Tribune columns archive

You can currently find all of Matthew's columns for the San Luis Obispo Tribune here. Due to the impermanence of the Internet, I have also posted short summaries with links to a PDF format screenshot of each column below.

Original Publication Date: 02/22/2016

San Luis Obispo's rental inspections program is the wrong solution

The city of San Luis Obispo's new rental housing program is the governmental equivalent of using a sledgehammer to crush a cockroach.
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Original Publication Date: 03/05/2016

Sacramento goes on an anti-gun crusade

In December, less than 24 hours after two terrorists massacred 14 Americans and wounded 22 others at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Sen. Barbara Boxer too the microphone at a Capitol Hill news conference where Democrats were announcing plans to introduce new gun control laws.
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Original Publication Date: 03/19/2016

SLO County Board of Supervisors needs to move quickly on desalination plan

The two storm systems that passed through San Luis Obispo County last weekend brought needed rain and put us within shouting distance of "normal" rainfall for this point in the year. But the county's and the state's water problems aren't going to be solved by a single El Niño year.
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Original Publication Date: 04/02/2020

San Luis Obispo municipal elections aren't broken, don't need fixing

Congratulations, residents of the happiest city in America!
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Original Publication Date: 04/18/2016

For conservative voters, Donald Trump isn't the man

My liberal colleague, Tom Fulks, doesn't like Donald Trump because he's an "organ-grinding circus act," a "fascist billionaire" and a purveyor of "violent political rhetoric." I agree, but that's not the worst of it.
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Original Publication Date: 04/30/2016

Congressional candidates spout canned platitudes at recent forum

Last week, I attended the 24th Congressional District candidates forum at Cuesta College. The two-hour event was largely predictable and probably a good example of why people are frustrated with politics and politicians. The forum's four Democrats, three Republicans and two independents' time was largely spent in spouting canned platitudes to their prospective bases.
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Original Publication Date: 05/14/2016

Prom debacle demonstrates a lack of common sense

Voltaire was right. "Common sense is not so common."
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Original Publication Date: 05/28/2016

California's Republican Party is broken, and Donald Trump won't fix it

Al Fonzi has a tough job. The retired lieutenant colonel and veteran of both the Navy and Army is the chairman of the San Luis Obispo County Republican Party, and he knows the general election this November will likely be a difficult one for the GOP.
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Original Publication Date: 06/11/2016

Cal Poly student's complaint against professor is without merit

Cal Poly student Mick Bruckner discovered something at Cal Poly that he didn't like last year: a professor who disagreed with him.
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Original Publication Date: 06/25/2016

The left is misplacing the blame for the Orlando terror attack

Two weeks ago, an Islamic terrorist walked into a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and opened fire, killing 49 and injuring over 50 more.
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Original Publication Date: 07/09/2016

Closing Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is a mistake for SLO County

Late last month, PG&E looked at the math and decided it wasn't worth the cost to seek to renew Diablo Canyon's operating licenses in the face of vocal opposition and state mandates that require the use of more expensive, less dependable "renewable" energy sources.
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Original Publication Date: 07/23/2016

The Republican Party 1854-2016 R.I.P.

Several months ago when the editors of The Tribune decided to give me this biweekly column, they asked me to provide a short biography to introduce myself as the paper's new conservative columnist.
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Original Publication Date: 08/06/2016

SLO County should weigh both the benefits and risks of Phillips 66 rail spur

Young children and environmentalists share a lot of the same qualities.
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Original Publication Date: 08/20/2016

Finally, some pushback against Sacramento's 'war' on guns

Even if you've been closely following the Olympics on TV, you probably missed seeing Californian Kim Rhode win the bronze medal in skeet shooting. With that medal, Rhode became the first woman to win a medal in six consecutive Olympics.
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Original Publication Date: 09/03/2016

Democratic legislators put special interests above solving state's housing crisis

Wherever you go nowadays, it's commonplace to see signs advertising new housing developments.
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Original Publication Date: 09/17/2016

Practical advice for Cal Poly students: Don't be stupid

In the fall of 1993, I wrote an op-ed in the then-Mustang Daily welcoming students back to Cal Poly for another year and giving practical advice to freshmen navigating their first college experience. Note: This column was the first heavily edited column by Tribune editors. You can read what the what was left on the cutting room floor here.
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Original Publication Date: 10/01/2016

The Constitution is a casualty in the race for state Assembly

After attending a graveside service, a woman is walking back to her car with her young son through the rows of gravestones.
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Original Publication Date: 10/15/2016

Our political candidates don't respect the Bill of Rights

Our political class wants to fix what ails America. They've taken a long, hard look and decided that it can be fixed if we just trash the Bill of Rights, for the public's own good.
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Original Publication Date: 10/29/2016

Libertarian Party not benefiting from public distaste of Trump, Clinton

This should've been a big year for the Libertarian Party.
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Original Publication Date: 11/12/2016

How the news media failed to prepare Americans for Trump

As far as I was concerned, last Tuesday's presidential election was a contest between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton where, no matter the outcome, the only loser was going to be America.
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Original Publication Date: 12/03/2016

Democrats and the news media don't want to learn anything from the election

The good news this holiday season? Liberal tears have no calories, are fat-free, gluten-free, low-carb and have no cholesterol.
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Original Publication Date: 12/17/2016

Cal Poly has learned its lesson when it comes to free speech

Milo Yiannopoulus isn't exactly my cup of tea.
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Original Publication Date: 01/07/2017

The Top 10 most annoying stories of 2016

The time around Christmas and New Year's Day is notorious for its dearth of local news.
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Original Publication Date: 01/21/2017

No halfway measures in SLO's war on plastic

Having solved all the really pressing problems in San Luis Obispo, the City Council is considering a ban on the sale of plastic beverage bottles in city facilities and at city-sponsored events.
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Original Publication Date: 02/04/2017

Why the Women's March and Yiannopoulos protests aren't so different

When I read the first two sentences of Joe Tarica's column last weekend, I thought he was going to pre-empt this column that I had planned to write.
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Original Publication Date: 02/18/2017

Well, Tribune readers, it's been fun

I didn't leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me.
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