Stew Jenkins Shouldn’t Hold Any Public Office. Here’s Why.

Aaron Ochs
6 min readJun 25, 2021
Attorney Charles Bell, District 4 Supervisor Lynn Compton with her attorney Stew Jenkins. Source: Cal Coast Times

In their June 16 editorial, The Tribune broke some interesting news: San Luis Obispo attorney Stew Jenkins was the first person to submit a letter of application for the SLO County Clerk-Recorder position. The current Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong announced he was leaving amid unfounded partisan and character attacks.

“I was a Democratic activist in the past but gained the trust of my friends in the Republican Party and in some of the less prominent parties,” Jenkins said in his letter, adding that he would run the elections office in a “completely nonpartisan way.”

“No one can do the job unless they maintain an absolute nonpartisan attitude for themselves and their office,” he said.

An “absolute nonpartisan attitude” as exhibited by a long-time contributor to CalCoastNews, an attorney who previously represented Karen Velie and Lynn Compton.

So when Compton’s colleague, District 5 Supervisor Debbie Arnold, discussed the prospect of having an immediate opening of the interim Clerk-Recorder application process to citizens, I was concerned. Anyone who truly knows Jenkins and the type of man he is would be concerned.

Before 2015, I had no idea who Jenkins was. At the time, I felt like I had to spend every waking hour defending my reputation from the most bizarrely false allegations ever made about me that were disseminated in extremely unusual ways — from robocalls delivered to Morro Bay residents by Kevin P. Rice to false allegations on CalCoastNews.

For instance, I had a so-called “former family friend” who penned a crazy letter to the editor in the Bay News, attacking my family when they had absolutely zero to do with my published opinions. Figured the best way to counter that would be to publish a column in the same publication, explaining my motivations in a context that wouldn’t be manipulated by anyone.

A short time after that, I look out the window of my parents’ home and see an older gentleman storming up the driveway and to the front door. My father answered the door. The older man, who identified himself only as “Mike,” said he was looking for me and said I was in “big trouble.” My family found his remarks troubling and alarming. He left my father a piece of paper with…

Aaron Ochs

Author, artist, advocate and entrepreneur from Morro Bay, California.