OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Capistrano Unified School District’

Robyn Nordell’s Web Site for Conservative Voters is Up for the 11/4/2014 Election

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on October 18, 2014

A long time ago friends of mine started asking me who to vote for on election day as they know I am involved in politics as an activist and I do research on candidates and causes. I began to prepare and send out by e-mail my voter recommendations which I call “Craig’s Pics.”

I also discovered that my friend Robyn Nordell was doing the same thing but she was several steps ahead of me by publishing her own web site called Robyn Nordell’s Conservative California Election Website. Robyn, a conservative Christian, does her own research which includes extensive interviews of candidates, other local elected officials who are her friends, other activists like myself and she attends every CRA endorsing convention even when she is not a delegate.  Robyn always takes extensive notes of what she observes and hears form candidates and others commenting on the choices before voters.  Several years ago Robyn offered to publish my Craig’s Pics on the Orange County portion of her web site along with other friends who also prepare their voter recommendations to distribute.  I consider it a privilege to have my Pics on her site and to call Robyn a trusted friend.

One of the things I like about Robyn is that she and I do not always agree on our recommendations and some of our friends do not always agree with Robyn’s recommendations.  Yet she publishes our Pics because Robyn is not looking for universal uniformity in our recommendations but for thoughtful conservatives giving their opinions and recommendations for voters.  Are you looking for some voter recommendations that are well thought out and researched?  Are you looking for a place to send friends who would like to receive recommendations for voters that are trustworthy?  Then you can recommend friends and family to Robyn’s web site with confidence that you and they will see none of that there.  She also has a link to Craig Huey’s excellent guide that has extensive grading and recommendations on Judicial Candidates. Here it is as well: Craig Huey’s Voter Guide.

Of course as I am honored that she allows my Craig’s Pics to be on her site, I would be honored if you would stop by my Craig’s Pics on her site as well.  Check out the our other friend’s recommendations on that page too.  You may not agree with all of my Pics or all of Robyn’s – but I don’t expect uniformity from everyone who visits the site or reads my Pics either.

Disclaimer – I am a candidate for the Governing Board of Trustees, Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 4 and a supporter of Robert Ming for Supervisor and Bill Brough for 73rd Assembly District among others.

Posted in 73rd Assembly District, Capistrano Unified School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Stakes are High At Capistrano Unified School District This Election

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on October 9, 2014

When I decided to become a Candidate for Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 4, I knew I would want to let people who read OC Political know why I am running with a post to this blog.  However on Monday (10-6-14) Mr. Robert Loewen of the Lincoln Club of Orange County published in the Orange County Register an opinion piece that does an excellent job of summing up the reasons I am running and why my friends current CUSD Trustee Ellen Addonizio (running for re-election to Trustee Area 6) and Julie Collier (running for Trustee Area 7) are running and what is at stake in this race.  Mr. Loewen’s title for his opinion is Support Accountability at Capistrano Unified.

I will not re-print all of Mr. Loewen’s excellent article here but here is the beginning and a link to the article (it is not behind the Register’s pay wall) for those of you who would like to read the entire article.  You will find it quite eye opening:

“By ROBERT LOEWEN / Contributing Writer

Jack was confused. When his neighborhood carpool dropped him off at Barcelona Hills Elementary that spring day in 2011, it seemed like just another school day. It was not a big deal to the seasoned fifth-grader when he trudged from the busy carpool drop-off area and was herded with his classmates onto school property. He and other kids were handed signs bearing big red letters, “SOS,” the call sign at sea for disaster. Jack assumed the signs held by students were about Earth Day or “Saving Our Planet.” But when Jack took time to read one of the signs, he saw it was a slogan, “Save Our Schools.”

Suddenly, Jack was no longer confused. The signs were a mean-spirited rebuke to a project proposed by his mother, Julie Collier and some other parents, who wanted to see if they could use innovations allowed by state charter-school law to improve the learning environment for their own children.

So Jack found himself in the middle of a protest by someone who used kids to make their point. Jack threw his sign on the ground. Smiling, his teacher came over and handed it back to him. “Jack, could you hold up this sign again? I want to take your picture.” Click.

Jack’s mother, Julie Collier, is running for a seat as trustee on the Capistrano Unified School Board, Area 7. For Julie, it’s personal. She doesn’t mind discussing the issues of accountability and allocation of limited funding in education with anyone.

As a teacher herself, she can more than hold her own. But who gave public school teachers permission to turn her kids, or anyone’s kids, into political pawns?…….” Support Accountability at Capistrano Unified School District

– – – – – – – – –

Thank you Mr. Loewen for an excellent article.

Julie, Ellen and I have opponents who are all endorsed by the unions who are pouring tens of thousands of dollars into our opponents’ campaigns.  That is no surprise to us and neither are the tactics being employed by the unions one of which was discussed by my friend Greg Woodard in his piece on this blog: Unions Care Nothing About Facts and on my own campaign web site: LAWSUITS?”

For more information about my friend Julie Collier and her race go to Julie Collier for CUSD.  For Ellen Addonizio go to Re-Elect Ellen Addonizio.

For my campaign web site go to: Craig For CUSD or my Facebook page Craig Alexander for CUSD

Julie, Ellen and I respectfully ask each voter in Trustee Areas 4, 6 and 7 for their vote.  Thank you all for your support.

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Craig P. Alexander on October 20, 2013

State Assembly Candidate Anna Bryson – The Unions’ Favorite GOP Candidate!

Anna Bryson

When Anna Bryson first ran for election and then re-election to the CUSD Board of Trustees I was one of those who endorsed and supported her. After the 2010 elections, many of my friends who also supported her and I were aghast that she so blatantly switched sides and voted with the Trustees who were elected by the teachers and classified unions.  She is seeking to replace my current Assemblyperson Diane Harkey who is termed out in 2014.  As a resident of South Orange County, I am one of those taxpayers directly affected by her votes and I have no desire to have her as my “representative” in the State Assembly.

The examples below are drawn from the agendas and minutes of the CUSD or from newspaper articles that report on Ms. Bryson’s votes on key issues at Capistrano Unified School District. I always have believed that a politician’s voting record is the very strongest evidence of where their core values lie. In my opinion, Ms. Bryson’s voting record is evidence that her core values do not lie with the taxpayers.

Craig P. Alexander, Esq., Former Elected Member of the Orange County Republican Central Committee.

12/07/2010 During a closed session of the Trustee board it appears a majority of the board voted to give the teachers union approximately $30,000,000 in compensation restoration which was not on the agenda for that closed session (which resulted in an investigation by the Orange County District Attorney).



Minutes:http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/file/1229223560406/1218998864154/3577638514624170765.pdf [pages 25 & 26 of 594, 3 & 4 of Minutes]

01/25/12 Anna Bryson voted with the union-elected trustees (and against the endorsed Republicans on the Board) to give the Teachers Union a multi-million dollar “Golden Handshake.”

Agenda: Cost of the annuity that pays the retired teachers 85% of their base salary over 5 years is $12,008,405. CUSD Board of Trustee Meeting 3/28/12 agenda item #2 page 7. http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/file/1229223560406/1218998864154/3801265531793935057.pdf
Savings is due to increase in class size and will only be realized if 17 teacher positions are not filled. http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/groups/schools/p/158-cusd-teachers-enticed-to-retire

Minutes: Bryson seconds the motion to approve the retirement bonus – Source CUSD Board of Trustee meeting 1/25/12 agenda item #8, refer to the minutes of the meeting located on the Consent Calendar for the meeting of February 13, 2012 agenda item # 11 page 82; Motion Trustee Alpay; Seconded by Trustee Bryson. http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/file/1229223560406/1218998864154/3801265531793935057.pdf

02/29/12 In order to pay for the Golden Handshake she had just given the Union, Anna Bryson made the motion and voted with the union-elected trustees (and against the endorsed Republicans on the Board) to obtain a special waiver to allow the 9th largest school district in California to increase class sizes beyond the maximum permitted.
1/5/12 email from Patricia Koch (assigned by OCDE to oversee CUSD Financial matters) to Wendy Benkert of Orange County Department of Education. Email_that_retirement_bonus_is_tied_to_class_size_increase

Test scores in the district are now steadily declining.

CA Department of Education – CUSD API Scores 2013: 874; 2012: 883. http://data1.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/Acnt2013/2013GrowthDstApi.aspx?cYear=&allcds=3066464&cChoice=2013GDst2

09/12/11 Anna Bryson made the motion and voted with the union-elected trustees (and against the endorsed Republicans on the Board) to spend tens of thousands of tax dollars to send union leaders on a junket where they would be trained how to become more effective negotiators – the negotiator for the taxpayers did not receive the same training.

Minutes: CUSD Board of Trustee meeting 9/12/11 agenda item #23, refer to the minutes of the meeting located on the Consent Calendar for the meeting of September 26, 2011 agenda item # 10 page 55: Motion made by Trustee Bryson. http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/file/1229223560406/1218998864154/5447917643984452609.pdf

12/12/11 Anna Bryson voted with the union-elected trustees (and against the endorsed Republicans on the Board) to promote liberal Democrat Gary Pritchard (pro-abortion, anti-Prop. 8, etc.) to President of the 9th largest school district in California (instead of her Republican Colleague who was also nominated and who had been proudly endorsed by the OCGOP, the CRA, Lincoln Club, Atlas PAC and most every other conservative organization in Orange County).

Minutes: CUSD Board of Trustee Meeting 12/12/11 agenda items #1-3 reorganization of the board, refer to the minutes of the meeting located on the Consent Calendar for the meeting of January, 2012 agenda item #10 page 84. http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/file/1229223560406/1218998864154/1057271136406735480.pdf

11/02/12 Anna Bryson sided with the teachers union and failed to and / or refused to endorse the three conservative Republicans who were seeking election to the school board of the 9th largest school district in California that Anna serves on – and each of those candidates had been endorsed by the OCGOP, CRA, Lincoln Club, Atlas PAC and most every other conservative organization.


Posted in 73rd Assembly District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

More Bad Behaivor by the Majority of the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on July 1, 2012

It appears that for the Board majority at CUSD they have no tolerance for any opinion but their own. During the last Board meeting at which several vital budget items were being voted on (including the secretly negotiated contract with the teacher’s union) – Trustee John Alpay moved and was successful in ending debate right as Trustee Ellen Addonizio was about the make her comments on why the union contract and budget were bad for the students and the District.

I guess Trustees John Alpay and Gary Pitchard do not like Democracy in that they don’t wish for a duly elected Trustee to speak from the dias about issues before the Board. One shout out: Trustee Anna Bryson, who has been voting with the majority of late – broke ranks with them and voted against the bad contract and budget and she voted no on closing debate.

Below is an e-mail from Julie Collier of the Parents Advocate League. She has a link to a Patch article on the meeting. It includes an audio clip of Mr. Alpay’s undemocratic and insulting motion and Trustee Gary Pritchard’s “justification” of Mr. Alpay’s bad behavior. Mr. Pritchard even laughs at Trustee Addonizio while he is discussing Alpay’s motion. These two Trustees need to go back to private life!

Here is Ms. Collier’s e-mail and the link to the Patch article:

Dear PALs,

I have been to many public meetings over the last five years; however, I have NEVER witnessed such a dysfunctional and offensive public meeting as I did on June 27th at the CUSD school board meeting. This meeting was truly an insult to constituents as well as students in CUSD.

Every year I have watched CUSD make financial decisions to ease budget concerns at the risk of negatively impacting student learning. Class sizes are increased and furlough days are added with little to no regard for student success. Not to mention, LIFO (Last-In; First Out) laying off teachers because they are the newest to be hired (regardless of whether or not they have the proven ability to teach) continues to be the go to solution for CUSD. Last Wednesday was no exception.

The budget was passed 4-3 (Bryson, Addonizio, and Palazzo dissenting) with $51 million in cuts. The district administration negotiated a deal with CUEA that includes 5-15 furlough days and 1.2% salary decrease. By the way, teachers will get a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA = salary increase)

*3.2% increase for the 12-13 school year
*2.5% increase for the 13-14 school year
*2.7% increase for the 14-15 school year

District official, Jodee Brentlinger, proudly stated the negotiations with CUEA went from “. . . us vs. them and resolved into we.” Unfortunately for students in CUSD, the “we” only included CUEA and CUSD district officials that negotiated behind closed doors.

The most despicable part of the board meeting happened when the teachers’ contract and the budget of over $50 million in cuts were passed with little to no discussion. Trustees Alpay and Pritchard (both up for re-election this November) collectively and deliberately stopped any discussion twice by Trustee Addonizio a long-time student-focused school board member. Please read the article below from the MV Patch. It also includes the actual audio of the controversial shut down for discussion. You can even hear Trustee Pritchard laughing at Trustee Addonizio as he is trying to defend his actions.

Expert: CUSD Goofed in Snuffing Budget Debate  http://missionviejo.patch.com/articles/expert-cusd-trustees-did-not-follow-proper-procedure

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Trustees Addonizio, Palazzo, and Bryson for recognizing the need for discussion regarding the impact these severe budget cuts will have on students. Parents and constituents are actually entitled to hear comments from their elected officials, especially regarding cuts to student centered programs and instructional days. Trustees Pritchard and Alpay should have taken more time to consider students as opposed to what appears to be setting themselves up for a union sponsored re-election campaigning.

I cannot implore to parents enough that you must stay informed and active in your child’s education. Attending PTA meetings and volunteering in the classroom is truly wonderful, but it is still not enough. Vital decisions were made for your child and his/her education last Wednesday at the board meeting. These decisions will not only affect your student’s ability to learn next year and for years to come, but it will affect how your child will compete for college admission compared to other students across the nation.

Where were you Wednesday night? Your presence at the board meeting could have made a difference. Teachers have their union. Students have their parents. YOU are your child’s voice. It is time for YOU to stand up and use it.

Julie Collier
Parents Advocate League

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

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