Sweetwater Recall: Union-driven, or broader coalition? Let’s see…

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An interesting story posted the other day in U-T San Diego, questions whether or not the recall attempt against three members of the Sweetwater Union High School Board is union-driven or a broader coalition of community members, parents, and taxpayers.

Of course, we’ll run down the facts and let you decide…

First let’s reference the board members being targeted for a recall: John McCann, Jim Cartmill, and Arlie Ricasa — two Republicans and one Democrat. All three members were not endorsed by the Sweetwater Education Association during the 2010 election season. McCann and Cartmill are the only two trustees as of this post to not have their homes raided by the D.A., nor are they among those indicted on felony and misdemeanor charges.

That leaves Bertha Lopez and Board President Pearl Quiñones free from a recall attempt. Bertha was endorsed by the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council in 2008, and Quiñones was endorsed by the Sweetwater Education Association in 2008. Both are Democrats who had their homes raided by the D.A., with only Quiñones is facing felony and misdemeanor chargers.

After all this information, I’m sure there’s a way we can connect-the-dots to prove this recall attempt is not a union-driven effort.

For starters Lauren McLennan, the teacher who served the recall papers to the three members of the board, is a labor union representative according to the U-T, and had previously run for president of the Sweetwater Education Association. Okay, that doesn’t help my argument but let’s keep digging…

This organic, community-influenced recall attempt is loosely associated with an organization named “Occupy Sweetwater,” with a Facebook page stating, “We must demand that the current board members resign or we will begin the recall process.” Among the multiple commenters include the aforementioned Lauren McLennan, Nancy Sedgwick Stubbs (a campaign coordinator for 2010 union-backed Karen Janney), Jennifer Cochrane-Schultz (an instructor within the Sweetwater district), Chris McGraw (a teacher at San Ysidro Adult School in Sweetwater)…

I could go on but I feel I’m killing my own argument.

I will say that John McCann, the newest member of the board elected in 2010, as board president last year suspended then-Superintendent Gandara’s district credit card after allegations of misuse and fired Gandara soon thereafter, began an internal-district investigation into Scott Alevy’s wrongful PR billing, and ordered an investigation into the misuse by food service contractors within the district. Clearly, McCann seems to be the only one working to rid the district of corruption. Why would anyone want to recall him for that purpose? Oh, he’s Republican…that’s right!

If the Occupy Sweetwater movement had in fact wanted to “recall the current board members” then why not target all five, instead of cherry-picking the three non-union-endorsed members  for recall. Or — and this is way out there, but — why not target the members of the board for recall who clearly fall under the cloud of suspicion of corruption: Ricasa, Lopez, and Quiñones? Perhaps that idea makes too much sense for people to comprehend or understand.

Evidently, this is an actual attempt by members within organized labor to clear the Sweetwater board and stack the deck with corrupt, union-backed Democrats. Disagree with this assessment? Then why not target Lopez and Quiñones for this recall as well? Or, would that not curry favor among union members, or the Sweetwater Education Association?