Tag Archives: PSUSD

Perez 80th AD Campaign: Hammered by Gonzales and Media Pressure, Attacks Gutierrez

XPosted 4/25/2008 10:36 AM PDT on MyDesert.com in blog by BluePalmSpringsBoyz

Been away on vacation and come back to major doin’s on the 80th Assembly District campaign trail.  Nicole Brambila (staff writer for The Desert Sun) penned an interesting article today (on mydesert.com) that explains that the Fair Political Practices Commission needs more time to investigate the claim by Greg Rodriguez, candidate for the Palm Springs Unified School District, Hillary Clinton delegate to the Democratic National Convention this summer in Denver, and a supporter of the Greg Pettis for 80th AD that the Victor Manuel ‘Slick Manny’ Perez campaign violated campaign ethics.

Here are portions of Brambila’s article:

The Fair Political Practices Commission requested more time to look into whether it will investigate a formal complaint against an 80th Assembly District candidate (Perez).

Greg Rodriguez, who supports Democratic candidate and Cathedral City Councilman Greg Pettis, filed the complaint against Democratic candidate and Coachella school board trustee Manuel Perez on April 4, accusing him of failing to disclose who paid for his campaign advertising…

More below the flip…

Now, it seems that Dale Wissman, a supporter of Perez and a labor relations representative with the California School Employees Association, filed a FPPC complaint against Richard Gutierrez, another Democratic candidate for the 80th AD.  This after the Perez campaign went off the deep edge about the Rodriguez complaint.  Interesting, what apparently is good for the goose has become good for the gander.  The Perez campaign complaint against Gutierrez claims that Gutierrez had not submitted semiannual and pre-election campaign statements nor disclosed contributor information.

The FPPC was created in a ballot initiative in 1974, investigates violations of the Political Reform Act and can assess a $5,000 administrative penalty. A violation of the political reform act is a misdemeanor.

The only other Democrat in the June primary race is Rick Gonzales, a community development manager for Wells Fargo.  Apparently, the Perez campaign also has plans for Gonzales, according to my source at Palm Springs Village Fest last evening.  In my estimation, the Perez campaign has suffered greatly in the past weeks under the examination of the media regarding Perez’ failures as Vice-President of the Coachella Valley Unified School District.  Recently, the State of California placed only the CVUSD out of 97 Districts threatened under trusteeship for the CVUSD board and Superintendant’s failures to achieve academic goals under the Federal program “No Child Left Behind.”  And, recently, in a significant blow to the Perez campaign, two of his colleagues on the CVUSD endorsed Gonzales for the 80th AD race.  Seems that even his acquaintances and friends are questioning Perez’ capabilities and accomplishments!

The presumptive Republican candidate, former Palm Springs Police Chief Gary Jeandron, is running unopposed and has his own problems.  This blogger has reported extensively regarding Jeandron’s failures on the Palm Springs Unified School District as it was also threatened with trusteeship for academic failures and for his failures as Palm Springs Police Chief in his failure to develop and institute an significant department program to address the problem of crime in the neighborhoods or to deal with the methamphetamine crisis in Palm Springs.  Jeandron has consistently been an absense on the PSUSD and in the PSPD in the development of any program that would help to achieve community goals.

The campaign intensifies and fur flies.

March Electronic Filing: Pettis Raised More Campaign Funds than Democratic Opponents Combined

Seems that the electronic filing deadline for Election 2008 CA 80th Assembly District came and went without me making any comment on the results.  Well, whether you like it or not here comes my late bloomer blogging about the March 24, 2008, filing.

Greg Pettis, Mayor Pro-Tem of Cathedral City and Democratic candidate for the 80th AD lead all Democratic and Republican opponents in this filing.  Pettis raised $54,980.43 during this filing period, spent $52,371.86, and has $31,062.71 cash on hand.

Gary Jeandron, boardmember of the Palm Springs Unified School District and presumptive Republican candidate for the 80th AD raised $38,093, spent $39,754.34, and has $148,039.3 on hand campaign monies.

More below the flip…

Manuel Perez, Vice-President of the Coachella Valley Unified School District and Democratic candidate for the 80th AD raised $18,334, spent $22,788.90, and has $31,541.74 cash on hand.

Rick Gonzalez, Wells Fargo Community Development Corp. employee, raised $17,047.93, spent $16,317.41, and has $32,403.63 in available cash.

Richard Guttierrez, dentist, did not file.  Only candidates raising or spending $50,000 or more or who received a $5,000 donation are required to file electronically.  This means that Guttierrez raised less than $50,000, spent less than $50,000, and did not receive any donation in the amount of $5,000 or greater.

Overall, Pettis far-and-away outraised his Democratic and presumptive Republican opposition.  In fact, Pettis seems to have raised more money than his three Democratic challengers combined.  Pettis also outspent his three Democratic rivals combined according to the electronic filing.  Regarding cash on hand, though, each of the three Democratic campaigns have approximately the same funds in current accounts, though Perez at this rate is spending more each month than he is collecting in donations.

Even more interesting is the fact the Pettis outraised Jeandron in this reporting cycle.  In fact, Pettis raised fifty percent more campaign funds than did Jeandron.  Jeandron still has a much better campaign war chest as we head towards November.  In fact, observers have noted that Jeandron has begun to spend advertising monies on AirAmerica, a progressive talk radio station, that airs in the Coachella Valley on a local station.

At least in this reporting period, the donations in the Coachella Valley are mimicking those on the National level where Democrats are outraising and outspending the Republicans.  The difference is that on the National level, Democrats also have a huge campaign war chest.

Perez Parliamentary Maneuver May Cost Dems the 80th AD: State Sanctions Against CVUSD & PSUSD

In a brilliant parliamentary maneuver, the Victor Manuel Perez for CA 80th Assembly District campaign to replace the termed out, thank God, Bonnie Garcia (R-CA), the Perez forces by one vote were able to keep Greg Pettis, Mayor Pro-Tem of Cathedral City, from retaining the California Democratic Party endorsement for Assembly.  (Perez is Vice-President of the failed school board in the Coachella Valley Unified School District.)  However, the short-term battle victory may possibly cost the Democrats not only the 80th in the November general election, but also cost them the majority that they need to ignore the demands of the recalictrant minority Republicans in the Assembly.

A major factor developing in the campaign and one of which I have been consistently blogging on mydesert.com, the online edition of The Desert Sun, is the fact that Gary Jeandron, presumptive Republican candidate for the 80th AD is a boardmember of the Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD).  Recently, the State of California Board of Education threatened actions and/or sanctions against 97 school boards across the state that failed to meet state academic goals and the requirements of the Federally unfunded ‘No Child Left Behind.’  As a result, California threatened sanctions against the PSUSD and the board for the academic failures in the District.  Jeandron, as boardmember, and running for the 80th cites his education background and experience as instrumental to his qualifications for the office.  However, the threatened sanctions are a major demerit and campaign issue.

This is relevant to Perez as he is Vice-President of the failed CVUSD board which according to the State, had more problems than any other school district in California this year.

More below the flip…

The state actions against the CVUSD and its board are much more severe as their failures were more significant.  The CVUSD District was threatened with state takeover but the state action only involved installation of a trustee to oversee and possibly veto any District and/or board action (State assigns trustee to CVUSD to improve test scores):

“Coachella Valley Unified School District will get a trustee and a state-approved team of independent experts to help improve student test scores, state board members decided this afternoon.

The state board named Riverside County Superintendent Kenneth Young as the district’s trustee, which will give him veto powers over superintendent and board decisions.

But Young said he will work collaboratively with the district.”

The CVUSD was the ONLY district to receive trustee oversight.  Perez as V-P and long-term boardmember bears major responsibility for the failures of the District, its teachers, and its students.  That the CVUSD is suffering such consequences for the academic failures not only raises the question of Perez’ qualifications for Assembly, especially in the area of education, but also blunts the criticism of Jeandron.

If Democrats in the 80th Assembly District choose Perez as the candidate, one of the major issues in the campaign against Jeandron is either removed from the table due to mutual assured destruction on this issue or becomes even more of an issue given the CVUSD is the only District in the state that was assigned a trustee.

Having a ‘well-spoken’ or ‘charismatic’ candidate will not soften the damage to the local Democratic campaign to re-take this seat in November 2008.  Style will not win where substance can win.  Greg Pettis, Mayor Pro-tem of Cathedral City, unlike Perez and Jeandron, is untainted by the failures of the CVUSD and PSUSD school boards and Districts.  In addition, Pettis has the endorsements of State Assemblyman Mike Eng (D-49), Member California State Assembly Committee on Education, El Centro School Board Trustee Diana Newton, and Palm Springs Unified School Board Trustee Meredy Schoenberger.

EQCA and GSA Network File Motion to Protect Students from Discrimination, Harassm

(Xposted at www.mydesert.com as BluePalmSpringsBoyz)

I just received this Press Release from Equality California regarding an effort of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and the Advocates for Faith and Freedom (AFF) to prevent the enforcement of the Students Civil Rights Act (SB 777) that protects students from discrimination, harassment, and bullying in publicly-funded schools.

As a member of the Palm Springs Unified School District board of directors whose leadership is now in question due to the possiblity that the PSUSD and the school board may face sanctions due to their inability to meet academic standards, Gary Jeandron, must make his stand known regarding the enforcement of SB 777 and regarding discrimination, harassment and bullying of students.

Jeandron is also a declared candidate for the Republican nomination for the CA 80th Assembly District.  His website indicates that as a member of the School Board of Directors, Jeandron supervises a district with 22,000 students and an annual budget of $191 million.  Unfortunately, he did not use his position as a member of the Board to help students achieve academic standards or was unable to influence the Board in order to implement any plan that he formulated.  Now, the pressure is on Jeandron to indicate where he stands regarding SB 777 and its implementation.

AFF’s website states: “WHEN YOU PUT ON YOUR JESUS GLASSES, YOU CAN SEE THE TRUTH!”  The AFF is a non-profit law firm whose goal is ‘protecting our religious liberty in the courts.”  In other words, AFF’s intent is to help to implement a theocratic state where religion, their religion, dictates school policy.  Implicit in AFF’s policy statement is also the fact that they want their religious liberty protected and not the religious liberty of those who have differing faiths.  Great, faith-based law now.

The ADF is another so-called Christian organization that purports to defend Religious Freedom, Sanctity of Human Life, and Family Values.  Again, clearly a reference to what they perceive to be religious freedom, sanctity of human life, and family values.  They presume that only their view on these issues is the correct one and should be the prevailing one.  I thought that the religious culture wars ended centuries ago in Europe!

So, will Jeandron appeal to his radical right base and support the efforts of the AFF and the ADF and their attempts to develop a theocratic state based on their views of so-called Christian principles or will Jeandron support the right of students at every grade level to attend school and to live their lives without discrimination, harassment, and bullying?  Will Jeandron take a leadership stance that protects elementary, middle, and secondary school students from discrimination, harassment, and bullying because of perceived or actual sexual orientation.

Is it a family value that an elementary school student should continue to suffer discrimination because someone perceives that he or she might be gay or lesbian in the schools?  This is not my family value or that of a majority of Palm Springs residents.  Is it a family value that a middle school student should continue to suffer harassment because he or she is gay or lesbian?  That is not my family value and it is not the family value of most Palm Springs residents.  Is it a family value that a high school student is prevented from doing well academically because he or she is bullied at school and in the school yard because he or she is gay?  That is not my family or community value. What are Jeandron’s family values and are they diametrically opposed to those of most Palm Springs residents?  Does Jeandron believe that students ought to be able to study and to achieve academically without a hostile environment?

Seems like AFF and ADF fall into the category of bullies.  I wonder what the members were like on the school playground.  Just sayin’.

What follows if the Press Release from Equality California (EQCA) and the Gay-Straight Student Alliance Network (GSA):

Equality California and GSA Network Move to Intervene in Lawsuit that Challenges Student Civil Rights Act, California Nondiscrimination Statutes

SAN DIEGO – Equality California and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network are seeking to intervene in a lawsuit filed by anti-gay organizations that would prevent enforcement of California statutes protecting students from discrimination, harassment and bullying in publicly-funded schools.

EQCA and the GSA Network today filed a motion to intervene in federal district court in San Diego to defend the California statutes that prohibit discrimination and harassment in publically-funded schools, including the newly-enacted Student Civil Rights Act (SB 777). EQCA was the official sponsor of SB 777, and both organizations actively supported the law. The two organizations are represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, the Transgender Law Center, the law firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP and the Law Office of David C. Codell.

“By enacting the Student Civil Rights Act, the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent a clear message that California will not tolerate discrimination in our schools,” said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors. “This law protects all youth in our public schools. It helps prevent harassment and discrimination so students can learn free from threats and physical violence.”

The Student Civil Rights Act, authored by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, reinforces existing California laws that prohibit discrimination in publicly-funded schools and activities, including discrimination based on religion, race, disability, gender and sexual orientation. California law has prohibited discrimination in public education on these bases including sexual orientation and gender – for years. SB 777 did not change the categories of discrimination prohibited by law, but merely updated the Education Code to clearly reflect current law so school administrators and teachers know their responsibilities to protect students without having to cross-reference other sections of state law.

“We’re intervening in this lawsuit because our student members advocated for SB 777 and are eager to defend it,” said GSA Network Executive Director Carolyn Laub. “Thousands of our members have endured daily harassment at school based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s a shame there are adults who don’t think all students deserve to have a safe place to learn.”

According to the 2001 California Healthy Kids Survey, nearly 30 percent of California youth in grades seven to 11 report experiencing harassment or bullying based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation.

“This law protects all students, plain and simple, irrespective of their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Lambda Legal Senior Staff Attorney Brian Chase. “With 200,000 of California’s school children every year finding themselves victims of harassment or violence, the need for this law is beyond argument.”

“Every student has the right to be safe at school,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. “SB 777 simply makes this clear. The organizations bringing this suit are wasting taxpayers’ money and seeking to undermine common sense protections for all California students,” Minter said.

“The Transgender Law Center is proud of our Legislature for passing a bill that protects all of California’s students,” said Transgender Law Center Legal Director Kristina Wertz. “Education is dependant upon safe and constructive learning environments for all young people. All youth deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”

California’s Legislature passed SB 777 in September and Gov. Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law on October 12.

The lawsuit challenging SB 777 was filed by lawyers for Advocates for Faith and Freedom and the Alliance Defense Fund last month in federal district court in San Diego.