residents can attend both major events. I apologize for any inconvenience. We will let you know of future available dates once we confirm the availability of the Nipomo High School Forum. The person in charge is on vacation this week and not available to reschedule. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. I’ll reach out to you as soon as I know the dates the room is available. Thank you again. Kind regards, Jacqueline Frederick.” I responded to Jackie immediately with: “Thanks, Jackie. Just to let you know CR Lara previously communicated this message to me but with the added noted that the LOC rescheduled per Lynn’s request.” Jackie responded, “He never spoke to Lynn. Her assistant let us know about the change by the Chamber of the Cruz night and I decided it was best to change the date of your debate for the reason I have expressed. I apologize for the inconvenience but it’s better to have the debate when there isn’t this type of major conflict. Thanks Jimmy.” So, Vita, please ask me in the future if you question the truth of any message coming from my campaign. It is obvious that the story changed to cover for Lynn. And, as typical, it is the Cal Coast News Karen Velie who is doing her bidding, along with poor investigative reporting.”

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2 Comments about “Social media misinformation campaign prompts online bullying”

  1. JulieJones says:

    Jimmy Paulding is part of the group of nasty men who make up stories online to demean others. Paulding talks about ethics but he is nothing more than a younger version of Adam Hill. He fits in great with the Hill and Tom Fulks group of angry men who make up lies to harm others. These men have made vile comments online about anyone who questions them or has different view. Our county deserves better.

    (26) 38 Total Votes – 32 up – 6 down
  2. SLOBodan says:

    OOPS! Jimmy better do his homework before speaking. Sounds like HE is the one who is uninformed and just plain rude!

    I do not like how this election is starting to play out. It’s becoming dirty. Why does he need to criticize his competition, I would rather see him emphasis his strengths that make him qualified for the job. So far he appears to be a bit too inexperienced to me.

    (26) 44 Total Votes – 35 up – 9 down

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