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September 29, 2006

Comments

Theodore

This looks like the first real test for CUSD's new superintendent. I guess we'll see in the next day or so whether he truly will take action to stop the continuing corruption in CUSD or whether it will just continue to be "business as usual."

Any bets on what he'll do?

What a sham. No wonder everyone is so upset. I can't believe the incumbents are still acting like this while they're under investigation by the D.A. Throw the bums out!

None of this surprises me. As a PTA parent in CUSD for a number of years now, the PTA's involvement in politics supporting the Trustees and former Superintendent has bothered me alot. I naively thought the PTA was supposed to be about doing what's best for the kids, which is why I got involved. With this PTA though, it seems that it's about what's best for the Trustees, Superintendent and a select few in PTA leadership positions - forget about the kids. So I backed away from volunteer duties and stopped giving as much money to the PTA. In my experience, they're more of a political and fundraising arm of the district than anything else. I just hope that the new interim Superintendent will actually make some changes. Until then, I'll stay involved in my kids' classrooms instead of in the PTA.

Sad, this is just more of the mess Fleming created when he was there. I guess they all still think they can get away with anything.

Another Volunteer

During the recall campaign, Fleming and certain Trustees were notorious for pushing the envelope, repeatedly violating laws against express advocacy and illegally interferring with the recall petition-gathering process. Even when caught red-handed conspiring to violate these laws in the home of one of the Trustees, they predictibly hid behind the disingenuous and contorted arguments of their stakeholder lawfirm, Rutan & Tucker, and local law enforcement that had little understanding or enthusiasm for enforcing such laws. This Candidate's Forum situation suggests, not surprisingly, that nothing has changed at CUSD.

Until new leadership steps forward with the moral conviction to force CUSD to finally follow and not bend the law, the culture of corruption nurtured by Fleming and the Trustees will continue. Let's hope McCully has the right stuff to get the job done.

PTA mom

As a member of the PTA for the last 10 years I can tell you that Fleming has taken women who want to do what is best for the kids and somehow they end up doing what is best for him. He might be gone but his influence on the PTA is not.I hope soon the PTA can go back to providing extras for the kids instead of the shortfalls of the district. I have sold enough cookie dough and would like to see the office help and lunch tables being paid for by the district instead fancy office furniture for themselfs.

sounds to me like the Recall Committee and ABC slate are afraid to attend this open and public forum......maybe afraid that if their candidates speak publicly we find out they have little to offer as individuals

what kind of conspiracy could there possibly be in setting up a public event to meet candidates and hear what they have to say. News on this event has been out for weeks - it's no surprise. and it's promoted on the League of Women Voters web site

I think this press release is a smoke screen by the Recall Committee. I've heard there's some questionable stuff going on, including questions about sources of their campaign dollars - who is really backing this group. Maybe thy're afraid that these questions will come up Tuesday night so they launched their latest "conspiracy" attack

Latest "conspiracy" attack? Right.

The Recall Committee has a well-established record of exposing the district's repeated violations of the prohibition against express advocacy ever since the early stages of the recall campaign in the Spring of 2005. The district is notorious for rigging board meetings, public hearings and parent information meetings, addressing only the questions and issues they deem consistent with their own agenda and ignoring or suppressing all others. They often use the opinions, advice or reputations of "disinterested" third-party professionals for undeserved credibility.

The district's recent hiring of Judge Stuart Waldrip as an "independent" investigator of Fleming's alleged unethical and criminal wrongdoings is another example. The Recall Committee exposed the fact that Waldrip is a former senior partner of the district’s law firm, Rutan & Tucker, a substantial stakeholder in CUSD’s affairs. The Recall Committee requested an explanation for this obvious conflict, yet the district and Waldrip have refused to provide any substantive response. Until they do so, any report from Waldrip's $400/hour investigation will lack credibility in the eyes of the public.

So, latest “conspiracy” attack by the Recall Committee? Hardly...just another revolting revelation in CUSD’s continuing, violation-ridden culture of corruption.

Tom Russell,
I hope you sent this to the newspapers.

I've got to believe the State League of Women Voters and the State PTA will step in to stop this. They aren't going to let a couple local yahoos ruin their reputations and risk their task exempt status.

The Company You Keep

It's interesting that the League of Women Voters of California had the good sense to distance themselves from this event, recognizing the local PTA co-sponsors for what they are...highly controversial and partisan. They actually ordered the local co-sponsors (the Capistrano Unified Council PTA and the local chapter of the LOWV) to remove the LOWV state logo from all promotional materials for the event and to destroy the materials that already had been produced with the state logo.

The local PTA co-sponsor used the remaining, prohibited materials anyway, with a local PTA rep saying it was OK. Sounds like the local LOWV chapter better not get too close to their notoriously partisan, pro-district, PTA co-sponsor.

A Leopard and Its Spots

This isn't the first time a CUSD PTA has been exposed for crossing the express advocacy line. Previously, in connection with organized local PTA opposition to the recall campaign, the state PTA reprimanded local PTA leaders (some of the same ones involved in the current violations), warning that such prohibited partisan political activities would jeopardize the entire state organization's tax exempt status with the IRS.

An apology letter was sent to the state PTA and, suddenly, there was compliance at the local CUSD PTA. Obviously, the CUCPTSA needs another lesson, and if the League of Women Voters wants to retain any credibility, they would be wise to keep their distance from these CUSD PTA partisans in the future.

Wally

I think the PTA has been so Fleminized that they too feel they are above the law.

I think it's time to send a letter to the IRS and let them investigate.

Jill E. Case

The League of Women voters is one of the most respected organizations in this nation and is known for conducting fair, honest, and open debates with no partisanship allowed. I just spoke to Sandy Exelby, Voter Service Chair of the local chapter. She will post the League’s response (as approved by the State chapter) to these charges to anyone interested. Her email address is dsexelby@cox.net.

I received a timely invitation to this debate via certified mail. After speaking with Sandy and Jacqueline Jacobberger (as referenced in the full memo pg 3 para 1d), I am very comfortable with this forum. I encourage people to take the time to learn about what the League is doing to present an unbiased and informative debate for the electorate before accepting this Recall information at face value.

I am not afraid of this debate and welcome the opportunity to allow the people to learn whether or not they want to vote for me. I am responding to this post because I believe that the League of Women Voters does not deserve this criticism and I am left wondering what motive prompts this press release. No one can put words in a candidate’s mouth.

Jill E. Case

Sounds like someone has been drinking Fleming's koolaid. Ms. Case should recognize that one of the perpetrators in this entire sham is one of her competitors in the district she is running for, Jody Vaughn, Fleming and Draper's annointed successor to Korchendorfer.

After reading all of the information contained in the memos and press releases from the Recall folks, no wonder the League of Women Voters is backpedaling. They have been caught with their hands in the political cookie jar, and now they have been called to the carpet.

Ms. Case should thank the Recall Committee for bringing this matter to the attention of the public, because now maybe the debate can be unbiased as it should be.

Ms. Case,

This is directly from the League of Women Voters web site. If you think they are so non-partisan, then how do you explain this statement?

"The League of Women Voters, a membership organization, conducts action and advocacy and is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation."

Note the "action and advocacy" and the fact that they are a 501(c)(4) corporation means they are organized to conduct political activities, including advocacy.

Smell the coffee, Jill.

How many CUSD board of trustees meetings does a person have to attend to see the utter futility of expecting fairness when a an unethical administration, in lock-step with a rubber-stamp board, stacks the deck by planting a sufficient number of PTA soldiers in the audience to assure that a sufficient number of the "right" questions are asked, any "wrong" questions are openly ridiculed and the results are "validated" by another one of the district's shameful, staged, self-congratulatory standing ovations.

It's not too difficult to understand in a district with complicit PTA leaders and a willingness by the adaminstration and the PTA to engage in illegal express advocacy by using district listserv and other public resources to spread their propaganda.

From what I have read, these are valid concerns, having nothing to do with whether the League of Women Voters has done anything wrong. The question is whether the League of Women Voters, with its fine reputation, has been taken advantage of by known, manipulative partisans, with a history of unethical and illegal behavior.

Smell the coffee, Jill.

I agree that the primary focus should be on the PTA and district partisans who set this up. However, given the way this was handled between the state LWV and its local chapter, it sounds like the local chapter might have gotten a little too close to their partisan PTA co-sponsors. I suppose we'll continue to hear general denials and how "fair" the LWV process is without any consideration of the hometown advantage, stack-the-deck politics notoriously practiced by CUSD and its PTA partners for years -- pretending that the LWV, whether complicit or ignorant, is somehow immune from the effects of all this.

Public View

The LOWV did a great job with the forum. It is clear that the Recall Committee did not send their candidates because they would have been unable to answer the questions without Tom Russell and Tony Beall talking for them. The ABC slate were the only candidates who did not attend. The recall committee has done great injustice for their candidates by not allowing them to attend. And I would recomend to any of the ABC slate to step away from the recall committee and stand on their own IF THEY CAN. It is public view that ABC slate can not answer questions.

ABC slate lost another vote.

Jill Case,
I saw that you were on this blog.
Thank You for attending the forum. I was happy to meet you and was impressed. I will be voting for you. I was going to vote for the ABC slate however I now believe they are not what they claim to be or they would have been there. The trustees tried to brown nose. It is clear that Jody Vaughn is a minni Marleen Draper - she will not get my vote. They all never would have had my vote however because Ellen was not there, It will be a toss up if I can vote for her now. Chuck Salsbury is a very confused man and wants to bankrupt our schools. I don't see him getting my vote. I was impressed by Kathleen Lebon she will also be getting my vote now.

An observer that was there

Public View,

Were you at the same forum I was at? There wasn't one question asked that had to do with the specific issues that led to the recall, or any of the aftermath. It was just a big waste of time. I wanted to hear answers to these issues, and not listen to candidate bashing by Casabianca and Henness and space cadet answers from LeBon and Case. It was a joke. I think the ABC slate did the right thing in not showing up to this ridiculously orchestrated affair and THEY HAVE MY VOTE!

observer,

There were questions that had to do with the recall issues. If you did not like what was said about the recall committee, why did'nt you stand up for them? And where were they - to stand up for themselves? I would say they were afraid! what ever your opinion is (which concludes you are part of the recall committee)the fact is, that the ABC slate did not show up to prove themselves.

Lebonics

All I want to know is...

Did Kathy Lebon ever tell us where the train is now that it has left the station?

Earth to Jill Case

Jill Case:

OCBlog is probably not the best place for a liberal Democrat such as yourself to fish for votes.

But I do appreciate your humorous attempts to justify last night's event as non-partisan.

It looks like the train passed you all up.
Good thing LeBon jumped on it.

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