What is “Capistrano Forward”?

Following their election to the City Council in November 2014, the new council majority of Pam Patterson, Kerry Ferguson, Derek Reeve and appointed councilman John Perry have repeatedly been publicly criticized by members and/or supporters of a group calling themselves “Capistrano Forward”.

Members of the group include some of the same supporters of a now-disbanded group calling themselves “San Juan Cares”, which supported the previous “old guard” council majority of Sam Allevato, Larry Kramer and John Taylor. Residents may remember when several years ago, San Juan Cares mailed out glossy flyers to all residents depicting then-council candidates Dr. Roy Byrnes, Councilman Derek Reeve and several prominent community members as clowns and circus characters. The mailers attacked individuals who were on the opposite side of issues promoted by the old guard, and the mailers were widely denounced by residents.

 “San Juan Cares” disappeared, and as near as we can tell, has been resurrected under the name, “Capistrano Forward”. In addition to attacking those with whom they disagree, Capistrano Forward has posted signs along city streets criticizing the current council majority.

Residents who have publicly identified themselves as members and/or supporters of the group are listed below:

                                                                                                                                                            Tom Scott - According to domain registration records, Tom Scott was the original registered owner of the Capistrano Forward website, and used the Camino Real Playhouse address as the group's address (see domain registration listed below*).
Scott has been leasing the taxpayer-owned and subsidized Camino Real Playhouse for the nominal sum of $100 per year from the City, and his lease only allows him to use the property for theater-related activities. In addition, according to the Camino Real Playhouse website, Scott has listed the theater for rent for a fee, in violation of his lease agreement. 

Tina Auclair – After Scott was warned by the city that his use of city-owned and subsidized property for political activities violated the terms of his lease, the website domain registration was taken over by Tina Auclair.

 Auclair has been a frequent public critic of the newly elected council majority and outspoken supporter of the old guard. Auclair filed a lawsuit against the city claiming that San Juan’s election method is “racist” as it does not proportionately represent the Latino community. Auclair claims in her lawsuit that Kim McCarthy and the CCS are “racist”, while failing to acknowledge that McCarthy was a campaign manager for former Councilman Londres Uso, an immigrant from Mexico; established and operated an afterschool “Homework Club” primarily for English Language Learners at a local elementary school and who, as a Parks & Recreation Commissioner, voted to recommend that the city council charge nominal rent to “Creer”, a group established to service local Hispanic youth.
 Anna Dickinson – Local realtor and partner of Tina Auclair in “Regency Realty”; Dickinson lives and owns a home in San Juan with Louie Camacho. Camacho is co-plaintiff in the lawsuit with Tina Auclair claiming that San Juan’s election process is “racist”................................................................................. Stephanie Frisch - Failed council candidate in the November 2014 election, and supporter of the old guard council majority. Expressing bitterness over the election outcome in 2014, Frisch publicly stated in several online posts just after the election: “Educated voting or influence of propaganda… It’s not that I didn't win, it's that all the qualified people didn't and the ones that don't know more than a thimbleful did…”  
"Sad, sad day for our town..."
“This is going to be a very dark time for our town. I am literally afraid for what is going to happen...”


Anonymous said...

Can't the city fight this suit and collect all legal fees from the shenkman firm? Then counter-sue the plaintiffs? Nonsense suits like this create emotional stress for the whole community, including the council. The citizens deserve a settlement for this stress and bad publicity. Perhaps a full audit of all these Realtors businesses?
Stop crying because you lost the election. Lose with some class and move on, don't bring our city down because your pride got hurt.

Unknown said...

Judging from the number of cases handled by this firm Shenkman... http://theavtimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Voting_Rights_Cases_Costs.pdf ... San Juan Capistrano was a target for this lawsuit. The plaintiff showed up in 2015 and suddenly she is Capistrano Forward. We have never barred minority candidates from the city council. We really have no fault. But, that does not stop Shenkman from bringing a law suit which we will have to defend. This attorney should lose his license. There are no damages. No one has been barred from voting ever. The race card is buying this attorney lots of toys maybe a private jet. I wonder how much Auclair gets out of this? Our city council members put in so many hours and receive 350.00 a month. Then they get attacked by this woman who shows up a year ago with a dirty little plan. If this doesn't make you mad San Juan Capistrano residents, it should.

Unknown said...

Anonymous....the law on Voters Rights provides a free ride for plaintiff's. The plaintiff and plaintiff's attorney do not have to pay legal fees. The city or school district carries the burden of legal fees. The law was passed that way. Now Shenkmam is filing suit after suit in California using a plaintiff who gains damages and the lawyer collects huge legal fees. The law should never have been passed this way but it was. Lots of money is being spend on redistricting our small town. A town of 35K people should be fine with voting at large. In fact breaking it up is going to be chaos. Our town is too small to require districts and more members on the city council. Other cities claim it is a classic sham by an attorney. The law is being used to "shakedown" local governments. I spoke with a representative in the Modesto CC and she told me we had been targeted.

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