Conservative talk show host Dan Del Campo joins SLO County Planning Commission

The San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission in 2016.
The San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission in 2016. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Former conservative radio talk show host Dan Del Campo is now a San Luis Obispo County planning commissioner.

District 1 Supervisor John Peschong nominated the recently retired KPRL “Sound Off” host to replace Jim Irving. The county Board of Supervisors confirmed the nomination Tuesday in a 4-1 vote, with Supervisor Adam Hill dissenting. Hill criticized Del Campo for what he called Del Campo’s “contempt for environmental values.”

The role of the five-person Planning Commission is to study proposed developments that may have an impact on the county’s growth and environment.

In 2014, Del Campo wrote in an article for Breitbart California that he supports fracking as a method for the extraction of natural gas, and said, “The Monterey Shale alone could make California the largest independent producer of oil and natural gas in the U.S.”

A 2011 letter to the editor of Aspen Times signed by “Dan Del Campo, Lake Nacimiento” says, “the war that has been started by the environmentalists against business and development has to be fought by the opposition. We conservatives must go to war against the environmentalists and win for this country.”

Prior to his radio days, Del Campo was on the Thousand Oaks City Council from 1998 to 2002, during which time he also served as mayor. At the same time, he served as a board member with the Conejo Open Space Conservancy and the Ventura Council of Governments.

Before the vote Tuesday, Supervisor Debbie Arnold said she learned about Del Campo’s experience on various boards and noted that he has “worked on a lot of important things.”

“I look forward to him bringing his experience to our Planning Commission,” she said.

Hill said Del Campo spread “misinformation and alternative facts and malicious personal attacks on his radio show.”

“He has shown, repeatedly, public contempt for environmental values and contempt for science, especially in regards to climate change,” Hill said.

Supervisor Bruce Gibson also criticized Del Campo, but he ultimately voted to appoint him in deference to board practice.

“He’s traded in conspiracy theories and abetted them, and he does seem to hold some very extreme views on environmentalism and land use,” Gibson said. “That said, it has been the procedure around here for the supervisor of the district to nominate someone to serve their district on the Planning Commission, so I will not oppose this. Should Mr. Del Campo make it to the Planning Commission, he will be judged on his performance there.”

Del Campo thanked Peschong and the other supervisors for the opportunity to serve on the commission.

“I take this very seriously and will do all the research necessary to do the best interest for the people of San Luis Obispo County. I know it’s an important position, and I hope to gain your confidence as time goes by,” Del Campo said.

Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930, @MonicaLVaughan