Op-Ed: County Republicans Hire Accused Child Sex Trafficker for Keynote

By Joan Albion

The Santa Barbara County Republican Party is up to their old shenangians again. Sure they continue to send out emails full of conspiracy theories, propaganda, and lies to scare old white people in this county, but this next act is truly heinous. 

Local GOPs have decided to hire Congressmember Matt Gaetz for their keynote speaker event for $350 per person.

You all know Matt Gaetz. He was recently accused of sex trafficking teenage girls, financially supporting people in exchange for sex, and obstructing justice, while also having a propensity to say truly moronic things.

On December 19, 2017, Gaetz was the only representative to vote against the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act, a bill allocating additional government resources to help combat human trafficking. Months  later he also voted against the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which had by then been combined with the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. Then in 2022, he voted against the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act.

Ronald Reagan would be rolling over in his grave if he knew the consituents in the area of his beloved tanch have freefalled into chaos and are promoting the likes of accused child sex-trafficker Gaetz.


Long gone are the staunch Reagan Republicans who fought for the lessening of federal government responsibility in solving social problems, reducing restrictions on business, and implementing tax cuts.

Instead the Trump, DeSantis, Greene, and Gaetz Republicans are dominating the party by starting a war with Disney, threatening to fire teachers for not conforming to the GOP’s racist rhetoric, imposing religion into legislation while giving the Constitution a big middle finger, telling women what to do with their bodies and parents how to raise their children. All while gleefully sitting around as children are gunned down daily in the name of the second ammendment. 

The belief of “freedom” and “get government out” is now replaced with freedom for a select few that agree with us, “do what I say or else.” Smells like fascism with a sprinkle of pedophilia, which the Santa Barbara County Republican Party supports.

Op-Ed’s are written by community members, not representatives of edhat. The views and opinions expressed in Op-Ed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of edhat. [Do you have an opinion on something local? Share it with us at info@edhat.com.]


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  1. There must be Editorial Staff changes at EDHAT… I cannot believe the the “Op-Ed’s” they selected this past week- Nothing but hate and divisiveness, fueling more hate with commentor’s like Sacjon , GeneralTree and Alexblue. This will no doubt be shelfved as the other posts I tried to post this week. Edhat needs to change it up a little and be more MODERATE and INCLUSIVE.

  2. Republicans whine about mythical “welfare queens”, and yet they have Clarence Thomas.
    They accuse Democrats of being pedophiles, and yet suck up to Gaetz.
    The GOP rails about the National Debt, yet rack up huge deficits after cutting revenue.
    They whine about crime going unpunished, yet defend the Orange Moron.
    They attack educators, yet elect ignorant fools like MTG.
    G O P ==> Government Of Pharisaism.

  3. It’s sad that the local GOP has set Reaganism on fire. They’re now full of old white people who are scared of everything, acting as dementia patients rambling about trans people, Antifa, and Black people while clinging to their guns. They’ll believe anything and a good number should be on medication to treat their delusions and psychosis.
    Gaetz is a pervert who moved quickly to marry someone 15 years younger (a UCSB grad) to deflect from his love of underage girls. His best friend took the hit and is now in prison for his crimes. And I’ll say “allegedly” so he doesn’t try to sue.

    • DOULIE – “Biden has also been accused of….” I stopped reading right there as the rest of your comment is nothing but whataboutism and offtopic deflection.
      This appears to be a major problem for most of you conservative (or whatever you call yourselves) on this site (and in general). Someone asks you a question about the conduct of one of yours, and you respond with a “what about Biden” or some other such deflection.
      I can’t keep spoon-feeding you guys on how to respond to questions. Figure it out.

    • GOP defends accused pedophiles and then deflects to some other topic to try and distract. Classic.
      “But he wasn’t charged!”
      There’s evidence but the DOJ didn’t feel the two witnesses were rock solid and knew this would set off an insane political firestorm causing further division so they settled for charging his buddy 33 criminal counts including sex trafficking a minor, stalking and fraud. He’s facing a minimum of 12 years behind bars.

    • SAC – “accused of.” Exactly my point. Biden has also been accused of well documented major crimes, why do people continue to accept Biden? I may not care for Gaetz or Biden but what about “innocent until proven guilty? Not taking action to close the border, in part, is why sex crimes and drug issues, among others, are occurring. If I recall correctly, Biden’s inaction at the border is leading to more deaths per month than occurred in Vietnam at the highest point in the war. Do you know if this is accurate? I don’t understand why people listen, or try to listen to a person, the (supposed) leader of the greatest country in the world that has a difficult time putting two coherent sentences together. If people don’t care for Gaetz don’t attend his functions. I guess the bottom line is to pick your poison. Who can do the most damage regarding the identified issues.

    • Yes, we lost a total of approximately 58,000 people during all of Viet Nam, and we ar losing about 100,000 people per year to fentanyl poisoning (300 per day). About 2000 illegals are coming across the border per day, and the border patrol is so busy “processing” them into our country that the cartels have no problem getting thousands of pounds of fentanyl and “got-aways (that we have no clue who they are) past the overwhelmed ICE agents…

    • SAC – You should read my entire 12:44 post, you will learn something. It will help you see the context in which the “Biden has also been accused of” comment applies. This suggests any person accused of anything is “innocent until proven guilty,” no matter what your feelings or thoughts are about the person. You think too highly of yourself believing you can tell people how to respond to questions.

  4. i grew up as a republican. during reagans 2nd term, my entire family flipped to the blue side. while i don’t agree with some of what my party has done lately, i certainly don’t agree with anything the red side is doing or has done. republicans are supposed to be fiscally conservative, where did that go? they spend like a drunk sailor with a credit card, leave the bill for the next guy and blame him. This tactic has been done over and over again by the reds. The GOP was demolished during the Trump period. Destroyed. Say what you will, argue as you will, you’re still facing a factual thread to democracy with what that party has evolved into. Scared, angry wealthy men playing the blame game. Also, Gaetz is trash. A total disgusting POS. That guy needs to stay out of Santa Barbara. He’s a pedo and that’s not a qanon conspiracy, he truly is. Sad that the GOP is no more. Frankly at this point both main parties are a joke.

  5. Biden’s approval rating hit an all-time low, 37%, this month, while 59% of U.S. adults disapproved of the president, a Gallop poll found. The president’s popularity is worse among younger voters, with 36% of 18- to 29-year-olds approving of his performance, according to an Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School poll released Monday.
    The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, destruction of U.S. oil independence, decades-high inflation and the border crisis are cited as some of the biggest failures while in office.
    At the start of his presidency, Biden halted oil and natural gas leases on public lands in an effort to curb carbon emissions and revoked a permit for the Keystone Pipeline resulting on the U.S. being reliant on imported oil in which nearly all oil supplying countries are completely unregulated in regards to emissions, resulting in increased global CO2 emissions.
    The fact is the current administration is a complete and total disaster no matter how you want to spin it. The choices made by democrats have done nothing to better the lives of tax paying Americans.
    You can continue the name-calling and unfound insults, but the fact is we as are paying for poor decisions being made by the left in the super market, with our 401Ks and at the gas pump.

  6. It does not make sense that such a small fraction of the folks who list themselves as (R) seem to completely take over the minds and hearts of locals who think that they are progressives. Please explain why it is true that progressives are obsessed with those who for the last 35 years or so have had ZERO control of anything in our local government, schools, etc. Completely bonkers over those who are not, have not, and will not ever be in charge of anything around SB. Please/please tell us what the deal-e-Oh is….explainz yo-seffs.

  7. What is really sad here is how many aren’t aware that, in this country you are NOT GUILTY until CONVICTED in court! Or so was it supposed to be until recently!
    Yet EdHat publishes a complete discombobulated rant with convicts Gaetz in the “court of public opinion”.
    This is the true PROOF of Fascism !

  8. True journalism lies in unbiased, all-encompassing reporting. It leaves no room for personal agendas. It worries only for the truth, and its sole purpose is to satiate the world’s thirst for awareness and combat ignorance. An overwhelming portion of the news that is consumed today drastically veers from this creed. Maybe it’s time for Joan Albion to either start being a true journalist or leave and quit trying to decide our wonderful city with her rants.

  9. This county is one of the most racist, ignorant places I have ever lived. It’s fueled off hate and greed and now you can all sit here and watch as sex trafficker makes decisions and no one do a thing. Protect your kids and grandkids get some morals. Help pave a safer way of life for our kids before you know it this county will allow these sex traffickers into our schools!! This is so disgusting just like our SB Republican Party! No one is doing a good job for any of us a humans anymore. Seems we just don’t mean at thing, people don’t care about us unless they are getting our money and vote. Which they don’t do anything good with to help us its only to help themselves.

  10. I think the GOP still supports Gaetz because the investigation by the DOJ was dropped with no charges. if every politician was dropped by their party over unproven allegations, the opposition party would simply produce “allegations” and get them removed. Don’t like Joe Biden? allege that he is a child molester and even if the DOJ drops the investigation, Joe has to go?
    Attorneys who were briefed on this said the probe stalled over concerns about the credibility of two key witnesses and a lack of direct evidence implicating Gaetz.
    Doesn’t make Gaetz a good person, but it is a standard we should all want. If someone alleges that GT, Joan and sacjon are messing around with teenage girls and boys and the witnesses lack credibility and there is no direct evidence, we all should be pleased that the investigation ends there, and be a little angry with anyone who stoops low enough to smear them with a truthful but misleading headline of
    “GT, Joan and sacjon, alleged________________________’s to remain commenters, op/ed writers at edhat despite the allegations of _______________________________________________ against them”

    • EDNEY–if anyone on the planet had the demonstrated pattern that Matt Gaetz does and that person had a very best friend and wing man who is right now sitting in prison for exactly what his best party buddy Matt has been accused of, people would still be talking shit.
      The fact that prosecutors felt they didn’t have a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of evidence or witnesses is not proof at all that Gaetz didn’t do what he appears to have done.
      In fact, we should not be pleased when bad people have very likely gotten away with bad things.

    • EDNEY – He was accused of supporting sex trafficking of children. That’s a much different can of worms than Biden smelling a kids hair. Further, Gaetz was one of the few to vote AGAINST multiple bills to support actions against sex trafficking. In one case, the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act, he was the ONLY representative to vote against it. Why?
      The GOP, especially the Q wing like SBTEJANO, rant and rave about sex trafficking of minors (as they should), yet they happily pay a man like Gaetz with his record of accusations to come speak. You can’t argue the optics aren’t bad here. In fact, they’re downright hypocritical and that’s what the author is saying.

  11. For anyone who follows the GOP newsletters like I do (mostly for entertainment), they’re growing increasingly deranged. The past few included awful homophobic and racist cartoons. Today’s newsletter states, “We’re building an army of patriots to Take Back Santa Barbara County!”
    So.. Bobbi McGinnis, not only are you racist and homophobic but now you’re in support of sedition? Sounds a bit January Six’y to me. Yikes these people are insane.

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