Fact checking the Compton and Paulding debate

Cal Coast Times monitored Monday’s San Luis Obispo District 4 supervisor debate, which included claims on everything from Nipomo having a 400 percent increase in crime to accusations that a candidate is in the pocket of special interests.

Supervisor Lynn Compton touted her accomplishments in bringing fees for parks back to District 4, while working to reduce crime and lower building fees and taxes. She referred to her opponent as a kid with only three endorsements on his campaign page.

Jimmy Paulding boasted of his work as a project manager on public projects and spent much of his time attacking his opponent’s credibility. He accused Compton of being in favor of offshore oil drilling and for lying about a reduction in crime, claiming crime had increased 400 percent during her time in office.

Is crime in Nipomo up by 400 percent?

Shortly after the debate, Paulding supporters posted a graph online in support of Paulding’s assertion of a 400 percent increase in crime. The graph shows a spike in crime in 2014, then falling crime rates through 2017.

While Compton was elected in 2014, she did not take her seat until 2015 so the alleged increase in crime would not have occurred under her watch.

Even so, sheriff’s department officials refute Paulding’s numbers. While the sheriff’s department agrees there was a slight increase in crime in 2014, the number of crimes has consistently declined while Compton has been in office. Major crimes dropped from 412 in 2015, to 399 in 2016, to 305 in 2017.

Is Compton in favor of offshore oil?

While Compton said she has consistently opposed offshore oil drilling, Paulding stated Compton supports offshore oil exploration and is beholden to big oil.

In support of his assertion, Paulding pointed at a vote Compton took on Feb. 6 in opposition to a referendum proposed by the Surfrider Foundation.

A year earlier, on March 7, 2017, Compton made a motion to send the federal government a letter stating the county’s objection to offshore oil drilling.

During the Feb. 2018 meeting Paulding referenced, Compton voted against supporting the Surfrider Foundation’s resolution against offshore oil because it appeared redundant and unverified, while continuing to voice her opposition to offshore oil drilling. The board then directed county staff to bring back a streamlined referendum against offshore oil.

On April 17, Compton voted in favor of a resolution opposing offshore oil exploration.

In support of his allegation that Compton is beholden to big oil, Paulding pointed at several donations local propane distributors made to Compton’s campaign. Compton countered saying there is a significant difference between large oil exploration companies and local propane businesses.

Is Paulding an inexperienced “kid” with only three endorsements?

While Paulding spoke of his history and his endorsements, Compton called him a kid who failed to vote in the 2014 election and who had received only three endorsements.

Paulding is a 32-year-old man who, according to county records, did not vote in two 2014 elections.
As for endorsements, on his website Paulding lists 13 organizations, 20 public officials and dozens of individuals.

Did Paulding’s participation in local projects save the county money?

Throughout the debate, Paulding spoke of his work as a project manager on multiple public projects. Specifically, Paulding boasted of his work on the SlO County women’s jail project and of saving the county money on the SLO County airport terminal project while employed by Arcadis.

However, according to county records, in 2017, the SLO County Board of Supervisors approved $585,000 in cost overruns to Arcadis for construction management.

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One Comment about “Fact checking the Compton and Paulding debate”

  1. SLOBodan says:

    It saddens me to see mudslinging in any campaigning. The first couple of mailers I received from the Compton campaign was emphasizing her achievements and who supported her. Then, the mud hit my mailbox and I started getting Paulding mailings. Unfortunately I now see a turn in how this campaign will play out. When I heard Mr. Paulding say that Ms. Compton was incorrect, and that crime had increased 400%, I was shocked! I actually thought I heard it wrong! What an enormous number, and now we find out, not accurate at all.

    Someone on the radio stated that we should select our officials as if we were reading their resumes. Who is the most qualified to do the job? It appears to me that Ms. Compton has the most “job” experience, in both her current Supervisor seat and having owned her own business for many years, employing people and managing it all. Mr. Paulding’s experience has been at multiple job sites (more than 7 I can count, in 10 years) while going back to law school. I am not sure how much actual supervisory experience he could have moving around so much. It has been great experience for him, but is he ready to run the county? I am afraid not.

    My suggestion would be that Mr. Paulding consider getting involved in his true local politics, that of his beloved Arroyo Grande. Volunteer to be on the planning commission, or consider running for city council. Learn the ropes by participating in the system for awhile, gain experience that way. Then we can consider him for County Supervisor.

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