“Merely” campaigning on the public dime in Sweetwater — for Mary Salas

Greg Larkin Greg Larkin 1 Comment


They just don’t get it in the Sweetwater Union High School District — or at least some of them. Maybe they never will.

A few years ago, as news about the district’s culture of corruption was first coming to light, one of the stories — broken on SD Rostra — was about the use of public funds to promote then-Board President Arlie Ricasa during her re-election campaign. She has since resigned.

Sweetwater may have learned from that episode not to use taxpayer funds to promote its own. Now, the district has apparently decided it’s better to promote selected candidates running for other offices.

The email below was sent to a fellow Rostra blogger by a Sweetwater parent, who noted it went to all the Hilltop High students’ and parents’ registered emails. It has been altered in no way other than to remove the name of the recipient. By all accounts thus far it is legitimate.

In case you’re not familiar with jupitered.com, the web domain for the email from which the message was sent, it is a program and list service commonly used by many schools for the posting of grades and class assignments, as well as for emailing information to parents and students.

A community service opportunity is something that would unquestionably be communicated to such an email list using school resources.

But, a community service opportunity to assist a candidate running for office? Seriously?

From: Hilltop High School [mailto:noreply@jupitered.com]
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2014 8:49 AM

This is a great opportunity for community service:
We are walking every Saturday at 10am out of Mary Sala’s house,
245 Davidson street Chula Vista
Please contact Kimber Tabak for more information.
Please call 619.981.4750 or email : www.ktconceptsinc.com

*By no means is this an endorsement of Ms. Salas for public office* – this is merely a Community Service opportunity for our students.

Click “Reply” to contact Hilltop High School at michael.kaine@sweetwaterschools.org.
Generated by JupiterEd.com

Note especially the very important disclaimer, which in essence says: “By no means” are we endorsing Mary Salas, we’re “merely” letting you know that if students want to meet the requirements for community service hours during the year, they can walk precincts right out of Mary’s house every Saturday. Here’s her address. It’s so easy, merely show up, you don’t even have to support her — just walk for her. Oh, and because we aren’t endorsing her, this is a proper use of taxpayer funds and resources to merely send you this email. It’s your choice, of course. But, remember to fulfill your community service requirements, or merely ensure your child does.

In reply to Rostra, Sweetwater Trustee John McCann sent this statement…

As the newest member of the Sweetwater School Board, I have been working to rid the District of corruption.

We need to restore ethics and transparency at ALL levels of government and in the School District. Our community cannot heal and begin to move forward when we see violations like this one.

Using school contacts and District resources for a specific candidate is a clear violation of political campaign laws and District policy. The Superintendent has informed me that this issue will be dealt with immediately. I am disappointed that an employee would choose to use resources intended for the purpose of school business for political advertisements. There are many other means of communication that are available to individuals interested in assisting in a political race, but district resources should not be one of them.


So, for those TWO current remaining school board members, just a mere question…

Do you believe this to be appropriate?

Mary Salas may also want to take the opportunity to provide her thoughts on the matter.

Other candidates in Chula Vista? Weigh in.

E-mail me at info@sdrostra.com. I’ll ensure your full statement is published verbatim.


Comments 1

  1. So not only are these kids being indoctrinated by our public schools, now they get community service for walking precincts? Amazing!

    Thanks for sharing. I’ll make sure that this question is brought up at the mayoral forum in Chula Vista next week. 5/7/14 6pm at Chula Vista public library on 4th and F

    PS due to common core, can we explain the math below ‘so you know we are real!’

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