Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vote No on Prop. 32, It's Not What It Seems

Opinion: Vote No on Prop. 32, It's Not What It Seems
October 15, 2012
(Former CVESD teacher and member of the Board of Directors of the California Teachers Association)
Voice of San Diego

There are many kinds of schemes. Some kinds make it onto statewide election ballots and it’s up to voters to see through them and reject the damage they would cause. Proposition 32 on November’s ballot claims to be about campaign finance reform, but it’s really a gross deception financed by wealthy corporate special interests. The rich and powerful donors behind this scheme want to weaken the political voices of working people and the middle class so they can write their own rules. San Diego County voters should ask themselves why leading campaign reform organizations like the League of Women Voters and California Common Cause have come out against this measure.

Nearly every major newspaper in California is against Prop. 32, which they condemn with words like “fraud” and “sham.” The Los Angeles Times urged a no vote, calling it a “deceptive measure” that will have only a “trivial impact on corporate spending” on politics in the state. One professor calls it a “bill of rights for billionaires.”

Disguised as reform, Prop. 32 does nothing to limit the out-of-state business super PACs that are undermining our democracy. Millionaires can give these secretive political action committees unlimited donations, and these kinds of PACs aren’t subject to the same contribution limits as political campaigns themselves. In fact, the Yes on 32 campaign received a $4 million donation from a mysterious out-of-state super PAC linked to the billionaire Koch Brothers.

Prop. 32 doesn’t solve Sacramento’s problems because it exempts many kinds of companies — such as Wall Street investment firms, hedge funds, oil and insurance companies — from its restrictions.

In fact, many of the same companies and other corporate interests that are backing this “Special Exemptions Act” are the same ones that are exempt. And many donors to this fraud own companies that are exempt. How convenient.

This is hardly the balanced reform that proponents claim. It stops corporations and unions from collecting political funds through payroll deductions, but 99 percent of California corporations don’t use payroll deductions for political lobbying – they use their profits. Unions rely solely on these contributions, and union members already have the legal right to opt out of having these funds used for politics.

If our teachers, firefighters, police and nurses can no longer fight for more school and public safety resources, or hospital patient protections, the middle class and our communities will pay the price. Vote no on 32.

Marissa Bejarano takes her dad's CVESD board seat by default; her name will not be on ballot

Marissa Bejarano will take her father's Seat 2 on the CVESD board at the end of this year, continuing the worrisome trend of board members joining the CVESD board without being elected.

Usually board members are appointed, and then they run for election as an incumbent, as Glendora Tremper is doing this year.

I think Russell Coronado in 2008 was the only board member in many years who actually came to the board AFTER an election.

It seems that no one had the nerve to oppose Marissa Bejarano, so she has already won by default. Her name won't even be on the ballot. Did her family's political connections and CVESD connections scare others away?


Will Marissa Bejarano continue her dad's efforts to conceal information?

Marissa's father, David Bejarano, was served a deposition subpoena for Stutz v. Larkins, but he got it quashed. Not only that, as a board member of CVESD, he paid tax dollars to the Plaintiff, Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz, to do the legal work to quash the subpoena!

Of course, all the other CVESD trustees did the same. There is a disturbing unanimity on the CVESD board when it comes to keeping secrets.

I'm wondering if Mr. Bejarano's daughter, Marissa Bejarano, will do the same when she becomes a board member.

Let's hope, however, that nepotism will not become a trend among other board members.

New Board Member Seat 2
Candidates provide background
By Caroline Dipping
October 17, 2012

Age: 33...Married with 19-month-old son.

She is the daughter of Chula Vista Police Chief David Bejarano, who has held Seat 2 since 2007 but did not seek re-election this year.

[Her mother, Esperanza, also worked at the district for many years. Esperanza was listed as an executive secretary for CVESD on her husband's statement of economic interests.]

Marissa Bejarano is unopposed, so she takes over the seat.

Education: Halecrest Elementary in Chula Vista Elementary School District, Bonita Middle and High schools, bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from University of San Diego, law degree from University of San Diego.

Work experience: Deputy attorney general, adjunct professor for the Thomas Jefferson School of Law

...I’m not going to be on the ballot. Because no one ran against me, I received notification from the Registrar of Voters that I will be appointed in December. I am honored and committed to serving on the Chula Vista board. I want to serve on the CVESD board because I believe in the importance of a quality education for all students and because I care about our community. I have been a public servant my entire life and as the current board president for a local nonprofit, MANA de San Diego, I understand the difficult times our community is facing economically. I will work hard to ensure that budget cuts stay as far away from the classrooms as possible, and not negatively impact the quality of education to our future leaders.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

San Diego Police Investigate High School Football Team Hazing Incident

San Diego Police Investigate High School Football Team Hazing Incident
OCTOBER 24, 2011

A local high school football game scheduled to be played Friday night was called off after a high school prank that authorities said crossed the line.

According to authorities, at least four Castle Park High School students, including members of the school's football team, are accused of hazing a teammate.

Some students told 10News the alleged incident happened Monday after football practice.

A concerned parent of a Castle Park High student contacted 10News and said a varsity football player was attacked by his own teammates. 10News learned the hazing incident was a sexual assault by students, with a pencil involved.

Castle Park High student Daniella told 10News, "I think that was, like, really rude and unnecessary. I heard he went to the hospital."

The parent said at least four students were suspended for their alleged involvement, but the Sweetwater Union High School District would not confirm the suspensions.

However, Chula Vista police have been contacted to investigate the incident.

Chula Vista Police Department Capt. Gary Wedge said, "All of the individuals who were involved in the incident have been identified. I can't disclose specifics about the nature of the incident because it involves juveniles and a sex crime."

Wedge also told 10News the case is now in the hands of the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.

Meanwhile, many of the alleged victim's peers at Castle Park High expressed outrage and came to his defense.

"Yeah, I heard about it and I just think it's wrong. I mean, how could somebody do that?" said student Alejandro.

Student Jonathan added, "In my opinion, I think it was kind of weird and strange. Why would that be happening at a high school?"

The Sweetwater Union High School District says it is cooperating fully with Chula Vista police.