U-T San Diego: Integrity in campaigns should mean something

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In case you missed it a few days back… In a political season in which campaigning by deceit has almost become the norm, two local campaigns stand out for their flimflam — the City Council campaign of Steve Padilla in Chula Vista and the City Council campaign of Carol Kim in San Diego. Read it all in the U-T.

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

Greg LarkinGreg 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 …

Bertha Lopez and the Character Assassination of John McCann

South Bay SunnycrestSouth Bay Sunnycrest 30 Comments

By now, I’m sure we’ve all heard about the troubles at Sweetwater Union High School District: corruption, scandals, and even a “naked chick” joke. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the political opportunity to be seized amid the drama — but, what if the supposed “fall guy” for much of the trouble at Sweetwater was the one being targeted? I’m …

Should Arlie Ricasa Return to Work?

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Yesterday, the U-T broke the news about Arlie Ricasa receiving clearance to return to her 6-figure salaried position at Southwestern College. Ricasa, a boardmember of the Sweetwater Union High School District, has plead not guilty to eight felony corruption charges. Do you think Ricasa should return to work? Vote in the U-T’s online poll and let your comments be heard!

The Sweetwater Ripple Effect

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You wouldn’t think a corruption scandal in San Diego’s South Bay could have repercussions 700 miles to our east in El Paso, TX. However, the same night Mitt Romney clinched the GOP nomination, 8-term Democratic Rep. Silvestre Reyes was denied a return pass to Congress — despite recent high-profile endorsements and events hosted by former President Clinton, and President Obama. …

At Least the Fleece Awards Were Cute: SDCTA Hands Out 2012 Goldens

The Libertarian Lass, Gayle FalkenthalThe Libertarian Lass, Gayle Falkenthal Leave a Comment

Smart governing decisions saving taxpayer dollars and collaborative initiatives took top honors, while cavalier attitudes and lost opportunities were called out and shamed at the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA)’s 17th annual Goldens Awards Dinner, held at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in Mission Valley. Remote controls were nowhere in sight as the evening’s theme “Taxpayer …

Bribery, Money Laundering, and Public Corruption

South Bay SunnycrestSouth Bay Sunnycrest 2 Comments

One might think you would read about the ongoing criminal investigation of the Sweetwater Union High School District, but this is about politics in the normally quiet coastal community of Carlsbad. Recently, Rostra ran a series of posts questioning the personal finances of Carlsbad City Councilwoman Farrah Douglas, which became an issue in her campaign seeking election to the California …

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

South Bay SunnycrestSouth Bay Sunnycrest 5 Comments

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…

Ricasa: Don’t make me gut my children’s future!

South Bay SunnycrestSouth Bay Sunnycrest 4 Comments

Wow. Just saw this article from the U-T where Sweetwater school board member Arlie Ricasa, through her attorney, is claiming that she’ll have to gut her own children’s college fund to pay for legal services stemming from her alleged indiscretions — 4 felonies, 2 misdemeanors — if the school board (ahem, taxpayers) won’t approve the legal payments. This brings up a philosophical question for …

Reader: ‘The Watchdog is the best thing about the Union-Tribune’

Tony ManolatosTony Manolatos 3 Comments

[captionpix imgsrc=”http://sdrostra.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Ricky-Young.jpg” captiontext=”Ricky Young, U-T’s Watchdog Editor”] Politics & Media Mashup: your weekend news aggregator leads off with a Q & A with Ricky Young, the editor of U-T San Diego’s Watchdog Team. Also included: Gobs of links to some of the week’s best stories about local, state and national politics as well as social and traditional media. “Journalism that upholds the …

Water not so sweet

Thor's AssistantRostra Administrator (Thor's Assistant) 2 Comments

From the UT… “Calling it perhaps the worst case of public corruption uncovered on her watch, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis on Wednesday announced 26 felony charges against four current and former South Bay schools officials…” http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jan/04/da-sweetwater-officials-they-simply-lied/ See all the Rostra entries on Sweetwater here.

Military File Earns Nathan Fletcher Two Very Nice Stories

Tony ManolatosTony Manolatos 1 Comment

Politics & Media Mashup: your weekend news aggregator leads off with the most interesting local stories of the week and includes stories about statewide politics, national politics and social media. You can hear Tony Manolatos talk politics and media with KOGO’s LaDona Harvey every Friday at 3:50 p.m. on 95.7 FM starting Jan. 6. UPDATED DEC. 24, 9:05 A.M. After …

DA investigators search homes of three Sweetwater Schools trustees

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The U-T has the story… “District Attorney’s investigators raided the homes of three Sweetwater Union High School District board members and a former community college contractor today.” Read it all here. The Union-Trib‘s coverage of Sweetwater has been superb.  Kudos to Wendy Fry and Ashly McGlone.  The school district has seen lots of coverage on Rostra as well, including a …

Breaking News: Sweetwater School Board Terminates Superintendent

South Bay SunnycrestSouth Bay Sunnycrest 4 Comments

After the close of a marathon 7-hour meeting at Southwest High School, the Sweetwater Union High School District Board on a 5-0 vote decided to terminate Jesus Gandara’s employment as superintendent. A big round of applause and kudos must go out to the board members and Board President John McCann for making the right decision and working to get the …

Bertha Lopez Received Money From Contractors and Law Firm Connection

Southern ExposureSouthern Exposure 1 Comment

It’s interesting that Board Member Bertha Lopez keeps throwing stones at everyone else for taking money from contractors and the law firm for Sweetwater Union High School District. Most concerning, however, is her complete lack of forthrightness when it comes to her own campaign donations. Lopez attacks other board members for their donations, while continuing to say her votes are …

Erasing, Grading, Inflating

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The Watchdog section of the U-T deserves hugs, flowers, and chocolates for much of the work they do. Just a few minutes ago, Ashly McGlone reports that the Sweetwater school district was caught erasing Ds and Fs from report cards, only to replace them with higher grades. The result? Inflated graduation rates for one of the nation’s largest school districts. Here’s …

10 Reasons Why John McCann Should Fire Superintendent Gandara

South Bay SunnycrestSouth Bay Sunnycrest 22 Comments

In yet ANOTHER headlining story written by the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Ashly McGlone, the Sweetwater Union High School District is taking up ink in the paper because of shady practices. Not even six months into his term as school board president, it would appear from the outset that the sky continues to fall around John McCann and the school district. No …

Winners named at Golden Watchdog & Golden Fleece Awards Dinner

Thor's AssistantRostra Administrator (Thor's Assistant) 3 Comments

From our own Gayle Falkenthal… SDCTA Announces Golden Watchdog & Golden Fleece Award Recipients (San Diego) – Smart outsourcing and public financing initiatives took top honors while spending boondoggles and pension gimmicks were publicly shamed at the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA)’s 16th annual Golden Watchdog and Golden Fleece Awards Dinner, held at the Town and Country Resort & …