Justin Fareed at KEYT's congressional candidate debate in May 2018
Paul Wellman (file)

The same week Republican congressional candidate Justin Fareed made it onto the GOP’s official Young Guns list, Santa Barbara’s reigning conservative commentator and advocate Andy Caldwell took Fareed to task for not waging the kind of campaign needed to resonate with young voters in Isla Vista. “We need to host an intervention,” stated the plainspoken Caldwell in a mass mailing to those in his political orbit. For Fareed to have any chance, Caldwell noted, he had to perform much better with UCSB students and Isla Vista residents. “He has always done horribly on the campus!” Caldwell stated. “I don’t know why but it’s a huge problem.”

With Republicans casting 47 percent of the ballots in this June’s congressional primary ​— ​37 percent for Fareed and 10 percent for Michael Erin Woody ​— ​the race appears to be much closer than it actually is, Caldwell noted. That’s because Isla Vista voters tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Turnout in I.V. was only 5 percent in June, according to Caldwell’s newsletter; it will be far more, Caldwell expected, come November. With Democratic incumbent Salud Carbajal winning by a vast majority there, Caldwell said Fareed needs to “attack Salud” and provide voters with “PASSIONATE reasons to vote for him.”

In a subsequent email exchange, Caldwell added that Fareed needs to portray Carbajal as “a certified swamp creature” of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, “in view of their nearly identical voting records.” Caldwell encouraged Fareed to press Carbajal on divisive issues like controlled burns and a guest-worker program. In his group letter, Caldwell also urged Fareed to support the repeal of the gas tax, on the ballot in November. “I am still of the opinion that Justin wants to dodge some of the hot button items in order to appeal to decline to state voters and independents. I believe that won’t cut it,” he said. “Justin needs an EXTREME makeover at UCSB/IV.” Fareed issued a statement in response, pledging to share “the hard truth” about Carbajal being what he termed “a clone of Nancy Pelosi” and what he also called his “atrocious partisan voting record.”


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