Recently, during an Orange County Central Committee meeting, the depletion of the Republican brand was emotionally decried by a board member opposing the endorsement of some PYLUSD School Board members.
The School Board challenger candidates, Khan, Yezbak and Kingsbury, are running for the open seats currently held by Padget, Carmona and Downey. They were seeking the endorsement of the OCGOP. At that September meeting of the OCGOP Central Committee, they were accused of supporting a recall effort against either some Yorba Linda City Council candidates or the current water board recall. During the questioning, it was not entirely clear, nor was it established that they undertook some actual support of the recalls, it was simply vociferously and strenuously asserted and accused. These candidates, all of them registered Republicans, have since withdrawn their request to be endorsed by the OCGOP.
The incumbents (Padget, Carmona and Downy) were elected, seated members of the PYLUSD school board when the bond expenditures were approved that funded multiple school improvements as well as the Performing Arts Center at El Dorado High School, and the Shappell Stadium at Yorba Linda High School. At the OCGOP meeting in September, no mention was made of these usurious bonds. None, not once was it raised.
All beautiful and seemingly worthwhile expenditures, new buildings, building improvements and technology, except that they weren’t. The initial cost of these improvements was about $22 million. In their infinite wisdom, these sitting school board members financed the improvements with bonds that had interest rates of about 23%. Once these buildings and the technology upgrades are all paid off, the overall cost to the citizens of Placentia and Yorba Linda will be well over $300 million.
$300 million, for $22 million in improvements. About 40 years to pay it all off. Fiscally responsible?
I wrote about these things in 2015, and apparently none of the GOP in Orange County were paying attention, because they seemed fully and completely unaware of it at their meeting in September.
The Central Committee member who was so offended by these school board challengers seeking an endorsement is also an elected official in Yorba Linda. She railed against these challengers and accused them of damaging the Republican brand. There has been an ugly groundswell in Yorba Linda of using recall efforts to oust unruly politicians, the merit of them certainly debatable, but it was not established nor even asserted that these candidates had anything to do with the recent council or water board recall efforts. It was simply a question, viscerally and emotionally posited, and as such, suggested they had or might have signed the recall petitions. They stated, repeatedly, that they did not recall. It was not an evidentiary hearing, it was an informal question and answer period. It seemed like an inquisition.
Personal vendettas have no place in local elections, and should not be part of the Republican brand. The pontification about branding of the party in that OCGOP meeting, never at any time, mentioned the serious fiscal issues of the PYLUSD board, or any real issues for that matter, only emoting about elections past and perceived alignments within the city.
Noteworthy, was the attendance at that meeting, by Eric Padget, Incumbent PYLUSD board member and registered Republican. His colleagues on the board who are also up for re-election, are not Republicans.
The OCGOP, on that evening, voted NOT to endorse the challengers, Khan, Calderon and Kingsbury. Neither Eric Padgett, nor his non-Republican cohorts, sought the timely endorsement of the OCGOP. It was rumored that Mr. Padgett is not a regular at those Central Committee meetings and was probably there at the behest of the Yorba Linda City Council members who are also members of the Central Committee.
What then, is this “BRAND” that is so worthy of protection? If the Central Committee will sit idly by and do nothing in the face of such obvious and usurious abuse by sitting board members, that in and of itself is an “endorsement”. 40 year financing at 23 %, can not be argued in any context to be fiscally responsible. That is without even getting to the discussion of the abomination that is Common Core, and the federal usurping of our local education system.
Conservatism, used to mean, fiscal responsibility as well as adhering to a concept of local control. No reasonable minds believe that financing technology and building improvements at 23% interest, while the budget and taxpayers are strapped with this debt for the next few generations, is “fiscal responsibility”.
If by protecting the “brand” the committee members meant that they publicizing their ability to exact vengeance upon people who might have disagreed with them in elections past, then, by all means, that “brand” was communicated and is now understood. It is not who we used to be, or historically have bene as Republicans, that is Clinton-cartel style politics.
Let’s hope it does not proliferate in our party and our county.
Here is the story as it was carried by the OC Register when the financial abuse in the PYLUSD was first widely exposed. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/bonds-496091-school-bank.html