Salud Carbajal
Paul Wellman (file)

This week, the National Republican Congressional Committee is sending Supervisor Salud Carbajal a basket filled with Personal Finance for Dummies, a calculator, and IRS forms after news broke that the congressional frontrunner has tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt and past federal tax liens. The jab came days after Carbajal secured the state Democratic Party endorsement, another big step ahead of his chief Democratic rival, Helene Schneider.

While the support gives Carbajal access to the party’s resources (phone banks, precinct walks, mailers), the attention around his personal finance issues will undoubtedly give Republicans ammunition. “It shows how out of touch they are,” Carbajal said in an email about the basket. It’s “outrageous that the Republican Party would trivialize and attempt to make a joke out of the struggles middle-class families are facing” after the recession, he added. He further emphasized that the Board of Supervisors achieved the highest historical rainy-day reserve and successfully balanced the budget during his 12-year tenure.

Likewise, Schneider has used her defeat in the state party endorsement as evidence she is the anti-establishment candidate. “What matters to the voters,” she said in an email, “is that they have a representative that understands and speaks up on the issues of the Central Coast ​— ​I am that candidate.”

Meanwhile, the GOP Central Committee held a special endorsement meeting at Pea Soup Andersen’s on Sunday. On Saturday, Supervisor Peter Adam ​— ​a big Justin Fareed supporter ​— ​sent an email to all of the committee members urging them not to back just one candidate in the primaries and consequently “drive a wedge in between Santa Barbara Republicans.” But Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian won the endorsement over Fareed and Matt Kokkonen ​— ​reportedly by a vote of 15 out of 21. A Fareed spokesperson said the vote ahead of the primary election “proves political insiders are willing to do whatever it takes to get elected even if that means silencing the voters.” Central Committee chairman Dale Francisco did not return multiple phone calls and emails.


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