Friday, February 27, 2015

Pasadena Star News Writer Sarah Favot Steps Into The Pasadena Unified School District 6 Board Of Ed Race

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Mod: Probably the first news report out anywhere (except here) that has somehow escaped the Peter Dreier noise machine. A pretty interesting piece.

PUSD campaign for Sierra Madre seat turns feisty and vitriolic

The bid to fill the newly formed Pasadena Unified School District school board seat in Sierra Madre and East Pasadena is not the highest-profile race in the March 10 citywide election, but it has been the feistiest.

While the Pasadena voters will be electing the city’s first new mayor in 16 years and selecting a new person to represent District 1 on the City Council, much attention has been drawn to the District 6 PUSD race and candidates Sandra Siraganian and Lawrence Torres.

While Siraganian, a Realtor, has mailed campaign literature targeting Torres for his union membership and teaching at a low-performing LAUSD school, another set of anonymous mailers have circulated in Sierra Madre attacking Siraganian for failing to appear at candidate forums and citing her political views as extreme.

“I’ve seen how it’s become a pretty controversial race,” said Randy Jurdo Ertl, a longtime community activist, who hasn’t endorsed in the race.

Siraganian’s campaign has made Torres’ union membership its touchstone. And the candidate believes Torres cannot serve on a school board that must negotiate with unions.

“It’s a complete conflict of interest,” Siraganian said. “Any teacher would have this conflict.”

It’s not just the candidates going at it.

Supporters of each have been delivering their own jabs — mostly online.

Local blogger John Crawford, who supports Siraganian, posted a story about Torres’ conviction for drunken driving in 1985, which is not disclosed on Torres’ literature or his campaign website.

“It didn’t even dawn on me to report this because it happened 30 years ago,” Torres said. “I hope that people don’t judge me for mistakes I made in my youth but rather look at the breadth of experience and service to the community I have performed both throughout my career and as a parent.”

Peter Dreier, who teaches politics at Occidental College and supports Torres, distributed a story from LA Progressive written by a PUSD parent who lives in the district, Robert Niles, about Siraganian’s Tea Party ties and also some controversial tweets Siraganian allegedly sent.

Siraganian, who was part of an effort to eliminate the Users Utility Tax in Sierra Madre, has given money to TEAPAC California, campaign finance records show. She said she has worked on a “Get out the Vote” effort.

“I’m a Republican,” she said. “Most of the people that I’ve worked with are Republicans or declined to state. Mostly they’re people who believe in the Constitution.”

Siraganian’s Twitter account, @ulrichfan, established in 2009 takes jabs at illegal immigration, “the gay agenda” and deadbeat dads.

In an email, Siraganian defended her activity on the social network — which totals 11 tweets between 2009 and 2011.

“My tweet mentioning the gay agenda was a joke about what I thought were overheated attacks on Kobe Bryant, nothing more,” she wrote. “The fact that my opponent’s union activist supporters would take them out of context shows the lengths they will go to control the PUSD school board.

“I stand by my statement that illegal immigrants are an expensive burden on the State of California budget.”

Torres’ Twitter account, @votefortorres, was established earlier this year. The majority of his tweets focus on the campaign.

Ertl characterized the campaign as vitriolic.

“I think it’s happened in the past, but it is probably getting nastier because people have personal interests, special interests , they have hidden agendas in terms of what to get out of public school districts,’ he said. “A lot of times people are running to get contracts. It has taken away from the priority of improving public education for students.”

When it comes to issues within the school district, Siraganian said she believes it’s important for students to attend their neighborhood schools.

Sierra Madre and East Pasadena pay more and get less,” her campaign website says. “Sandra will work to make sure we get our fair share.”

She said in her work as a Realtor, she sold a home in Sierra Madre to people who moved from San Marino because they wanted to send their children to Sierra Madre schools.

“School board members should be ambassadors,” Siraganian said. “What we’re not doing well is marketing what we have.”

Mod: For the entire article click here. A couple of things. The UUT effort identified in this story was to bring that tax down from levels that were among highest in the state and back to its original 6%, not eliminate it altogether. The time when Sierra Madre will get to consider its elimination may happen, but hasn't yet. 

Did Larry Torres not disclose his conviction for drunk driving because it happened in his mid 20s, or because he didn't want anyone to know about it? My suspicion is it's the latter.

How come when newspaper accounts include supposedly nonpartisan "long time community activists," you invariably have never heard of them? Randy Jurdo Ertl writes for the quite partisan Pasadena Weekly. He thinks Coca Cola has conspired to kill us all (link).

The "anonymous mailers" come from (and continue to come from) Peter Dreier, the Marxist tenured radical (link) college professor straight out of Occidental that has made a career of running such smear campaigns. Torres has to have known these cowardly anonymous hit pieces were (and are) happening, and seems to have no problems with this kind of political activity. He might "love the kids," but he is some kind of a monumental jerk when it comes to adults.

Here is a college kind of question. How many people have been killed by the Tea Party that Professor Dreier hates so passionately? The answer is none. How many have died at the hands of the kinds of Marxist proponents Peter Dreier venerates in his lectures at Occidental? According to Wikipedia, between 85 and 100 million (link). Give or take a few.

Count the political bromides in the last four paragraphs of the column. I found three. Don't you get sick of that kind of vacuous talk from politicians?

sierramadretattler.blogspot

54 comments:

  1. With two kids in our family it discuses me to think the likes of some of these people and especially that Bart Doyle attorney have influence over my kids education. This whole mess makes me wish I could afford a private school like Mrs. Siraganian and her kids attended. I think she knows a good school system when she sees it.

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    1. You are working with some bad information here. Sandi's kids went to Sierra Madre elementary and middle school. She is a single mom with three kids, and no money bags.

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    2. Peter Dreier's daughters attended the Waverly School in Pasadena and Arroyo Pacific Academy in Arcadia. He is a hypocrite.

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    3. Siraganian's children attended PUSD's Don Benito Fundamental School, where she served as a PTA board member, Co-Chair of the Teacher Appreciation Committee and volunteered in the classroom to help children boost their reading skills. Her children also attended Sierra Madre Middle School.

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    4. Definition of a HypocriteFebruary 27, 2015 at 7:55 AM

      Petey Dreier's motto when it comes to public school for one's own child(ren):
      Don't do as I do
      Do as I say.

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    5. Sandra was also super involved in SM Little League as well.

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    6. In other Sierra Madre volunteer news where was Larry Torres?? What did ol' Larry do as a volunteer to make Sierra Madre a better place? Let me guess, zilch.

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    7. Larry Torres Volunteerism Day OffFebruary 27, 2015 at 8:57 AM

      Larry Torres? Torres? Torres? Anyone? Anyone?

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  2. The left smear machine is trying to go after Sandra Siraganian. Pure politics. When you look at who is supporting Torres, you have former Mayors Buchanan, Stockley and Doyle. They did alot more damage to Sierra Madre during their tenures in office and the damage continues even to this day with One Carter and other things still dogging this town, then Siraganian's association with a group like Teapac that simply wants us all to pay less taxes and not go bankrupt like the cities of San Bernadino and Vallejo. Its too bad that our present Mayor Harabedian decided to join that crowd in publicly endorsing Torres. I guess its all about party loyalty. If you want to rise up the ladder in the Democratic Party, you need to do their bidding and endorse the pro-union candidates who want to do to Sierra Madre schools what has been done to Los Angeles schools. If you're in favor of that, then Siraganian is probably not your candidate. But maybe somewhere in the deep recesses of your conscience, you can decide that the kids are more important than the unions. If that's the case, then you might want to vote for Siraganian.

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    1. Do you really think Johnny Harabedian will send his son to Pasadena high School?
      No.Freakin'.Way

      Harabedian went to Loyola High School, so sonny will too, no doubt.

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    2. His kid will go to St. Rita for K-8, too. Mom is the principal there.

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    3. That the hypocracy of these people. They let the unions destroy the schools....and the kids but their kids go to private schools and aren't affected by it. There should be a law that the politicians and their children have to go to the public schools that the politicians don't want to change.

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    4. sort of ironic, Sandra was actively involved with the anti-Measure V crowd along with Buchanan and his ilk and not they turn on her?

      Buchanan's endorsement is that of a dullard - he over estimates his importance, intellect and value to the community

      he's just a pawn for SoCal Edision

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  3. Let's just stipulate:
    If you're running for PUSD school board, you "love the children."



    Just like when you run for Sierra Madre City Council you "love Sierra Madre."

    Torres' "why I am running" reasons are wafer thin.

    What a tool.

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  4. That is some nose!

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    1. Obviously Torres hasn't missed a happy hour since 1985.

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    2. Larry! WC Fields called. He wants his nose back.

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    3. In Torres' case, it's only Driving Under the Influence when you get caught. Otherwise, it's just a party!

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    4. I'll drink to that!

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    5. On average, a drunk driver will drive 80 times under the influence before their first arrest.

      Source: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-driving-under-influence

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    6. Every 90 seconds, someone is injured from a drunk driving incident.

      Source: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-driving-under-influence

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  5. 6:48 is full of doo doo. I don't stipulate that anybody running "loves the kids". In every election, the unions put forward a candidate who they think can do their bidding, the kids are a distant after-thought. Likewise, why do think the public employee unions support certain candidates because they are "tough on crime" in the case of the police union. That's a joke. They only support a candidate because they want someone on the other side of the negotiating table who can give them their big raises and fat pensions. Many of the people who run for office but not all, run because they want to climb the political ladder or they like the power and presitge that goes with the job. Its often all about them and not the kids or the city. Sorry 6:48 but that is a bunch of nonsense.

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    1. So you'd support & vote for someone that doesn't "love the kids"? Sure you would.

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    2. I apologize to 6:48, I only read the first part and thought they were serious. They weren't but my point is still important to make.

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  6. I am 6:23, thank you for the information. We don't' always know the full story on things that happen, I guess with Mrs. Siraganian's associations with a private school here in town I just made the mistake and assumed. Thank you all for informing me.

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    1. There is no 6:23?

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    2. There's no 6:23 post, try again. Duh.

      And it's Ms. Saraganian, she is a single mother of three.

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    3. There's a great hypocracy here for people like Marxist professor Peter Dreier. They try to bring up Siraganian's asociation with Teapac - an organization that for the most part is trying to lower taxes for everyone. Yet, you can bet these same people had no problem voting for Barack Obama despite his association with Bill Ayers who as a founder of the Weather Underground had no problem with bombing Federal Buildings and killing people. That's the far left for you.

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    4. There is an online video available now of the Kiwanis Club candidate's forum from this week. Both candidates lay out their positions pretty clearly.

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    5. Did they keep Judy Webb-martin's 30 minute speech intact? She spoke almost as much as the candidates.

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    6. Judy makes interesting speeches. Her philosophy of supporting preservation except when it is her clients interests at stake requires some fast talking.

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    7. Lay off Judy. Her support of RPSM and the effort to keep a high school off our hillside was integral.

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    8. She was rude and talked forever at the Kiwanis debate. It was offensive.

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    9. You better call the paramedics for those hurt feelings.

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    10. At least Judy didn't step on your foot.

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  7. HMM I guess we're not open for discussion today mod? Your way or the highway. What is your political motivation, as this doesn't affect you because you don't live here.

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  8. Oh, a time change, yes it is 6:21 not 6:23 :)
    zzzzz

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  9. OH no, it's not Mrs. Saraganian it's Ms. ok, that's it, no more posting here till I get this all figured out. 621 saying never mind. :|

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  10. I wonder who mows Sandi's lawn.

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  11. Anonymous mailers are cowardly. Why is the Torres campaign using them?

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    1. Why did the Pasadena Teachers' Union endorse a convicted Drunk Driver? Is the political agenda more important than the candidate's past performance? looks like it.

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    2. I wonder how many potential candidates they asked before they finally settled on Larry.

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    3. You don't think Larry was first choice? Now my feelings are hurt.

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  12. Check out the Los Angeles Times front page of the California section. Orange County case could change what millions of Californians pay for water and undercut conservation efforts.

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  13. Hopefully Mr. Torres has not been teaching driver's ed.

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  14. Both of the candidates have approved dirty campaigns. Too bad they can't both be disqualified.

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    Replies
    1. Torres and Dreier unleashed their anonymous mailer and email nonsense first. Siraganian only responded in kind, and had the honesty to put her name to it.

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  15. A candidate who is a union member and is supported by the union cannot do what is best for the students even if he wanted to. He must do what is best for the union members. I understand this and would expect it. So I will vote for Sandra and hope she will do what is best for the students. I know that Larry will not.

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    1. If you take campaign money from the same people you are supposed to be managing, then the process has been compromised. Might not be illegal, but it does hurt taxpayers.

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    2. Union campaign contributions are known by Labor as "investments."

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    3. Here are my questions. Are they stakeholders, is it a best practice, and arextalking about a process here? Thanks.

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  16. Randy Ertle: Seriously, you show your face after driving El Centro into the ground. You should just stay away. You did not accomplish a thing at El Centro except the end result.

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