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— [Editor's note: During a recent telephone interview, the former employee cited in the memo denied he was fired by the district and produced a letter of recommendation on his behalf signed by all five members of the board of education. He added that the coalition had been active for many years before the 2002 elections.]

The concern was that the entire panel of questioners was made up of Bersin critics and it would be a complete set-up. Furthermore, Maureen Magee had stated that she would only be going to this forum and the League of Women Voters forum.

So the concern was that she would be writing a not too nice story about myself and Nakamura -- especially aided by the fact it was a complete set-up to make us look bad.

As we walked in every single person involved in the forum -- the person directing traffic to the hall, the people providing refreshments, the ushers at the door, the people filming, etc., all had on Lee buttons and SDEA buttons.

Then just before we are ushered up to the podium the moderator gets N and I aside and tells us that out of fairness he must tell us that he is [school-board member] Frances Zimmerman's son-in-law.

At this N bursts out in tears (after a few minutes and prior to the podium she gathers herself together). I have to say he was a very nice young man who had probably never had this experience before and he was completely befuddled as to what to do.

I hate to sound cold-hearted, but it was pretty entertaining watching them both begin to disenigrate. N recovered and then all was OK.

We go up to the podium and [the organizer] begins with a very a long-winded supposedly statistical tearing down of the Blueprint on a PowerPoint demo.

Tom has seen the data and it is ludicrous.

Then the panel begins to ask us questions that [the organizer] has assured me no one has seen before the questioning.

As soon as the questioning begins both D and L take out typed, prepared notes for each question and read their answers for every question asked (AH, nothing like honest competition).

The questions were very mild and were very fair and to top it off, even though they had obviously spent a great deal of time preparing answers -- their answers were terrible.

Then at the end, even though we had all been told that there would be no final statement, the moderator (Fran's son-in-law) said he was going to make an executive decision and allow a one-minute statement.

Both D and L immediately take out typed prepared statements (you'll love this -- they were so long that they both had to be stopped short of their conclusion, leaving a confusing and muddled ending).

DeBeck told the audience that they should not vote for a "want to be school board member" but that they should only vote for someone who is already a school board member. I retorted that not only was that the most absurd thing I had ever heard him say on the campaign trail, but that apparently it is a burr under Mr. deBeck's saddle that he is in America where any citizen can run for office.

I then went on to say that to counter his remarks that all my endorsers were politicians and that the further you got from education the closer you get to my endorsers.

I said I would turn that argument on its head and point out that all these people had worked with John during his years on the board and that now not one of them endorsed him. This shows that the closer you get to people who have worked with him the further you get from people who support him.

(Even old John liked it and told me he would have to agree. He likes to think of himself as a cranky old man).

All in all it was not too bad.

Also Channel 6 (Fox) seems to follow me everywhere and asked for an interview afterwards. They did and as they were leaving Lee demanded they do him, so the cameraman put his stuff back up and did a quick interview of he and N (I got odds they don't show it).

Then outside KUSI got me aside and did an interview about the DC killings. Lee demanded they interview him and they told him it had nothing to do with the race and basically told him to pound sand.

Then we went to Barrio Logan and Ben Hueso (community activist) took us door to door of known voters in the area for 4 hours.

Nice day all in all.

Hope you all have a good weekend.


October 20

About a week ago a number of my friends in La Jolla called to ask for more yard signs because their signs had been removed from their yard -- often within hours of putting it up. Another friend of mine had put up a sign at Costco on Moreno and had used tie straps to attach it and it was cut down within hours. Last night I returned home, and my wife told me that a friend of mine was in the Sports Arena area and saw a man get out of his car and remove a yard sign of mine. He yelled at the man and he got in his car and ran off.

This morning I awoke to find not only my yard sign gone, but also at least 10 signs in my neighborhood removed (and that's just with a short cursory look). deBeck signs are up across the street from some of the places where my signs were removed, and Faulkenor signs were removed from some, but not others.

These are large signs and with so many removed all over the area it is not some isolated incident of pranksters -- especially when deBeck signs are still up across the street, including across from my own home (retired shop teacher and full-time horses ass).

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