Union intimidation in College Board race? Who’s really lying?

Greg Larkin Greg Larkin 11 Comments


Read below about Orrin Kole, a candidate for an open seat on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD) board, who had some interesting “contacts” from labor reps in the days approaching the deadline to file for office.

Interesting that the union head, Jim Mahler, claims that he and his operatives contacted Kole because, as he put it, “We don’t want people who are lying to run for these board seats.”

Ironic. If the union at GCCCD were telling the truth, the ballot statements for their hand-picked candidates would read as follows:

“Bought and paid for by the teachers union. I will do all that they instruct me to do when they tell me to do it. I will vote for each and every raise and benefit, even if it means cutting services to the students. I will do
nothing to hold teachers accountable.”

The ballot statements don’t read that way, but the union pres still insists they don’t want “people who are lying to run for these board seats.”

The story in today’s SDUT:

A Republican running for a seat on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District board filed his candidate’s papers Wednesday, saying he did so despite union attempts to intimidate him.

The union president said the union did contact the candidate, Orrin Kole, to discuss his background, but not to intimidate him.

“I’ve fought for freedoms,” said Kole, a Santee resident. “I’ve been to Iraq. I’m not going to take this.”

Kole said he picked up candidacy papers at the Registrar of Voters Office on Friday, still not sure he was going to run.

“By the time I got home, there was an e-mail waiting for me from the American Federation of Teachers telling me how much money they had to spend and inviting me to a meeting. I basically ignored it,” he said.

“Then on Saturday there is something in my mailbox, saying basically the same thing. Then, (Tuesday) night somebody showed up at my house with basically a (warning) letter. Also, on Sunday, I got a call from somebody asking why I was running.”

Read the entire SDUT story.


Comments 11

  1. In the other Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College Seat you’ll find two qualified candidates, Edwin Hiel (AI) and Leland Ping (R). Hiel lists his ballot designation as “Community College Professor”, but near as I can tell he is just an administrator/councilor/secretary at Mesa College. Talk about deceptive ballot titles…

  2. Well it is pretty obvious who is lying and it isn’t Mr. Kole. Let’s just use common sense here and figure this one out.

    The normal vetting process of candidates for most organizations happens after the candidate filing deadline has passed and then the organization either conducts an interview or sends out a questionnaire. Based on the information they receive they decide if they will back a candidate.

    Now if on the other hand you are attempting to get someone to drop out of the race, you need to do that before the candidate filing deadline. The normal deadline was last Friday for most races, but was extended in the college race because the two incumbents did not file.

    So obviously someone from labor was camped out at the Registrar’s office on Friday and watching in order to attempt to contact any potential candidates considering filing by Wednesday. Heaven forbid their pro-union candidate actually have to run and give the voters a real choice.

    The fact that Mr. Kole was contacted on the same day he pulled papers (not filed) is a clear indication that labor was attempting to clear the field. Thug Mahler may think everyone is naïve but it is pretty clear by their timing that they were indeed trying to intimidate Mr. Kole.

    When will these labor goons realize that we are not in Chicago and it is not the 1950’s anymore? It was acceptable in the 50’s to claim cigarettes were healthy and for union thugs to intimidate people. At least we have made some progress and no longer consider cigarettes healthy.

    Mr. Mahler should be ashamed of himself and should be forced to resign by his peers.

  3. Aren’t there laws against this sort of thing? Why isn’t the FPPC, County Grand Jury, State Attorney General, District Attorney or U.S. Attorney talking to Mr. Kole to protect his rights? Where’s a prosecutor when you need one? This conduct by the union has to violate some local, state or federal law.

    Red Ryder laid it out pretty good. This was a clear pre-emptive attempt to dissuade someone from running for public office, and a veteran no less. Whether it’s coercion or extortion, the intention and actions by the union are unethical, dishonest and downright un-American.

  4. At first I was wondering why Jim Mahler wasn’t running, but then I read the part about “they don’t want people who are lying to run.”

    Now we know why Mahler isn’t running.

  5. Jim Mahler was a union boss at the San Diego community college district in prior years. And you know what a great group they’ve got on that board of trustees.

  6. There is both a Ms. Heil at Mesa College and Mr. Hiel at City College, which are you defining Sunshine? I had hoped that the Rostra would be a platform beyond partisan rhetoric and ditto replies..

    Mr. Mahler enjoys great support from his Union members, indeed he has been a strong leader with clear strategies for representing faculty and staff needs. Perhaps the real reason for this level of unity is because public education is under attack, has anyone noticed?

  7. I’ve noticed the attack on public education. It is led by greedy union bosses who have beggared the system with outrageous salaries and pensions for their rapacious members. They then demand higher taxes and tell the public that THEY are the selfish ones.

  8. Still sounds like dittoship Mr. Mirror. Clearly our dichotomy is a matter of perspective, and competing values.

    We do live in a time when (elite) athletes command multimillion dollar salaries; READ high value for entertainment.

    We value the might of corporations and afford them the same rights of an individual, and now we allow them to influence political campaigns without limit. Will we trust them to keep the jobs at home in the future? Or can we expect them to follow the same business plan that constantly pursues lowest wages for labor in our global economy?

    In our local community colleges new faculty members are offered annual salaries between $45,000 a $53,000. These are people with a minimum of a masters degree and often a PhD. They believe that public education is an essential part of a healthy democratic society, and they have chosen to dedicate their careers to sharing their knowledge with others, young and old, any who seek to continue learning. These faculty are also people, they have families and children, they are often active members of their community and the campus often becomes an active location for community events, conferences, etc. as a result of faculty initiatives.

    So, what value do we put on public education. Do we want to restrict educational opportunity to the most fortunate in our society? Will for profit schools be the only option for higher education accessible only to those lucky enough to afford the cost? Will business decisions lead to quality education? Have you heard of degree mills? Will there be further abuse of student financial aid by these for profits?

    I presume that Mr. Mirror has some education, certainly demonstrates a college level vocabulary. Perhaps you even have returned to get more education throughout your life. How can you believe that the people who teach and provide student support services in our public education system are greedy. That is a descriptor for Wall Street and corporations like ENRON. These people work to enable the dreams and goals of the common individual, and change lives to become productive members of our diverse society. An accessible education is essential for the realization of the ideal of equal opportunity, a core value of democracy some would say.

    I hope we can all look in the mirror!

  9. The community colleges wisely pay newbies low salaries because of supply and demand. “critical thinker” (ya gotta love that moniker), thinks people should be paid for how much education they have — REGARDLESS of supply and demand. Of course, this tells us what his political alignment is..

    CC’s have PLENTY of qualified applicants for faculty openings. If they paid what “critical” would like (roughly double, I suspect), they’d have to hire more staff to sift through the mountain of unneeded wannabees.

    BTW, CA colleges still use using affirmative action informal quotas to select faculty (yes, it’s illegal, but do they care?), so they don’t even seek the best people. So why pay extra for such a flawed selection process?

    The price of a “freeway professor” more accurately reflects what the market price is for college profs. The fact that we pay low-performing tenured CC faculty over double that rate results in fewer classes for students and the continuous whine for more of our money.

  10. “Critical Thinker,” what about our men and woman in uniform? In our military new recruits that put their life in danger make about half of the 53,000 you sugggest. Most also when are in home station do many things in the “community,” and also “raise families.”

    I think cc faulty need to stop the whining and stop relying on out of control labor unions to do their bidding. This will only make things worse.

  11. “Tater” – Your comment is being held until you can substantiate your allegations of law-breaking. We would have emailed you to let you know, but your email address bounced. Gee, we wonder why?

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