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“Satan is attacking our family by perverting the concept of marriage, which God created to be between one man and one woman only.”

Dran Reese

Dran Reese

This is not a rant from a fundamentalist church in Alabama; it is from a website launched by Dran Reese, a wealthy Rancho Santa Fe businesswoman who is one of two candidates running for a seat on the MiraCosta Community College Board of Trustees.

It is thought she has a decent shot at getting elected. The incumbent is not running for re-election and she is better funded than her sole challenger.

Reese is running to win a seat on the seven-member board that oversees the main MiraCosta Oceanside campus, a Cardiff campus, and a community learning center in Oceanside. Reese and her husband made their fortune selling an adhesive called Quakehold and other products that help make you safe in a disaster. She founded the Salt and Light Council, a nonprofit, nondenominational “clearinghouse of information” dedicated to promoting “biblical moral values in the public sector.”

Reese made her first big public plunge into education issues in October of 2013, when Channel 10 covered her effort to collect signatures for a petition that would make sure transgender students don’t get their choice of sports teams or bathrooms. A few months earlier she made a speech in front of the federal courthouse in San Diego, where she said, "Homosexual marriage is detestable…. No matter what judge, politician or movie star says it is equal to a marriage between one man and one woman.”

In 2011, Reese was quoted by onenewsnow.com, a division of the American Family News Network, as saying, “Homosexuals have no good quality intentions with children but to indoctrinate them into a perverted, sexual lifestyle.”

Rick Cassar

Rick Cassar

Reese’s opponent in the college-board race, Rick Cassar, says he doesn’t want to revel over provocative Reese-speak.

“I don’t want this to be another Peters versus DeMaio,” he says.

Cassar is a community college counselor at San Diego Miramar and City community colleges and an elected member of the Cardiff Union School District.

“As a counselor I celebrate diversity,” says Cassar. “When I see gay people who I work with get disparaged, I take it personally. In a community college setting, I think people need to feel safe and accepted. I think those views would make many people feel uncomfortable.”

In this campaign, Cassar says he would rather talk about issues such as college budgets and his proposal to make it easier for community-college students to transfer to universities. But, he points out, his opponent doesn’t show up to public candidate forums. Cassar says Reese attended one of three such debates.

MiraCosta faculty librarian Steven Deineh attended that October 20 forum at MiraCosta’s San Elijo campus.

“She calls transgender people pedophiles,” says Deineh. “The plentiful statements she's made against gay marriage is one thing. As a librarian, I'm all for freedom of speech and not censoring people. But she doesn't seem to understand much about the LGBT community, with an emphasis on the T for transgender. Publicly calling transgender people pedophiles is inappropriate, unacceptable, and is hate speech.

“Dran Reese is promoting a culture of intolerance that will create a hostile environment for transgender students and staff in our district and I think that’s extremely disturbing and problematic.”

Candidate Reese said by phone on October 30: “I respectfully decline to be part of your interview.”

Reese and Cassar are running for the MiraCosta Community College District 2, which serves 37,000 registered voters in Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch, Cardiff, Olivenhain, and parts of the community known as New Encinitas.

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dwbat Oct. 31, 2014 @ 2:27 p.m.

Let's hope we've heard the last of Reese's pieces of Anita-Bryant-like hatred and lies.


Ken Leighton Oct. 31, 2014 @ 10:13 p.m.

Regarding the timing of this timing of this, please let me respond. I wrote about this as soon as I heard about it. I am told that at the time this article hit the Reader's website (less than a week before the election) roughly half of the people who were expected to vote had already voted. In other words, if this was written to be timed to get the most response, it makes sense to have it published when people started voting which would have been about three weeks ago. As any reasonable person can tell, Reese-speak is great stuff for anyone to write or read about. If you agree with Ms. Reese, you should know about her so you CAN vote for her. If you disagree with her, ditto. It is mind blowing that the UT and Coast News never bothered to cover this. Are they lazy, understaffed or are they trying to protect somebody? Columnist Logan Jenkins did a passive, lightweight column on Ms. Reese a few weeks ago that completely ignored the hardcore stuff Ms. Reese says. He daintily offered some flowery, fluttering prose about how he appreciates that she is upfront about what she stands for BUT HE AVOIDED GOING INTO THE DETAILS ABOUT WHAT SHE SAID! He made her sound like she was just this strident, opinionated political neophyte who means well. Really Logan? Where have all the regular reporters been on this? Or does the UT not have any reporters any more. Thank god that MCC employee Deineh had the initiative and the backbone to bring attention to this person who has a rich history of saying such remarkable things. As a candidate, Ms. Reese has a right to say anything she wants. As a voters, we have a right to be informed when someone like Ms. Reese says such provocative statements. We must pay attention who we elect to some of these lower-on-the-ballot offices. Just today KPBS covered the local judicial candidate who flat out lied about his credentials. Good for them. And good for the Reader for giving Ms. Reese her rightful exposure. Until people paid attention, the Tri-City Hospital board of trustees was a municipal train wreck. Media exposure and public attention helped fix that dysfunctional clown bus.


silverlover Oct. 31, 2014 @ 10:17 p.m.

the holy bible does say marriage is between a man and a woman: Corinthians 6:3 Marriage 7. and Leviticus 18:22 thou shalt not lie with a mankind as with womankind: it is an abomination. I think letting 2 of the same kind couples adopt is another abomination.


Ken Leighton Oct. 31, 2014 @ 11:14 p.m.

Silverlover: great! Now you know who you should vote for if you think that is a standard for a college trustee and if you are registered to vote in MiraCosta District 2. The only real problem here is that a college trustee doesn't get to decide who gets to marry, and which kind of parents get to adopt. That's a bit like saying "I think you should vote for me for city council because I'm against nuclear war." On a side note, I have a smart ass friend who, when he found out that Ms. Reese made a huge deal about trying to legislate which bathroom transgender kids gets to use, said the following: "I am a heterosexual male, but I like to sit when I pee. Do I get to use the boys bathroom Ms. Reese? Will I need to a special pass from you if you get elected to anything?" Now that's snarky! Talk about squatter's rights!


AlexClarke Nov. 1, 2014 @ 5:43 a.m.

Once again someone what has a lot of money and nothing to do is trying to buy her way into a position the she thinks she can use to influence what other people should think.


Visduh Nov. 1, 2014 @ 10:56 a.m.

Over twenty years ago, we had something like this happen with the Vista school district wherein three creationists ended up with a majority on the board. The candidates came on stealthily, calling themselves conservatives, and building a voting block among some fundamentalists and within a few of these new-style churches. They won, not because of what they espoused and did not proclaim, but in spite of it, when voters didn't know them. At least she's open about it, and if she wins, it will reflect the will of the voters.


Ken Leighton Nov. 2, 2014 @ 7:14 a.m.

Ms. Reese- You claim you were misquoted. Are you denying you said what you wrote on your own website? Are you denying what you said on onenewsnow.com? Are you denying the recording of you speaking in front of the court house? Are you denying your recent forum videotaped by the League of Women Voters? Are you saying that was someone else who was shown on Channel 10 News? I regret this did run sooner so your quotes could have been more fully understood by the voters. I regret that other media gave you a free pass on your truly remarkable statements. I also regret you would not speak to me when I called you so you could have denied them to my face. I also regret you blew off two public forums, one hosted by Oceanside cable TV channel KOCT and by the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce. Your M.O. is to now say you were misquoted. There is no malice here. Just an effort to illuminate. Please let me quote Luke 12.3: "What you have said in the dark will be heard in the light." And you didn't even say these things in the dark.


4bremo Nov. 2, 2014 @ 11:22 a.m.

Ken: I sent an email to the League of Woman's voters requesting a link for the video tape of the forum. I'd like to email that link to all relevant media outlets if possible. Do you have any emails you can share with me? Like you, I wish this issue revealed itself sooner so voters are more aware so they can make an informed choice.


Ken Leighton Nov. 2, 2014 @ 12:10 p.m.

The audio was played to me over the phone. It is a huge file and hard to email. But it is out there. It exists. This is a great example of how important public forums are and how important pro-civic groups like the League of Women's Voters can be. It is interesting to note that Michael Hayutin wrote above: "Dran, please specifically tell us how you were misquoted and clarify your positions on the issues in question." To which Ms. Reese says nothing. I repeat: Please Dran Reese, how were you misquoted?


rickedy Nov. 3, 2014 @ 7:43 a.m.

I am Rick Cassar and I believe it is important for voters to know how each candidate stands on issues that relate to governing MiraCosta College.

Three of my top priorities for MiraCosta College are: 1) Student Success: Studies show that the most successful college students are engaged, valued, nurtured and connected. Preparing students for success in college and in life is my TOP PRIORITY. Creating an atmosphere in which ALL students feel welcomed is imperative. This article and this debate focuses much on attitudes that trickle down from the Board of Trustees to Administration to the classroom to the students.

2) Creating programs that allow graduates to find meaningful work and earn living wages. I plan to connect with the community for consultation in developing AS Degrees that allow students to earn a decent living. All most people want is an opportunity to have a home and a decent life for their families. MiraCosta graduates should be able to attain this standard at a minimum

3) Creating programs that allow students to transfer to and graduate from universities by ensuring university level curriculum taught by top notch professors.

Our community deserves the best. You deserve MiraCosta to be the best. I will work for you toward that end.


4bremo Nov. 3, 2014 @ 7:54 a.m.

Well said Rick. Your opponent clearly does NOT value ALL human beings. If the district values all residents, you ARE the best candidate.


4bremo Nov. 3, 2014 @ 10:46 a.m.

Close analogy. The legacy of Anita Bryant is that she was a hatemonger and an embarrassing example of Christian values. Her contributions as an entertainer and celebrity are forever shadowed by her negative place in history. Dran-conian Reese is carving the same legacy, an embarrassment for her family, children and even more so for her (hopefully) enlightened grandchildren. So very sad.


dwbat Nov. 3, 2014 @ 1:21 p.m.

Bryant's actions destroyed her career, and she also lost her lucrative 6-figure paycheck from the Florida Citrus Commission. Her marriage ended, too.


spinsarah Nov. 3, 2014 @ 10:35 a.m.

Thank you for this Ken! I had been scrounging for info until this story came up.


Ken Leighton Nov. 3, 2014 @ 11:42 a.m.

I still say the biggest shame in all this is that the press couldn't be bothered to get the word out. Ms. Reese has every right to her opinions and she has every right to run for office.


Ken Harrison Nov. 5, 2014 @ 2:25 a.m.

You got the scoop on this one Ken. SD Press Club award for you?


4allnow Nov. 5, 2014 @ 7:35 a.m.

Congratulations to the voters of District 2; you have reaffirmed my faith in humanity by voting for Rick Cassar. Looser Dran Reese should now realize that even conservative, republican communities will not tolerate bigotry and oppression, especially in education. She and her kind are facing imminent extinction.


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