So-Called Non-Partisan Leaders

Capistrano Common Sense Editorial Board

Our City Council and school board are regarded as “non-partisan”, which means that they are not politically contested in a formal “Democrat vs. Republican format. That’s supposed to remove partisan special interests from the equation in running local agencies that are responsible for providing essential services like police protection, water and trash services and education.  But the opposite is true. Leftist activists, cloaked as non-partisan leaders are reshaping the agenda of local city councils and school boards.

If you are alive in 2010, you know that there is a massive effort underway by President Obama’s administration in Washington to tilt the United States toward big government with intense governmental intrusion into the life of every citizen.  Governmental control is “in” with control of our health care, control of carbon-energy usage, control of Wall Street, control of banks and so on it goes. This is a massive leftist effort to convert our Nation into a centrally-controlled European-style socialist state. If you are a liberal Democrat, you approve (maybe, you even say “Not enough. Bring on the VAT!”).  But if you are a Conservative you’ll gnash your teeth and complain about socialism and even the prospect of Fascism.

There is a powerful parallel push underway from Washington and Sacramento to cajole or bully your local city government and school board to climb onto the bandwagon of big government and intensified personal control through restrictive government grant schemes and and trickle-down stimulus funding. Consider Capistrano's Affordable Housing and Sanctuary City programs, the Open Space program, Redevelopment Agency schemes, the “Water Recycling” boondoggle, the Diversity Sustainability Action Plan and the collection of  “matching grant” programs (including the Nature Restoration Grant) by which our City gets “free” money in exchange for slipping on another set of Federal or State handcuffs. All of these social engineering or wealth re-distribution schemes are designed to circumvent local limitations on taxation.  All would be rejected by voters if they were correctly labeled.

If you are a Capistrano City Councilman with an affinity for Mr. Obama and his agenda, you’re going to say “What’s wrong with these wonderful programs?” If you’re a Conservative, you may not even realize how destructive and socialist these programs are, so deviously are they packaged. Non-partisan was always an illusion.  It has become a deception.

Locally, Councilman Mark Nielsen is a liberal Democrat who heavily champions all of the programs listed above. But Nielsen doesn’t have to put a “D” after his name because he holds a non-partisan office. Nielsen’s underlying leftist political philosophy permeates our city policies – notwithstanding the fact that the conservative majority of Capistrano voters would reject these policies if they were shown in their true light. Doubtless, that is one of the reasons why Mr. Nielsen has such a proclivity for pushing major decisions into secret Council Executive sessions. This seems related to the recent Orange County District Attorney’s citation of Mr. Nielsen’s Council for Brown Act violations and the referral of the matter to the California Attorney General.

Likewise, over at the Capistrano Unified School District, a group of ultra-liberal college professors, progressive Alinsky-style “community organizers” and the teacher’s union itself are seeking to replace our new conservative school board majority in a single election through the recall process.  This campaign, cloaked in friendly non-partisan rhetoric about children, education, respect, and local control, is nothing more than a partisan power grab lead by radical leftist Democrats.

Beware of this new paradigm by which leftist activists infiltrate local non-partisan city councils and school boards. Mark Nielsen is the Larry Agran of our town. Chris Korpi (spokesman the CUSD recall) is a financial contributor to socialist causes with ties to tribal and union interests and the political money machine they represent.  Most voters are not aware that liberal-Democratic mice are busily chewing at the foundations of our City government, school board, and our democracy itself, under the cloak of non-partisanship.


Chris Korpi said...

I was very amused to read my name listed as a contributor to "socialist" and "liberal" causes. As a Republican I supported Senator Obama for President in 2008. I was one of millions of Republicans who did so. I know Senator McCain and he went back on a campaign promise he made to me personally. My contributions in the last election had more to do with opposing a politician who wasn't honest than anything else. Had the author of this post actually asked me about my politics they would have learned that I am not a "liberal" or a supporter of "socialist" causes. I am a life long Republican, was a heavy contributor to John McCain in 2000 and was a delegate for Reagan at the GOP National Convention in 1984. I was also Executive Director of the Republican Pary in another state in 1986.

The current Recall is entirely non-partisan and so should the CUSD Board of Trustees. However, because of people who are members of the OC Republican Central Committee, the local polical machine has made the CUSD Board of Trsutees political and partisan.

Had the author asked they would have learned that their assumptions were false. The fact is that they did have a chance to ask and they actually knew better but blogged false information anyway. Why would the author deliberately lie? Usually when someone does lies they are doing so to deflect attention away from facts that are not flattering to themselves or their own position. The list of items that they don't want conservatives to focus on would include rampant, wasteful and out of control spending by the current trustees and votes that approved almost three quarters of a million dollars being paid to a handful of families and their attorneys in out of court settlements. The recipients of these out of court settlements were contributors and supporters of the trustees who voted to approve these payments! Interestingly these payments were authorized by "conservative" Republicans and paid to "conservative" Republicans. Recipients of these settlements include the Beall, Reardon, Russell, Case and Furniss families and their attorneys.

If a neutral observer was watching the CUSD Board of Trustees they would wonder why these families are making this non-partisan elected body so political and partisan and how the voters would let them get away with approving these payments? The answer is that the voters won't let them get away with it. Over 32,000 voter signatures were collected in less than 60 days - a record for Orange County - because the voters have had enough.

I am a fiscal conservative and have devoted almost five decades to elected responsible and fiscally sound officials to office. I am also opposed to letting politicians stay in office who vote to approve out of court settlements to people that donated to their campaigns.

Jim Reardon said...


For those concerned about the direction of our schools, there is nothing "amusing" here. Your claims to be a Republican are little more than a beard to conceal your true leanings. Claiming that "millions" of Republicans supported Obama in 2008 can hardly explain your personal contributions to a candidate of the Democratic Farm Labor Party or your contribution to the South OC Democratic Club. How about that contribution to Act Blue? This is not the behavior of a mere Republican cross-over voter.

You know that John McCain was not the conservative Republican candidate in 2000. Representing yourself as a conservative in the past does not explain the much larger and more recent contributions contained in official financial disclosures. Just where exactly did you hold an executive position in the Republican Party? And when?

You and the progressive / socialist co-signers of the Recall Petition have built a campaign based on lies. The "facts" you cite on your website concerning the lawsuit settlements are incorrect. These errors have been communicated to members of your group and yet you continue to cite this false information. What shall neutral observers conclude from this?

Past CUSD leadership spent millions of dollars of public money for attorneys to fight students and parents. They brought the District to the brink of insolvency. The current Board of Trustees sought to end this by settling the lawsuits they were most likely lose and relied on the advice of their insurance company in doing so. This is prudent and conservative leadership.

Such leadership stands in stark contrast to your obviously false claim to be a "fiscal conservative". You are a creature of the progressive left and a tool of the teacher's union and other special interests.

Anonymous said...

Chis Korpi has no children at all. Jim Reardon has children in private not public school.

What is this really about?

Chris Korpi said...

I used to author a Common Sense column in my College newspaper. That column was dedicated to truth and opinion in support of conservative principles. I tested you yesterday to see if you would post a correction to the mis-information you wrote in the above posting. You failed that test. When confronted with truth you buried it which is typical of propaganda and those who author the same.

I am not and have never been asscociated with a union.

I am not and have never been a contributor to socialist causes.

I am not and have never been a liberal activist

Tom McClintock correctly praised tribal governments and their business operations in CA as the last bastion of free enterprise and the American dream in our economy. I am proud to be associated with tribal gaming and their related businesses. However, their "money machine" - if it even exists, have had and will not have any influence on the CUSD issues now facing our community.

It is a very sad commentary on those who create blogs when they resort to lies and misinformation to create fear in people, when they fail to check their facts before publishing their opinions disguised as facts, and when confronted with the truth they fail to correct their mistakes and retract their falsehoods. Propaganda and spin can be very evil. One of the signs of true believers is that they can show a back bone and admit when they are wrong and will allow others to voice disenting or opposing information. Can the writers of this publication show integrity and honesty? So far the answer seems to be NO.

Jim Reardon said...


You state that you have never been associated with a union. But your appearance on KFI Radio during the strike, arranged by the teacher's union, is enough evidence for me that that this statement is untrue. But if that were not enough, the union-organized involvement of on-strike teachers in collecting recall signatures further reveals the statement to be untrue.

You state that you have never contributed to socialist causes. Your contribution to the Democratic Farm Labor Party, a socialist splinter of the mainstream Democratic Party, shows this statement to be untrue.

You state that you've never been a liberal activist. Yet your executive profile on the website of Cadillac Jack, your employer, praises your political work in the area of tribal "gaming" (or gambling, for the rest of us). What is that all about, if not activism?

The LA Times has called Indian gambling, "The principal growth industry in California." Indian gambling interests -- the money machine I referred to earlier -- are among the biggest contributors to political campaigns in this state -- right behind the big contributions made by the teacher's unions. Indeed, Indians they gave Tom McClintock, a conservative whose bone fides have never been questioned, a campaign contribution of $2.5 million at one point. But McClintock's praise of Indian "business operations" is far from an endorsement. It is not the same thing as facilitating the expansion of Indian gambling, something from which you and your employer directly benefit.

Yet you spin a story ("…if they even exist") that that Indian interests are inconsequential. The very makeup of your committee demonstrates this to be untrue.

Back in CUSD, the issue with your affiliations is that you are not truthful about them. Our community is strongly conservative, supports small government, legal immigration, Proposition 8, low taxes, and we elected the present conservative School Board by an overwhelming margin. You hide behind rhetoric, conceal your affiliations, and use misrepresentation to push your agenda. You talk of virtue as the justification for your action and yet you offer the opposite.

As an occasional contributor to CCS, I can assure you that its very reason for existence is to support conservative principles.

Trailer Trash said...

At Coffee Chat on Friday, Erin Kutnick tried to make a campaign pitch in her run for the OC Republican central committee (nobody was listening). Korpi says the school bd is supported by the central committee. Kutnick hates the board members, having lost the last election.

Is Kutnick working with/for Korpi?

Chris Korpi said...

You continue to spin untruths and hide behind made up stories. You could have always asked me your questions in person but you have never chosen to do so.

So let me correct just a few of your lies:

1) The union did not arrange for my interview with KFI. That is a flat out lie. KFI contacted me and I told them I didn't speak for and couldn't speak for the union. I have the emails to prove this assertion. I spoke for the recall effort which was not initiated or organized by any union. No matter how desperately you and others try to make this recall out as a union effort it isn't true. Is it that hard for you and your fellow board supporters to realize that not everyone that is against these trutees are union members? That is your fall back line but it rings so empty and false.

2) I contributed to Mr. Tinklenberg who was running against Michelle Bachman in Minnesota. Bachman is a nut job and I donated money to her opponent and that contribution is listed as Democrat Farm Labor.I am in favor of civil political discourse. Bachman isn't a person I admire at all. I also contributed $100 to Rob Miller who is running against Joe Wilson in South Carolina. Wilson was the one who yelled out "you lie".

3) Working for Indian Gaming is not a "liberal" issue. Most of the tribal chairmen in Southern CA are notable Republicans. I would challenge you to call Agua Caliente Chairman Richard Milanovich a "liberal" and see where that takes you.

My job in Indian Gaming is not related to my volunteer work to help the parents take back CUSD from the trustees you helped elect. These are the trustees that have proven that they can't control their spending, willingly vote to approve out of court settlements to those that financially contributed to their campaigns, and have violated the public trust. Remember when these trustees ran for office Jim? You didn't have a problem with the teachers union supporting some of them when they ran then but now the union is evil? They promised open and transparent government and now they have secret meetings and break the law in how they hold those meetings. Their out of control spending has made the budget worse and you defend them?

I spent a long time working for Ronald Reagan. You might remember Reagan? He was once a Democrat, he was a union member ( like Bryson claims to be) and he willingly took the endorsement of The Teamsters when he ran for President. It seems that if someone isn't advocating for the far right wing fence the lies come out and they are painted as liberal activists or contributors to socialist causes and their motivations are questioned. I didn't vote for those out of court settlements and neither did the three trustees that had enough independence and backbone to recuse themselves from that vote.

My faith commands that I do not lie and that I do not bare false witness on others. My campaign contributions are a matter of public record. I am not a candidate and won't be. I am a private citizen and am willingly helping parents and voters take back CUSD from those that would destroy it. We can disagree over policy and debate the merits of ideas but honest people with integrity don't make things up to further they positions unless they are bankrupt in their ideas and have nothing else to fall back on other than fiction, fantasy and fringe conspiracies.

I am more than eager to answer your questions in person and in public Mr. Reardon. I will eagerly await your retractions and apologies but doubt I will see either

Jim Reardon said...


I don't think I'm "hiding behind made up stories". In fact, your comments appear to confirm all facts that I presented.

It is also a well-known fact that striking teachers were able to receive credit from their union for walking picket lines OR collecting signatures. Since these written instructions were sent to a few thousand CUSD teachers, I'd like to know how you can deny the association. Now that the teachers are demanding to be paid for their days on strike (in lieu of negotiated furlough days), they are really proposing to be paid for their time collecting recall signatures! Was that your idea?

Do you see anything ironic about that?

Incidentally, I didn't claim that Indian gambling was a liberal issue. Indian gambling and the huge political influence that it purchases through massive campaign contributions is a corrupting influence that operates without partisan boundaries. This was precisely the point of the CCS Editorial and mention of your name in connection with this problem was most appropriate, in my opinion.

Your pious statements are laughable until you and your committee correct the false statements made in connection with my family, and afterward you should seriously examine the damage your conduct has brought upon others in our community.

Anonymous said...

Exactly how does somebody find out who the committee members of Parents for Local Control are and what their affiliations might be? Looking at the website, the names of the petition originators have all been removed.

I find it more than a little odd that a group claiming to desire returning transparency to our school district would hide who they are.

Chris Korpi said...

I stand behind my statements Jim.

I an not a liberal activist

I an not a contributor to socialist issues

The recall is not connected to the union. I can't control what they do on their own time.

No elected official should vote to approve anything that results in monies paid to people that financially contributed to their campaigns. Three of the trustees were wise enough to know this. Four of them chose to vote "yes" and the result was over $655,000 was paid to those that financially contributed to, lent money to, or otherwise supported their campaigns ( as well as their attorneys ). That is wrong and because of those votes CUSD voters will remove Winsten, Maddox and Bryson from office.

I look forward to discussing these issues in person soon.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Korpi... I worked on the first recall night and day because I had children in the CUSD and saw daily the misappropriation of funding and how unfair it was to the teachers and children. It broke my heart the teachers would not join us in the recall. The teachers seem to have no problem now with the direction of Union Leader Vicki S., creating mayhem because of entitlement of guarantees in this economy.

What Mr. Korpi is your motivation in all of this? Do you have children in this public school district?

Anonymous said...

All of the original signers are on the petitions being circulated. Their addresses are also on those petitions. Over 32,000 signers could read their names and their home addresses. That is transparent for most people. None of the organizers were CUSD teachers or CUEA union members. Signers include Dr. Pete Espinosa who is a former CUSD trustee and no fan of Fleming, Truman Benedict who has a school named after him and was a former CUSD Superintendent, James Sigafoos who is a respected member of the San Clemente community and who's wife is the CUSD High School Teacher of the Year, Pete Ditto, John Alpay, Gail Benda, Judi Heidel, Susan Goggins, Thomas Coffin and Michael Merrifield. These ten aren't the officers and directors of Parents for Local Control but some of them are involved at that level.

Parents for Local Control is a PAC and their officers and contributions are filed with the State just like any other PAC.

Over 32,500 signatures were collected for each of the trustees being recalled. That is a total of over 65,000 signatures in less than 60 days and is a record in Orange County. That kind of mass involvement has never been done this quickly before and it was done entirely by volunteers. Most of the collecting was done by parents, not teachers, and so the futile attempts to make the recall a union run effort is not true.

The editorial board of this blog rarely attend meetings of the CUSD Board of Trustees ( other than the March 31st meeting when they stood out on the sidewalk outside the Board room as observers ). People that actually attend these meetings usually leave shocked at the way these trustees conduct themselves and the way they treat parents and other constituents. There remains a small group of people that still support these trustees but that number is rapidly decreasing.

Jim Reardon said...


You have a very poor memory. In the first recall, the teacher's union refused to participate based on a promise of future consideration from Fleming. After the recall failed and Fleming broke his promise, union leadership begged the recall leadership to mount another effort. It was all about money, by the way. Would you expect otherwise from that union?

Has your recall group been begged in the same way? Or did the union simply create your group?

Your recall is seriously tainted by the union's involvement in collecting signatures. This cannot be undone.

The "record" petition drive you cite remains unconfirmed because your committee has yet to submit the petitions to the OC Registrar of Voters for confirmation. For now, your comments just appear to be an extension of your petition gathering campaign.

I'd like to make one more comment on the lawsuit settlements. You've made much of the fact that there was something wrong about the Trustees voting to settle those lawsuits. You cite this act as justification for your recall. That's a good campaign slogan, but your logic is faulty. Given that many of those who sued supported the election of ALL of the Trustees who faced the settlement decision, just how could CUSD make any decision regarding the lawsuits? Do you believe all seven Trustees should have recused themselves?

This is an interesting ethical dilemma but it has an obvious solution. That is to rely on advice of independent legal counsel to reach a decision. Then it is your duty to vote in order to preserve the smooth functioning of the organization. Trustees who voted to settle the lawsuits did exactly this. They understood their obligation to act. They then went a step further and asked the lawyer who advised them to present his reasoning in a public meeting and in writing to create a public record.

With your false campaign issue and slogans already before the public and your shrill supporters disrupting one Board meeting after another, I'm sure the righteousness of the Board's action was totally lost on your group. However, I can assure you and the public at large that there was much more at stake in that decision than the paltry settlement. And since you know nothing of the actual issues at stake in the litigation, I don't expect you to respond.

Finally, I have no interest whatsoever to discuss these matters with you in person.

Chris Korpi said...

Jim, jim, jim

I really did expect more from someone planning to run for SJC City Council. It is more mature to discuss items like this face to face then across blog posts but if that is uncomfortable for you we can continue using this method where you state untruth and I need to respond with a correction. that is your choice but the face to face approach is more mature and less ..........

Everything wrong in Jim Reardon's world is caused by the union I guess? If a recall is started it must be by the union or controlled by the union or otherwise influenced by a union? With that logic every action of the Board of Trustees must be manipulated and influenced by those that received the out of court settlements? Logic would suggest that it isn't that simple.

Not that the truth matters but the teachers union didn't approach us, didn't influence us and doesn't have any contact with our recall organization. I know that must be hard for you to understand where everybody that disagrees with you must be a .... what was that lie you wrote earlier?...oh "a union tool". Wrong again Mr. Reardon. The earth is not flat, the sun does not revolve around the earth and the union isn't behind the recall. In the world of "the evil union is behind everything I disagree with" that might be hard for you to understand but it is the truth regardless. You can repeat the lie all you want but it still is a lie. World history is full of people that believe that if you repeat the lie often enough that people will believe it and unfortunately history has proven that theory correct. That is obviously your strategy but it still doesn't make your fantasies regarding union involvement in the recall anything less bizare or inaccurate.

That is what happens when you live on the believe fringe beliefs and nothing can talk you out of it.

There are a lot of people that were on that enemies list and only a few chose to continue with their suits. It is an interesting list of people that chose to pursue those actions. I guess it is just a coincidence that that list is identical to the list of donors and supporters of the current trustees? I admire Sue Palazzo for not voting and I do believe that Bryson, Winsten and Maddox's decision to support those payments are cause for their removal. I suppose you think the union was behind Sue Palazzo's decision to abstain from that vote too? You don't agree with her vote so the union must have been behind it so that was an obvious question.

The petition signatures will be submitted to the ROV next week. Once again you will be shown to be wrong but that won't matter since you will try to spin the story to suit the fringe. Every point you have made has a statement to show where you were wrong but duck and cover seems to be a better tactic to avoid the truth than face to face.

I know who started the recall and who is organizing it now. You have a set of made up theories that are only believable as long as no one challenges them. Once they are challenged they dissolve. I trust our facts over your fantasies

Anonymous said...

Knowing that the out of court settlements were an albatross around their necks, the trustees got their staff and employees to create a dog and pony show to try to defend their votes. They used CUSD staff and resources to try to influence the public because they wanted to affect the outcome of a recall election. Does that sound familiar to anyone? Evidently when Fleming did it it was illegal but when the puppets do it the out of court recipients defend it.

cowards, liars and all of them much richer as a result.

Tea Party Activists unite! Remove these people from the Board of Trustees!!

Anonymous said...


So your method of communicating to the recall was to get your trustee buddies to use Rob Lebs and the CUSD attorney to defend their actions at a public CUSD Board meeting six months after they cast their votes to award those settlements? In an earlier post to Korpi you state that the recall had been informed of the reasons behind those settlement votes and now you state that that was done using that attorney at that meeting? So you and your fellow recipients manipulated the Board agenda so that the trustees could try to cover their votes months after they were cast. Seems like this had more to do with the timing of the recall petitions and elections then offering an explanation to the public. I was at that meeting and no one there believed their explanation. It was viewed as political and if the former trustees or Superintendent would have done that you would have screamed from the back of the room. Funny how a few hundred thousand dollars makes it all ok now

Jim Reardon said...


Before your anonymous shills invade this discussion, I have a simple question for you.

You have said repeatedly, emphatically and publicly that there is "no connection" between your recall committee and the union. Over and over, you use this statement as a shield.

What do you have to say about Stefanie Seach? She is a CUEA-designated Grievance Representative, which means she works for the union in representing teachers who have complaints against the school district. She's also listed as an officer of Parents for Local Control in your organizational filing dated February 23. In fact, she is one of only three officers listed that Form 410.

How well do you actually know the people involved in your campaign?

One must conclude that you are either an uninformed spokesman for the recall group or you are willing to say whatever is necessary to further your position.

Anonymous said...

I was involved in the first recall effort. I believe my children were harmed (by teachers) because of it. Even though I didn't join them, I applaud those who challenged CUSD for this behavior and I worry that the current political movement is based on minimizing the impact of teachers actions - be it retaliation or the more recent strike.

Teachers matter in the lives of our children. When they mess up, they don't deserve a free pass. Who should be held responsible then?

chris korpi said...


What I said was that the union didn't initiate, organize or finance this current recall. Obviously there are teachers and retired teachers helping with the recall. Stacey is a retired teacher. She has an investment in keeping CUSD from being destroyed by your friends.

I was there when this recall started and there weren't any teachers present or union members involved. That doesn't make a difference to you since you will insist they were there because that is the delusion you wish to continue to support.

I was there when the recall organization was created. There weren't any union members there and the union didn't even know we were starting the recall. But that doesn't matter since Mr. Reardon wants to imagine that those evil union members MUST have been involved. More delusion but that's ok because you believe it to be so and therefore it must be true.

I was there when the parents and voters that were in our group learned that the teachers decided to take a position on the recall. It was unsolicited and we didn't know they were considering taking that position. We then insisted that there be no coordination or financial help. This decision was made because it wasn't a union created movement and we didn't want it to appear like one. But that doesn't matter. Jim wasn't there but since be imagines that he knows what happened in those meetings his delusion now becomes the truth and those that were there didn't actually see or experience anything different then what Jim believes they experienced. There is always the "you are a union tool" moniker that can be used to imply that everyone is just stupid and being duped and that in fact the union was behind everything all along and probably created the idea years ago. The only one that isn't fooled is you Jim. Everyone is stupid but Jim. Why did I think we could all get away with it and you wouldn't find out?

I think the anonymous "shills" made some valid points Jim. You won't address them because their questions hit too close to home? That the Board you got elected seems to have used District resources and personnel to influence a recall election by paying Rob L and an attorney to try to explain away those out of court settlement votes? Your attempt to communicate with the recall was to get your trustees to use their employees to influence public opinion at a CUSD Board meeting? Do you really want to claim that you did that? Perhaps you should retrace your comments and correct your message.

Please join us at the OC Registrar of Voters Friday at 10 AM as we submit over 65,000 signatures to recall your friends Ken and Mike. In case you forgot, those are the petition signatures you and Ken suggested were fictitious? Seems like the facts aren't on your side Jim but you are demonstrating a very creative set of delusions regarding the facts.

How will you exlain the 65,000 signatures? I held every petition in my hand. I know who checked them out, collected signatures and did the work. I could tell you the percentage of parents and teachers and realtors and homeowners that did the work but that wouldn't matter since that would be factual. Why waste the effort talking facts since you will invent your own set of facts to fit your pre-set opinions anyway.

Jim Reardon said...


The quotes are your words...

"What I said was that the union didn't initiate, organize or finance this current recall."

What you said is that the recall has no connection with the union.

"I was there when this recall started and there weren't any teachers present or union members involved."

I was approached by some of the original recallers before you were involved. You were not there. Why are you involved now? You have no children in our schools or otherwise. As you must know, the original recallers were compromised or incompetent. Obviously, there was reason to replace them with your committee. Who arranged that?

"I was there when the recall organization was created."

I was not. I had already made up my mind that I wanted nothing to do with the current recall. I was content to let the newly elected and fiscally conservative reform board have a chance.

"I was there when the parents and voters that were in our group learned that the teachers decided to take a position on the recall."

This confirms the involvement of the union in the recall, doesn't it? And it explains why union members were collecting signatures in lieu of their picketing obligations. Explain Stefanie Seach's involvement in your organization as an officer. Who is "Stacey"?

"I think the anonymous "shills" made some valid points Jim."

Really? I can't imagine what. Ron Lebs was hired by Woodrow Carter. Carter was no friend of mine. The attorney you're talking about was the adversary in the parent lawsuits. Coincidently he represented the Orange County Department of Education (vs. CUSD) in the dispute over election dates in the by area election issue. He opposed Greer. DId you notice? The suggestion that I would communicate through him is simply incredible.

Finally, I did not suggest your signatures are "fictitious". I said that we would have to take your word alone that they exist until they are submitted for verification. Having been down that path once in the past, I can tell you that verification most unpredictable and confidentiality of the petitions is a fantasy. Just ask my friend, Kevin Murphy.

And if you think that the Board has has paid Ron Lebs or others to influence the recall process, you should take your complaint to the OC District Attorney and I'll be there to back you up.

Chris Korpi said...

There was only one group that initiated this current recall Jim. We had to serve notice twice because of the lawsuit threat. Again, I was there when this small group started this current recall. No one from the union was present and their knowledge of the recall wasn't until after we served the notice of recall at that CUSD board meeting. You confuse those that served the petitions or signed the petitions with those that organized the recall. There just wasn't any discussion or thought about the union when we started this. I know that is almost impossible for you to comprehend but your beliefs in this matter are just fantasy. I am not denying that the teachers and their union decided later to be involved. They operated independently. No one viewed or approved the unions documents prior to their strike. What they do or don't do is their own business. Their help wasn't the deciding factor in qualifying the petitions in 60 days. That had been accomplished before their strike. The timing of the strike was dictated by the Board and their inability to understand how to do their jobs. Reforms are needed in CUSD but no reforms are possible without the education community being involved in planning and implementing them. Reforms can't be accomplished by dictators and by imposing them. It appears that that is what you and others thought could be done. That was naive and ignorant. Government doesn't work that way.

The union voted to support the recall AFTER it was initiated and organized. There was no coordination with the union or financing from them after they decided to support it. That is where your fantasies reveal the instability of your arguments. We repeatedly inform you of what actually happened but because you can't wrap your suspicions around those facts you force yourself to try to distort the situation to match your bias. Stephanie was an interim assistant treasurer. She is no longer an officer of Parents for Local Control. PLC was and is totally voter and parent driven. I already answered your question about my reasons for being involved. The current trustees lied to me. They lied about where they took their money, they lied about what they intended to do when they got elected, and they displayed complete incompetence in their abilities to run a school board. My home values are being hurt by their actions. Nothing about these trustees is fiscally conservative. Nothing. They failed you and your supporters and you know it. They failed every voter in CUSD and they need to be replaced. When the replacement candidates are announced the voters will see that they are not union sympathizers and liberal/socialist/ leftist activists. I am speaking for the average voter not the readers of Common Sense because I am confident you will invent some connections that aren't there. I would hope that later you will realize that your conspiracy theories about the true motivations behind this recall aren't true but I think that is naive too.

We will submit the petitions Friday. 80% were collected by parents...parents Jim..not union members. Every city was proportionately represented and RSM, Coto, MV and other formerly board friendly areas are heavily represented. Your scare tactics regarding confidentiality of those signatures won't work either Jim. The law is clear that once we submit the signatures they can't be made public. Also remember Jim that those of us that are behind this recall were not fans of Fleming or the former trustees. This isn't an effort to return to the days of old and hand the district and the budget over to any special interest group. That means that the union or your group won't be happy with who we replace these trustees with. We are striving to replace these trustees with true fiscal conservatives but that are proponents of public education. We want balance and sanity which means the extremes will likely be disappointed but not alarmed. The replacement trustees will be people that actually understand education funding and understand ethics in government.

save our public schools said...

Mr Reardon-
Earlier in this conversation, Mr Korpi said

" honest people with integrity don't make things up to further they positions unless they are bankrupt in their ideas and have nothing else to fall back on ..."

The more he posts, the more clearly Mr Korpi makes that point. No one, not even he, can seriously believe the teachers' union isn't involved in this. What CUEA has done to our community is shameful. He would have a better understanding of this if he had children. I have been curious why he is involved here too.

Anonymous said...

There are quite a number of retired employees of CUSD like Ms. Seach who are involved in the attempt to recall the board. In fact they are a stronger presence than parents in the effort. This may be the explanation for it.

Having discussed this issue with 3 of our trustees, I know it is something they are very concerned about. It doesn't surprise me at all that this group of current and future public pensioners would go to these length to keep their place in the chow line.

Anonymous said...

"pensioners" and three of the current trustees have "concerns"...come on

Maddox works for the State Board of Equalization

Bryson works for Chriss Street in the OC Tax Collectors office

Interim Supt for CUSD earns over $140K a year in her pension on top of the $1,000 a day the current trustees pay her.

There is always a doubles standard for you wackos. If it is your friends who get the pension, or are a member of a union, or are government employees that is ok. If the people are mainstream and opposed to your fringe beliefs they are pensioners and evil union members.

Do you all realize how hypocritical you sound?

Anonymous said...

Wait! you mean if you don't have children you shouldn't be involved? Being a voter or homeowner isn't enough and only those with children can have a say?

OK. Addonizio doesn't have kids and should never have been elected to a CUSD trustee position or have been their President. ooops...she is a friend of yours so that is ok!

Maddox had a kid in CUSD schools until he got elected and then moved him to a private school right after being elected. Only Winsten has kids in CUSD schools....1 out of 7...but wait! That is ok because they are your allies?

When will your hypocrisy stop people? Are you so blinded by your biases that you can't see how badly you continue to trip over your own arguments?

Reardon isn't even capable of a face to face conversation with people he disagrees with because he is afraid he might have to confront and correct his misinformation. What kind of city councilman will that make him? We can see the council meetings now. When constituents ask him a question he will ask them to read the common sense blog to get their answers. What a great lesson in open and honest dialogue.

Anonymous said...

Couple of things...Mr. Korpi; I was one of the parents whose child was retaliated against by the Fleming regime. Just because I chose not to sue doesn't mean that retaliation didn't happen - I know it did, so do the parents who did sue - inlcluding the Reardon family.

Do you even have children? If you did and they were retaliated against because of your political views, I doubt that you'd be making statements about "political payback" being the reason behind the settlement of the lawsuit. That you make these statements is offensive to all the people who suffered under the Fleming regime.

Also, most everyone knows the union is behind the recall. To say otherwise just makes you look like a liar. People dislike the union because they see how damaging unions and their out of control pensions and benefits are to California. The results of the last trustee elections show just how much people dislike and distrust the union. Even though the union spent alot of money on their candidates, they still lost by large margins. That woman Kutnik couldn't even get elected in her own area - she lost to a complete unknown.

Ditto for Indian gaming - I think most people are onto the power the tribes are trying to amass with their fortunes and I think most REAL Reagan conservatives now say "no thanks" to supporting those interests.

We don't want Indian gaming here any more than we want the union controlling the board.

You fool no one.

Anonymous said...

I just can't believe that sane mature adults, who purportedly send their children to public schools, could describe teachers as "current and future public pensioners...who want to keep their place in the chow line". And that's one of the kinder things that has been said of late.

It is precisely this incomprehensible and inexcusable denigration of all teachers that has landed us right where we are. Since when did teaching become an ignoble profession? Since when did wanting to be able to support your family become a liberal socialist ideal?

And is this how these parents talk about teachers in front of their children? I can fairly well imagine how their children behave in a classroom when they are taught that their teachers don't deserve any respect....

A sad, sad commentary on Orange County.

Jim Reardon said...


I can readily see why you were chosen as the spokesman for the recall. In contrast, I'll try to keep my comments brief.

Buried in your message, you state that Stefanie Seach is no longer involved in Parents for Local Control. OK, we can confirm that on your Financial Disclosure that was due on April 30. You've already filed that, right?

With Ms. Seach out of the picture, that leaves only Pete Espinosa and Gail Benda as officers in your group, unless you appointed someone new. Have you?

Pete Espinosa is a counseler at Saddleback College, a activist union member, and the author of the infamous "solidarity" letter published during the strike that encouraged teachers to stay off the job. He was a Trustee of CUSD during the Fleming era when he participated in the infamous practice of unanamous Board ratification of Fleming policies.

Espinosa also holds himself out as the spokesman for Capistrano Unified Children First, Inc. -- another Political Action Committee.

Since Pete Espinosa is formally involved in your committee and CUCF, isn't one simply the alter-ego of the other? Can you explain the difference? Which one will get the union contribution?

Finally, what about Gail Benda? She's a retired school teacher and sometime local politican with an unusual history in San Diego County.

Is everyone behind the recall a teacher, married to a teacher, or a retired teacher?

Come on, Chris. You need to be a little more forthcoming! Why all the secrecy? Tell us all what is going on here. We are dying to learn about your connection to everyone who signed that recall petition.

Anonymous said...

The point of the original article has been missed.

Are all these people Democrats or Republicans, or what?

It does matter for the future of our city.

Anonymous said...

Why are you all choosing to attack the original signers of the petitions now? Because they achieved what you previously dismissed as impossible? So now you will criticize them for breathing and caring about what happens in their cities and school districts? And Lord help them if they ever made a political donation? That's absolutely ridiculous.

Use your GOOGLE button.

They are not all Democrats or Republicans. And since we live in a country where the voting ballot is actually confidential, you have no idea how any of them actually voted on anything, regardless of their listed party affiliation. Thinking and informed people can actually split a voting ticket.

And, as one who actually knows a great number of people who worked on gathering these signatures, let me be the first to assure you, they don't even ask each other their party affiliation. They don't care.

Why do you?

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to get information about who is "Parents for Local Control". I have asked on Beyond the Blackboard and here. You would think this information would be readily available, but it isn't that easy to find. I was told above that the Secretary of State keeps a record of the officers and contributions. Contacting the secretary of states office reveals that they have not filed any information about who their contributors are or how much they have received even though the report was due about 2 weeks ago. The secretary of state's office thinks Peter Espinosa, Gail Benda and Stefanie Seach are the officers of Parents for Local Control.

Now the recall spokesperson says these are not the officers and that those who initiated the petitions are not the leaders of the recall. Ummmm OK..... So what is going on here?

Mr. Korpi, just who is behind this effort? Don't you think the public has a right to that information?

Anonymous said...

Q: Why are you all choosing to attack the original signers of the petitions now?"

A: Because their motivations are selfish and have been intentionally concealed from the public.

Facts are all wrong said...

Erin Kutnick won in her trustee area. Brick lost if the votes from outside the trustee area werent't included.

Does it bother anyone here that not a single one of your facts is correct?

Anonymous said...

Could you please define your understanding of the word "selfish"? Really. And, how do you know that all the original signers of the petitions are "selfish" or, to be more specific, that "their motivations are selfish"? Do you know them all? Have you talked with them all?

Anonymous said...

Cat got your tongue?

Anonymous said...

The teachers who walked out of the classroom and away from their students to strike and whine about a lousy 10% cut in pay and benefits earned the "ignoble" designation as tax dollar chow hounds.

There is NO other explanation for what they did and it will not soon be forgotten by many of us parents.

If they were smart they would stop letting that ineffective and destructive union prez call the shots that make them look so bad in the eyes of the public and do what the Saddleback union teachers did - settle and agree to renegotiate when their contract comes up for renewal.

What's really stupid about what the CUEA did is that they got nothing that they wouldn't have already gotten in the next round of negotiations in 2011 - except a black eye, and a very public one at that.

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope not, I am allergic to cats.

Parents in the district, even those that support the recall, know that the union is behind it. I think what frustrates many of us so is that most of us have 2 choices; take it or leave it.

It is ironic because before the strike I was neutral on these issues but generally inclined to support the teachers. I understood that they had a right to call a strike. But the way that they went about it is what I have a problem with. My 2 high schoolers were informed that if they attended school during the "parent lead" sick out or the strike, it would not be forgotten. That is a hellva a thing to say teenagers. And the things that were said when I crossed the picket line with my twins and the messages that were left on the white boards, I will never forget that.

This is what has degraded my opinion of teachers. I wish I could do something different.

Anonymous said...

Correction. The Union is not "behind" the recall, and the parents who truly support the recall KNOW THAT. The Union may support the recall, but they had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with its initiation. A fact is a fact. That said, I am still waiting to hear an explanation as to why the signers of the original petition are operating from "selfish motivations". Humor me, and answer accepting the true fact. Recall was not union initiated.

Anonymous said...

Then why are all the officers listed with the secretary of state's office union members/reps and not parents of students in CUSD? The recall spokesperson says none of these people are the real leaders anyway. Seems that Parents for Local Control is a misnomer.

Still waiting to hear who is really behind this-

Anonymous said...

Hey union supporter - just keep repeating the mantra that the union isn't behind the recall; maybe you'll eventually come to believe it.

But for the rest of us, everyone I've talked to believes the union is behind the recall. Maybe because the union stupidly sent out communications lining up union members to collect sigs for the recall, or the fact that teachers were cornering parents on campus trying to force them to sign (not a good PR move in my opinion) plus the fact that they continue to openly push for it.

Anyway, you know what they say - "perception is reality".

Reality is; everyone knows the union is behind the effort to control the board.

Anonymous said...

Our hats are off to the first fiscally responsible "Board" we can recall.

My wife and I elected to send our children to private schools upon arrival in 1979. It was clear to us that the CUSD was second rate. Turns out we were so right to do so. CUSD leadership over the past several years has created a fantastic network of private schools within the district. School's that actually focus on the total development of the children.

CUSD is loaded with teachers and administrators that just couldn't make it in "Private Schools" thus their need for union representation/protection.

In closing, digest this if you will. Can you think of any company or organization you would pay to NOT use what they offer? People who cherish their children and want the best education possible do just that by paying for "Public Education" and opting out.

We'd gladly sign our names to this comment but have learned from the past that dissenter's names go on the union and administrator's "Black List".

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