Letter: “Children First” Puts Up Far Left Candidate For Capo School Board

by MissionViejoDispatch.com on July 16, 2010

Values  are  directly  reflected  by  the things people make a priority in their lives. With values like pro-abortion and supporting same sex marriage, it calls into question what Mr. Pritchard’s priorities are. [Re: Recall Group Announces Candidates]

With that sort of record there is no way the electorate will just ignore his prior policy positions, especially in light of the fact that the seat he seeks to attain is one where he can wield influence and leadership in the lives of our Children. CUSD isn’t Berkeley or the Bay Area. Bottom line is voters want to know a candidates value system, especially here in Mission Viejo.

Pritchard’s values are not aligned with our community. This raises questions about what his values are. In this case it’s clear what they are – He values a woman’s convenience and life style choices over that of a living child . . . which is ironic because he’s being fronted by a group called “Children First.” Which also makes one wonder what the values are of the “Children First” crowd. Do they support these same policies?

He also appears to value the agenda of a small hyperbolic vocal minority over the will of the voters of CA – by supporting Gay Activists efforts to repeal Prop 8.

This is the man the “Children First” crowd and teachers want to put in a seat of authority when it comes to educating our children? Calling themselves “Children First” and then putting this guy out as their chosen representative is at minimum ironic – at worst Orwellian.

I’m willing to listen to the man, but in my values based world view he’s got some strikes against him already. In general candidates that are endorsed by ECCOPAC and GLAD are not the norm in South OC, so I have a healthy skepticism about Pritchard’s leadership abilities.

I note that Mr. Pritchard has made at least one unsuccessful attempt at running for other office. I may be going out on a limb, but my guess is he failed for some obvious reasons. Values, Policy Positions, Etc.

Ask yourselves this. Why would Children First put up a candidate with the record of losing, and who is endorsed by some of the most extreme left wing elements in our society? It seems strange to me.

Tom Griggs


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Felicia Golemo July 17, 2010 at 8:27 am

Orwellian or not, eventually people should begin to see that the Liberal agenda is what is bankrupting our state as well as our children’s educations. The Liberals seem to make the point that both sides should be presented, but when the voice of reason speaks up, or the opposite side states its stance, it only makes the Liberals take a stronger stand, like a child stamping his foot when he can’t get what he wants. When will they realize that they are lining the pockets of the union bosses? I feel that the “Children First” group should change their name to “Children First After Us” or “Children Second” group because the children aren’t benefitted as much as the people behind the group. Why do they persist and why do parents allow them to? I think “Special Interests United” should be their handle.

Hans Duncan July 17, 2010 at 9:54 am

Glad there will be a choice on the ballot. Whether you like the flavors or not is irrelevant. The idea is to have a choice, rather than just one standard offering of agenda. Besides, the guy will get more votes than you think. Some of us neighbors are actually in favor of a woman’s right to choose, and the gay marriage thing is no threat either.

Kathy Plambeck July 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I’m with you Hans. Thanks for always speaking up.

William Perkins July 17, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Tom Griggs might be surprised to discover that 74,303 voters in the CUSD voted against Proposition 8, and that a substantial majority of voters don’t agree with the anti-abortion crowd.

Marriage equality is not a fringe or far left position, but one that is steadily gaining in approval. Similarly, more than 2/3 of voters oppose the idea of rolling back the laws on abortion to the rigid positions that existed before Ronald Reagan signed a law approving therapeutic abortions in California.

Quite frankly, I was very impressed by the speech that is published on Mr. Pritchard’s website, where he decries the influence of outsiders on our school district. I wholeheartedly agree that we need people like Gary who care about education and aren’t at the mercy of either the unions or the Education Alliance crowd.

Children First seems to be putting together a balanced slate of individuals with different opinions and different skills. They do share a strong commitment to passing an initiative that will have elections by districts, and remove the outside money from our schools.

Neal Rauhauser July 17, 2010 at 7:53 pm

As a former GOP ticket voter driven to Progressive activism by the religious fanatics who now infest the party I formerly supported I’m saddened and disgusted by this, but not at all surprised.

Lies, half truths, and the constant shrill racket of the abortion dog whistle? It’s a school board, meant to educate children, not a place for religious extremists to indoctrinate our young people. We’ve long since passed the time where decent folk should be shushing the likes of this author.

Tom Griggs July 17, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Ahh but it’s OK for the left to indoctrinate our children with “Sally has two moms” or “reproductive rights.” Interesting how when a liberal decries a policy it’s called “tolerance”, but when conservatives do the same it’s “Lies, half truths, shrill racket.”

Since the days of the Johnson’s Civil Rights struggle liberals have been on the wrong side of the debate and loosing side of history. Their education policies in CA have failed, the tax policy has taken the ability for the common man to save any of his earned compensation, their spending has been misaligned with the needs of the state, they can’t run a prison system without costing us 55k a prisoner annually, their parole system has failed innocent people like JC Dugard for 20 years. The list of failed policies and priorities goes on and on. All these policies and priorities are driven from their values system.

Why liberals are even given consideration based on the track record of failure is beyond me. Debating them is like trying to talk to a 10 year old playground bully – You better agree with me or else I’ll beat you with so much hyperbolic invective demagoguery you won’t be able to sit down for a week.

Interesting how liberals don’t think values matter in a school board election, where our childrens young impressionable minds are at risk to their failed ideas. But they sure railed against Bush for his poor choices 28 years before he ran for office. Then again these are also the same people that gave Clinton a pass for what was at worst perjury and at best cheating on his wife and daughter, and degrading the office of the Presidency. Hypocrisy of this type reflects the true agenda of the liberal mind. Control. Control and the lust for power will drive a liberal to cast aside values, and vote for a president that has no experience at governing or running any sort of business. It’s also that very same drive that leads them to put a man like Pritchard who is was supported by ECCOPAC.

Don’t know who ECCOPAC is? Check em out. Here’s their facebook page

This is the same group that advocates for the group – Beyond Gay – The politics of pride. What do they do? They work with local school districts to advocate for things like “The Beyond Gay – After School Special”

Still don’t think values matter?

ECCOPAC also campaigned in support of Constance McMillen taking her Girl Friend to prom in a Mississippi school district.

These are the constituents Mr. Pritchard is attached to. It’s all there online for anyone to see – You just have to push past the apathy to find it. Something the liberal agenda hopes you won’t do.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “homo-phobic” or any thing as inane as that might be. If two consenting adults want to have a relationship I couldn’t care less about it. It’s the in-your-face militant operatives that concern me.

Another policy topic that will have a direct impact on the school board is “Immigration.” Mr. Pritchard supports open borders and amnesty as evident by his affiliation with the Chicano Latino Caucus of CA

How will this constituency weigh on Mr. Pritchard’s mind when he has to consider ESL priorities against others in the district?

I urgently suggest that my fellow MV conservative libertarians check this man out in depth and engage in this fight.

Dennis Soderin July 18, 2010 at 6:17 am

Oh Yes, the liberal values and policies! LIberals have been in charge of Calif. Gov’t for almost 40 years! What a wonderful record they have in managing our State.

1) Our State used to be a leader in education, now we are near the bottom.
2) Our State used to lead in Economic Growth and production in our Nation and the World, not any more. Look at the people and businesses leaving! If you are trying to start a new business and incorporate in Ca., you will have to pay $800 year even though your new business is losing money.


Richard Mason July 18, 2010 at 6:27 am

It will be interesting to see if residents in other cities in Capistrano Unified (Mission Viejo’s neighborhoods that fall under CUSD make up about 12.5% of the residential population in Capo Unified) feel as strongly opposed to Children First as Mr. Griggs here. It would also be interesting to see which cities in CUSD had large amounts of people signing the forms for this recall election. Obviously Capistrano Unified is very divided right now on many issues including the current school board, what programs to cut, and teacher’s salaries/the strike.

I hope that somehow whoever gets elected, Capistrano Unified might some day be able to move forward and not have a recall every two years of the elected officials. Its tough to find ways to close the budget problems and find ways to cure the deep wounds created under the Fleming era and his puppet Board. I’m not sure if the current board has the right plan and if I like the entire board voting as a block right now because they all are financially supported and backed up by the CUSD Recall Group.

William Perkins July 18, 2010 at 7:37 am

Speaking of pushing past a pile of crap and doing a little research on-line, Mr. Griggs might want to start with just a little honesty instead of taking his absurd guilt-by-association tactics over the top.

If you actually look at the EccoPac website, you will see that Mr. Pritchard was not really “endorsed” by that organization. Instead, he was rated acceptable which would indicate that he did not ask for an endorsement or affiliate himself with ECCOPAC. And stretching membership in a party caucus is equal to demanding amnesty and open borders? How do you make that leap?

Why not just be honest? Tom supports Ken Maddox and his gang. Maddox is a failed Sacramento politician and lobbyist who tried to resuscitate his career by running for school board. He’s as clueless and ineffectual on the school board as he was in Sacramento, where he voted as a reliable vote for the public safety unions and their outrageous pensions.

David Worsley July 18, 2010 at 11:04 am

[Tom said: "It’s the in-your-face militant operatives that concern me."]

If this is simply the case, then why doesn’t Mr Griggs have the same disdain for the Tea Party? (To those of us not enamored with the Tea Party they seem just as “in-your-face”. He could just be straightforward and state dislike for the groups that may (or may not actually) be endorsing this candidate because these groups don’t represent his views and best interests. And by association, this candidate must not either. There, simply stated.

BTW – There is nothing remotely libertarian about his views on abortion and same-sex marriage. Conservative, yes, but libertarian – no way!

[Editor's Note: Does this discussion highlight the underlying liberal v conservative struggle behind this recall? Does the past endorsement of Mr. Pritchard by the California Federation of Labor also suggest a battle between unions and conservatives for control of Capo? If that is too tenuous, how about the two endorsing logo boxes for Recall 2010 and Children First on the website for the Capistrano Unified Educator's Association (Teacher's Union), with a link to the Recall 2010 website?]

William Perkins July 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Does this discussion highlight the underlying liberal v conservative struggle behind this recall?

No, but the MVD Editor and Mr. Griggs have certainly done a good job of pretending that it is. So far the Children’s First people have announced two candidates, one a Democrat, and one a Republican Central Committee member. They are building a very broad coalition against those who are in office – a group who promised one thing, then did something completely different.

And their primary goal is district elections, which would once and for all take all of the big money out of these elections.

[Editor's Note: The Republican Central Committee is reportedly opposing the recall and also not supporting the other Children First candidate (Alpay), raising questions about unknown Alpay's alignment on the value spectrum. Is it suspicious that Alpay went out of his way on a Blackboard video interview to claim he was rejecting Union support, after he pledged allegiance to Children First to become its candidate? The Children First/Recall 2010 group is featured prominently on the Teacher's Union website which directs Union teachers to the campaign site where they learn contributions of $99 or less won't be reported by donor's name. Does Alpay assume people won't believe he's a union candidate if money comes from individual union members and Children First? Who's doing the pretending? Should we wait to see who CF's other 3 candidates are as it seeks to take over 5 of the 7 spots on the Board in November?]

Robin Parker July 19, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Neal Rauhauser – Why are you on our city website? It appears you live in Illinois and on your blog you state that in 1/2/2009 you ventured to Netroots Nation and in the closing hours of the event we founded the Blog Workers Industrial Union & Benevolent Society. Clearly, you are trying to stir the pot for your self-interest, what a surprise from a liberal. Seems that is your real job. You do not belong here. We don’t want your blathering.

Dispatch, can we get rid of this guy? Seriously. If not, it will be my pleasure to call you out each time you comment, Neal Rauhauser.

Tom you are right on the mark!!

Why can’t people be pro-contraception? And, there is such a thing as a morning after pill. I know that accidents happen but most abortions happen because people use it as birth control. That is a fact! And that is SICK!

[Editor's Note: Is this the Neal Rauhauser who wrote online, "We've spawned Progressive PST, a social media consulting operation for Progressive Democratic candidates & causes."? If so, is that why he is commenting here?]

Richard Mason July 19, 2010 at 8:16 pm

I am not sure yet if Pritchard is a better choice, but Ken Maddox has been no saint and it is sad if we can’t find someone better in this mega district to replace him. Perhaps other people will run, I hope and pray.
Here are just some of my issues with Ken Maddox:

1.) He willingly voted to award hundreds of thousands of dollars in district funds to a small minority of residents on the infamous “Recall List” made under Fleming that sued the district. The plantiffs included Tony Beall, the RSM city councilman that was the leader of the recall campaign. Ken Maddox said there was “no conflict of interest” that the leader of the recall slate he was a part of was going to recieve $178,000. Mike Winstein, who was on the CUSD board, sued the VERY SCHOOL DISTRICT he was to lead, obstained from voting, and received $300,000 in the lawsuit from his fellow recall members. I was on the recall list from Fleming, but would never sue AFTER the old board had been dismantled and the potential for retaliation would be gone. This was NOT fiscally responsible and shows the danger of a board voting as a block because they all are more loyal to Tony Beall than the children and voters of CUSD.

2.) After the previous Fleming era board was removed through recalls, most of us thought, FINALLY no more violations of the Brown Act and illegal closed door meetings in CUSD. However Maddox and the entire reform board have violated the Brown Act extensively and have been harshly criticized by the District Attorney’s Office. Maddox and the reform board have met in illegal quorum to discuss and plan decisions before an official meeting and have violated subcommittee rules. Superintendent Woodrow Carter reminded trustees they could not become participants in subcommittees. Maddox and the reform board would attend public subcommittee meetings for facilities that they were not on and begin giving their viewpoints on how things should be done and commenting with phrases like, “As a member of the board, I would recommend that the committee do….” ceasing to become legal observers and illegal participants. Superintendent Carter informed the board several times to stop acting that way at subcommittees. As we saw, the board soon ousted him because he was not a puppet and did not participate in the illegal behavior.

3.) He fired Superintendent Woodrow Carter and broke Carter’s contract costing the district hundreds of thousands of dollars as they had to pay Carter the rest of his contract and then pay legal fees for the chaos that happened afterwards. Carter was VERY popular in CUSD among parents, teachers, administrators, staff, etc… The board and a small minority (about 15% of the CUSD population) did not like Carter. I knew the new board was shady when they had let themselves into Woodrow Carter’s office at district headquarters and were caught by district staff as they were digging in his desk.

4.) Driving out some of the district’s best assets such as Suzette Lovely. She was a wonderful woman and one of the most respected people in academics in the Southland and a popular author for children’s books and education books. As deputy superintendent of personnel, she did an outstanding job. Sherine Smith was also driven out and now leads the very successful Laguna Beach Unified as superintendent.

5.) Tony Beall, who leads the CUSD Recall Group that funds Maddox, runs a sideshow from his city council seat in RSM. Beall also led the charge to CUSD for reducing its busing and creating traffic in RSM. The legal fees and battle with RSM over busing cost the district more bus routes in other cities.

6.) Ken Maddox is a career politician who has used CUSD to try to move back into politics. He was a Garden Grove City Councilman (while being a police officer), California Assemblyman of the 68th District (Garden Grove area 1998-2004)), and Director of Legislative Affairs for State Board of Equalization Member Michelle Park Steel after he lost his race in 2006 to be a state senator. CUSD seems to be his way of getting back into politics and why he explains moving into our troubled school district and quickly running for the school board after leaving garden Grove (where he had no future in politics). Only a career politician would want to be on the school board after living in the district for a very short amount of time.

7.) Ken Maddox has been accused of not being a resident of the Capistrano Unified School District. He has his voter address registered to a small apartment off Aliso Creek Rd in Aliso Viejo. The neighbors say Maddox stops by maybe once or twice a month and that the apartment looks largely empty from the windows. He has some mail sent to a P.O. Box in Dana Point (where the Board of Equalization’s website says he lives) and other mail sent to Rolling Hills in Los Angeles County where he is acutally employed and where the Third District Office is located. Maddox is divorced and once elected his son was moved to private school from a CUSD elementary in Laguna Niguel. So, nobody really knows where Maddox lives and why he has a son in private school but wants to lead a public school district.

8.) I don’t think the Trustees approached the issues with the Teacher Union well. I was not happy that there was a strike, my kids lost out at time at school, etc… Both parties are to blame for this. The teachers agreed to a temporary pay cut at a fixed amount of time, and well after the strike, that is what they got. This conclusion could have been reached without a strike and I blame the union and the board for allowing it to get to that point where they met in the middle anyhow. I don’t know if this board will ever be able to heal a build a relationship with the teachers. Teachers are the ones educating the children and while I think the district should work to make cuts in teacher pay, it did it in a bad way that has lowered teacher morale. My kids spend all day with a teacher, not a CUSD trustee, so I rank teachers a lot higher in importance than most thinks in CUSD. Pretty much from the start the board attacked the teachers and the union then fought back. It has been nasty ever since. With these two groups hating each other, I don’t know if peace is every possible in CUSD. I would like the union to give up more, but I would also like the Board to not come across so arrogant. Maddox in particular does not even support public schools, which is a little disheartening.

All in all, those are just some reasons I don’t like the current board and Ken Maddox that much. I’m going to evaluate who is the lesser of the evils running and Maddox may indeed end up being better than the ChildrenFirst Candidate and things won’t change. I’m actually really wishing somebody that reallys cares, not some career politician or somebody supported by these two groups that have agendas steps forward. In this mega district, you really need one of these powerful groups to have a change when you have to win from San Clemente to Laguna Niguel to Coto to Mission Viejo, etc….

Greg Woodard July 20, 2010 at 8:15 am

Mr. Griggs is exactly right on ECCOPAC’s endorsement of Gary Pritchard and you are either a sloppy researcher or a liar. My support is ECCOPAC’s own website:

What does it say at the top? “ECCO Releases Complete ENDORSEMENT List for November 4, 2008″ (emphasis added). On the list for the 33rd Senate District is none other than Gary Pritchard. Your claim that they just rated him as “Acceptable” is a red herring. ECCOPAC only endorses those they rate as acceptable. The next time you’re going to accuse someone of not telling the truth, make sure you don’t base it on a lie yourself.

Mr. Griggs’ points on “tolerant” liberals is well-taken and proved by Mr. Perkins’ own version of inaccurate tolerance that he shows on here. Hope Mr. Griggs keeps up the good work and makes sure the truth gets out for the November election.

Richard Mason July 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm

With regards to the Editor pointing out that the The Republican Central Committee of OC is not supporting Alpay: Could it possibly have to do with the power of some leaders of the CUSD Recall movement that brought the incumbents into power and the Education Alliance members who are on the committee??? It could be possible that members like Beall and Bucher hold more power within the Committee to convince them to NOT endorce Alpay who I believe is a newer member just recently elected. Obviously men like Beall and Bucher have motives to not endorce Alpay and could have convinced the committee to not endorse him.

Some members of the Republic Central Committee:
Tony Beall: Founder of the original CUSD recall movement that supported and financed Ken Lopez-Maddox and Mike Winsten. Beall handpicked these candidates two years ago. One of the most vocal opponents to this year’s recall led by ChildrenFirst.

Mark Bucher: Founder of Education Alliance that financed and supported Ken Maddox and Mike Winsten and the CUSD Recall Movement that elected the current board. Supports dismantling the teacher union, closing most of the public schools and operating some as charter schools, while giving out vouchers to other families that do not attend charter schools to attend a private school of their choice.

Craig Alexander: Same story as Bucher. Member of Ed Alliance that funded and supported the previous recall elections that put the current board in power.

Also note: Anna Bryson, a current CUSD trustee, lost in the last election to the committee, but had been a member.
–Anna Bryson has had to be careful to bring herself back to voting as a block with the Reform Trustees. Originally she was often voting on her own. Tony Beall did NOT like that. He said, “Trustee Bryson has differed a lot with the reform trustees, and I’d like to understand how she is seeing the same issue so differently.” This was after she was the lone vote against firing Woodrow Carter. Likely afraid her campaign dollars from Beall and the CUSD Recall Group would disappear in the next election, Bryson has since been voting more consistently with the other reform candidates.

Cynthia Curran August 21, 2012 at 10:58 am

The best situation for illegal immigration, no Mission Viejo person hires them to do work around the house. No business men whether Republican or Democratic hires them, I bet if people did this in Mission Viejo or Orange County they would lose about 100,000 of them in a year. And if you are older try to have a church volunteers help you with the house or garden instead of an illegal immigrant.

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