John McCann
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Aurora Clark, a community advocate, has been ordered to pay Chula Vista councilman John McCann $99,918 to cover legal bills in connection with a 2014 election challenge. According to a recent U-T article, San Diego Superior Court judge Eddie C. Sturgeon ordered the decision on March 11.

Aurora Clark

Aurora Clark

In 2014 McCann won by two votes the city council seat contested between him and former Chula Vista mayor Steve Padilla: McCann had 18,448 to Padilla’s 18,446. With the assistance of attorney John Moot, Clark sued the County Registrar of Voters and McCann in an effort to ensure provisional votes were counted.

John Moot

John Moot

In a March 21 interview, Clark said, “I have been a seasonal poll worker for years. I was trying to be a hundred percent sure to honor the people's vote, and if the registrar could not honor them at least they could notify them. This was not about McCann. The way the votes were going he might have won. It was about honoring the votes people cast.

“As poll workers we learned about people who lost their homes or jobs during the financial crisis. We were trained that those people had rights, too…. During our training, each time we [poll workers] asked about provisional ballots they said the only way that a provisional ballot would not be counted was if someone voted twice....

“A citizen is supposed to have a right to challenge anything that might be unjust. Federal rulings say if a citizen sues on behalf of the public, they are protected as long as they don’t seek personal gain. With this new decision people are told, ‘Don’t exercise your right or you’re going to be penalized.’ The judge said his main concern was if he didn’t rule against me, pretty much, he was afraid that people who ran for political office would be intimidated. He was more concerned about those seeking political office than citizens and taxpayers….

“When I went to the hearing, I went hoping that the judge would listen to the true statement of my financial status; he said he would let me speak if I wanted to say something, but he was not going to consider any corrections to the…information that McCann’s lawyer gave him. I feel like I didn’t even get my day in court….

“I’ve got three children that are in college. I negotiated in my alimony to better care for my boys. I have a second home; that was the agreement. That house is my sole income and the only way that I can pay my mortgage.”

While McCann did not respond to an email or phone call from the Reader, he told the Star News, “We won the election, the election audit, the election recount, the election lawsuit, unanimously won the appeal with the three-judge Fourth District Court of Appeals and now we won our children’s college money back.”

Clark’s attorney Moot was surprised by the judge’s decision: “There’s no legal precedent for the ruling. No one in [Clark’s] position has ever been responsible for attorney fees before, of any case I can find anywhere.

“I don’t know what was going through the judge’s mind. He issued a four-line opinion. He didn’t provide legal analysis. His only real comment at the hearing was he was concerned about the chilling effect it had on the candidates, to which I said — there’s nothing in the law that says you should take into consideration the chilling effect of the defendant….

“At no time did this case involve Mr. McCann or anything he did. It was testing how the Registrar of Voters was counting votes; McCann was only named because the election code says you have to name the person who won the election because if the votes get counted and it changes the result then the court has to be able to issue an order.

“These same votes would be counted in the Orange County Registrar, but the San Diego Registrar did not count them. The registrar has discretion….

“McCann did not choose a San Diego firm; the firm representing him is a well-known Sacramento firm, with strong ties to the Republican party. It seems incredible that he would go after her for attorney fees when she was simply trying to clarify the law and the counting of votes….

“The judge asked the lawyers to talk about a resolution. Clark can still appeal this decision. I’m going to do everything in my power to protect her; she’s a single mother with children by no means should this be allowed to ruin her life.”

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Comments

Cassander March 22, 2016 @ 4:50 p.m.

Three for the price of one examples of our legal system's continued undoing to serve the rich and powerful: a judge issuing an order without legal citation, that same judge ordering a whistleblower to pay for fees, and the revelation that the Registrar of Voters does not count provisional ballots.

This case has ramifications far beyond this one race, and should terrify anyone looking toward this years' elections. Ms. Clark is absolutely correct that provisional ballots are disproportionately cast by people of color and those with lower incomes, many of whom on election days are either unsure of or unable to be at the precinct where their names are on the roster. The fact that poll workers are religiously instructed to lie to anyone out of place, to pacify them with a provisional ballot and the false promise that their vote will still count so long as they haven't voted twice, should be making headlines.

What she has exposed is an outrage, and I for one want to know when the GoFundMe is up to pay for this trial and her appeal. Any funds left over can go to pay for the ads against Judge Sturgeon when he runs for re-election.

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anniej March 22, 2016 @ 4:58 p.m.

EXCELLENT COMMENT.......

Let us all remember the political names mentioned in this story!!!!!!!!!

If you want change - make an effort to be a part of the change you want!!!!

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PamelaSusann March 23, 2016 @ 8:40 a.m.

AMEN TO THAT ANNIEJ !!!!. Neither the star news or UT article on this appeared in my news feed, so I am glad to read it here. The Star News mentioned that Moot and Clark's lawsuit requested that HER legal fees be paid. Is this perfunctory? or did it set her up for this awful ramification? Nevertheless, this is sickening!!!!!. Judge Sturgeon advised both parties to work on LOWERING the actual amount, but McCann does not appear willing.

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PamelaSusann March 23, 2016 @ 12:33 p.m.

And who would have been responsible for paying Ms. Clark's fees?

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anniej March 23, 2016 @ 1:15 p.m.

Doesn't the Republican Party have 'go to' Legal Council? Council that is on retainer and paid out of the Parties vaults. Not to ignore the Democrats do as well.

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PamelaSusann March 23, 2016 @ 3:45 p.m.

I am not sure about the Legal Council of the Republican Party, AnnieJ. This article raises more questions for me 1) the need for privately paid legal counsel for McCann, 2) why Ms. Clark would be responsible for legal fees of a defendant "that had to be named" in the suit against Vu's office?.
I would be pressed to believe that Moot was remiss in informing Ms. Clark of a potential legal fee bill.

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anniej March 23, 2016 @ 5:24 p.m.

Any way you look at it - Democracy took a hit on this one.

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PamelaSusann March 23, 2016 @ 5:43 p.m.

Frightening hit. I will be watching for the outcome of the appeal

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Sjtorres March 25, 2016 @ 9:36 a.m.

NOTE: the author of this article fails to disclose her family (teachers union officials) have been at war with and attacking John McCann for many years. FAILURE to disclose this is a serious professional breach of ethics.

Keep in mind the bias and slanted agenda the author has when it comes to McCann (former school board member) and any issues having to do with schools and education.

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anniej March 22, 2016 @ 4:57 p.m.

Just wondering if Mr. McCann would have really had to pay for those legal services? Would the Republican Party have reached into its treasure trove of donations and helped him out if he had lost?

In answer to the headline of this story - YES, CITIZENS did loose! This is a far larger issue than Mr. McCann.

Why does the San Diego Registrar have discretion??????

And the Judge, ruling Ms. Clark should pay - curious, very curious!

There is change in the air folks, the great American Citizens are fed up - perhaps the true message in the National Arena is - ITS TIME FOR ORDINARY FOLKS TO START PAYING ATTENTION TO THE NATIONAL DYSFUNCTION OF THE WORLD WE CALL POLITICS!!!!!

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PamelaSusann March 23, 2016 @ 8:50 a.m.

Yes, that does seem weird regarding McCann's legal fees. It was stated in one of the other articles that he had to be named in the lawsuit because he was the seated candidate. If he wasn't personally being sued, why would he need to provide his own counsel. Would there not be a provision with the city to cover this when any member of the city council is named in a lawsuit regarding an election??

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dbdriver March 28, 2016 @ 7:49 a.m.

I have a question along the same line. Since the suit was mainly against the Registrar challenging how it counts the provisional ballets, what exactly was McCann's lawyer for him doing that racked up a bill of 99 Thousand?

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eastlaker March 28, 2016 @ 9:24 p.m.

Keeping McCann's name in circulation, for what that is worth.

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eastlaker March 22, 2016 @ 7:02 p.m.

Ruling that Ms. Clark should pay is clearly punitive, and as such, this ruling should not stand.

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oneoftheteachers March 22, 2016 @ 7:22 p.m.

Eddie Sturgeon's decision in favor of the contractors that offered lavish gifts to South County educational "leaders" was recently unanimously reversed in the court of appeals. The appellant judges didn't buy the claim that the bribes were protected under free speech. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/mar/02/south-bay-gifts-ruling/

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PamelaSusann March 23, 2016 @ 8:23 a.m.

Thanks for the referral to the tribune article, but when I read it, it seems like the appeals court affirmed Sturgeons decision that the gifts were not an expression of free speech. Can anyone advise and clarify for me?

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Sjtorres March 23, 2016 @ 6:37 a.m.

McCann won the election, despite the vicious smear campaign against him. The Registrar's office verified this outcome. Case closed. And nope, sorry Ms Clark. Your friends from Tijuana are not allowed to vote (legally) in these elections. We all know they still do vote here all the time, but sometimes they get caught and their ballots tossed out.

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anniej March 23, 2016 @ 8:12 a.m.

oneoftheteachers - Judge Sturgeon's ruling overruled - a ruling that was connected to the 'LARGEST CORRUPTION CASE IN SAN DIEGO HISTORY' - and now we read of his ruling in this case. Gives one cause for deep thought.

I have an idea - we all know TRUE public servants - persons who look to serve vs. use - let's unite and rally behind them running for offices. There are vacancies in the upcoming School Board elections, let's begin there!!!!!! BUT,,,,,,,Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing!!!!!!! Vet your choices, connect the dots - research who is connected to who, and for goodness sakes research any PAC FINANCIAL ENDORSEMENTS.

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oskidoll March 23, 2016 @ 12:20 p.m.

How is it we get such lame legal minds sitting as judges? First, Ana Espana was so easily conned by so many of the Sweetwater indicted perps and gave little or no penalty when they pleaded their sentences down. Now we have 'judge' Sturegon who seems to have no clue about what public officials are and are not supposed to do.

So, as anniej recommends, remember these names when they next appear on your ballot and be sure to mark a very big no. Let's 'retire' these feeble legal minds who have no regard for the public trust and instead believe public officials should be held to such low, low standards.

We deserve so much better.

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eruption March 23, 2016 @ 2:03 p.m.

I truly believe that the Court of Appeals will over turn this judge who has been overturned more than once. This is ludicrous! Ms Clark was within her rights to attempt to get clarification on this issue. My heart goes out to her for doing a service for this community. I'm truly shocked.

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oneoftheteachers April 1, 2016 @ 9:26 a.m.

How can a single mom afford to pay for an appeal?

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Elevation March 23, 2016 @ 2:37 p.m.

Have no opinion on McCann. But have a strong feeling the person who led Aurora Clark on with this stuff may have spearheaded the Bleisch allegations 2 years ago that costed the district money and will cost them more in the future.

The same thing happened 2 years ago. Teachers were encouraged by SEA Union leaders (and Administrators who cozy up to the union) to make false sexual harassment charges, and now they have to deal with a law suit.

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Sjtorres March 23, 2016 @ 8:57 p.m.

Good question Elevation. Who were the people that convinced Clark to go ahead with this lawsuit? Why won't Luzzaro get to the bottom of THAT story? Hint: it's called "bias".

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Susan Luzzaro March 23, 2016 @ 8:39 p.m.

It’s unfortunate that some people choose to slander Ms. Clark and her friends from Tijuana concerning voting rights. Is this a blanket view of anyone who is Mexican-American or simply an American who lives in Tijuana. Has the Registrar of Voters turned over the names and locations of voters to certain individuals? I’m quite certain that Mr. McCann would not agree with this kind of slander.

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anniej March 23, 2016 @ 10:27 p.m.

Susan Luzzaro - your points are well taken. The difference between your reporting and a 'couple' of the comments - you have facts to back up your reporting - they are driven by fear and racism.

Ask any surgeon - when he/she makes the incision that cuts thru the superficial layer of skin what does he/she - the answer 'the same' - we are all THE SAME.

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eastlaker March 24, 2016 @ 8:21 a.m.

How do we begin to work on correcting some of these problems?

Charge our elected representatives to actually represent us, which McCann steadfastly does NOT do. He is a self-promoter who has done nothing positive for this area. We know he likes his picture taken, he likes the microphone, he likes his campaign signs and he likes to slide by.

We need people who have the wherewithal to stand for what is right, to do what is right and to provide leadership. We do not need someone who pretends. If McCann were to really work for this community, he would have to understand the concept of service--but he is far to one-dimensional for that.

Yes, he could be described as a nincompoop, but as he has never grasped that public servants are supposed to serve the good of the community, he is a dangerous nincompoop. We just never know what he will "sell out" next. Schools--check. Chula Vista--happening now. New developments on the east side that overtax roads and services, undermine the city plan and chip away at our quality of life--check.

Why does he get elected? Low information voters and those who rely on superficial judgment. There doesn't seem to be a way to get through to him regarding his deeply flawed performance. Just too insulated by some sort of protection I guess.

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Ponzi March 24, 2016 @ 9:13 a.m.

One of the commenters on this story said “The fact that poll workers are religiously instructed to lie to anyone out of place, to pacify them with a provisional ballot and the false promise that their vote will still count so long as they haven't voted twice, should be making headlines.”

I have been a poll volunteer for 10 years. I have worked most elections as an assistant precinct inspector. No matter how many times we work the elections, poll workers must take online and in person training before each election.

In the past decade, through numerous training sessions and work with various poll workers, I have never been told to “pacify” or “lie” to any voter who was a candidate for (needed) a provisional ballot.

We would obviously prefer the voters name was on the roster so it would be an easier transaction. However, some people are new to the area, loose their mail-in ballot or just drop in the closest poll they see. Whether people of color tend to have a higher use of provisional ballots, I cannot attest. We usually tell the voter that they may want to visit their polling place to make sure they get to vote on all the issues in their jurisdiction, but that they can use a provisional ballot if they choose to. Most people that use provisional ballots seem to be busy, time-starved and probably are struggling to balance their work, family and responsibilities and voting is something they want to do but are not savvy about.

The provisional ballot comes with a tear-off unique identification number and a phone number of the Registrar of Voters. Both the ballot stub and the peach colored provisional ballot stub are handed to the voter. The voter is told that they can call the ROV office to make sure their vote was counted (after all votes are counted at the ROV).

Knowing what I have experienced, I would be shocked to learn the ROV does not count provisional ballots. I would like to know where this commenter came up with information to make such a statement. Though I agree if it is a true statement, backed by facts and witnesses, then it should be headline news.

On another note, about 60% of all votes cast in the county are mail-in ballots. That trend is growing. I believe one of the most effective ways to get low-income, transportation challenged and people of color to vote, is to educate and encourage them to use the mail-in ballot. (Many people still call it an "absentee" ballot and that label makes people think it is for a special purpose). Everyone is eligible for voting by ballot, you do not need any special reason to request a mail ballot.

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joepublic March 24, 2016 @ 11:27 a.m.

It's surprising to learn that California counties' registrars have such discretion in interpreting election law.  It seems it would be in the best interest of all if the law was uniformly applied .

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eastlaker March 24, 2016 @ 1:55 p.m.

Vu is a bit of a "law unto himself", so to speak.

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oskidoll March 24, 2016 @ 5:36 p.m.

Agree with both comments above about the SD Country Registrar of Voters. I think he is appointed by the Board of Supervisors? Someone should be supervising him so that all eligible voters in San Diego County can have their votes counted equally.

There seems to be too much leeway for arbitrary and capricious judgments...not only by those on the bench but by Registrar Vu as well.

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Visduh March 24, 2016 @ 9:18 p.m.

It is no surprise that Sjtorres and this newer commenter, Elevation, weighed in on this report. I've told everyone to ignore Torres, whoever he/she is. Elevation, who sprang up last fall during the Bleisch lawsuit reports, is baaack. We can only wonder who they are, and what they stand for, except to attack Susan, and blame it all on the evil, conspiring teachers union(s) in So County.

Just in passing, I must note that many times when a Reader piece doesn't agree with someone who comments, the comment refers to the story as "slanted", "biased", "one-sided", or a host of similar terms. Yet in almost all cases, the accuser never makes any attempt to identify the failures of the article. It is easy to claim bias, but it takes some work to spell it out and refute it.

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Susan Luzzaro March 24, 2016 @ 10:43 p.m.

Ponzi, thank you for your careful comments. Here is a clip from the UT article. So does this coincide with your understanding and experience with provisional ballots?

UT quote

"Most of the votes in question were provisional ballots not counted because the address provided was an invalid residential address. The address also called into question whether the person had moved.

The suit said the law and guidelines for elections officials say those votes should be counted, because the signature is the key data point.

In April 2015, Sturgeon ruled in favor of McCann and Clark appealed.

The ruling was two-fold — that the registrar has some discretion to interpret election law the way it’s written and that a voter’s residence address is particularly important in elections for determining when an individual has a right to vote."

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Ponzi March 25, 2016 @ 9:15 a.m.

The law in California is "The elections official is required to count the ballot if the voter's signature on the provisional ballot envelope matches the signature on the voter's prior registration form."

"Both federal and state law permit any voter who cast a provisional ballot to find out if their ballot was counted and Elections Code section 2142 gives voters the right to go to court in order to compel county elections officials to register them to vote and to count their ballot."

"No provisional ballot is counted or precluded from being counted until the elections official goes through the detailed process to determine whether a voter's provisional ballot should be counted. (Elections Code sections 14310-14311, 15350, and 15100-15112.)"

"Equally important, every provisional ballot -- whether it is counted or rejected -- and provisional ballot envelope is kept by the the elections official for a minimum of 22 months for every election in which a candidate for federal office is on the ballot. (Elections Code sections 17300-17506.)"

The above excerpts are from the Secretary of State information on provisional voting. There is no mention of matching addresses to validate the ballot, only that the signature must match.

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Cassander March 25, 2016 @ 2:46 a.m.

To Ponzi and the author: I have also been a poll worker for over a decade. Each of us is told, after explaining the particulars of any precinct's ballot, to never turn any voter away who has no time to look up or go where they should vote. If they can't remember their previous registered address, they are told to fill in as much information as they can — such as an SSI or CA driver's license number. Ponzi is likely aware of this, and it is key to understanding the problem. Ms. Luzzaro's article makes clear the lawsuit turned on the following point:

"In 2014 McCann won by two votes the city council seat contested between him and former Chula Vista mayor Steve Padilla: McCann had 18,448 to Padilla’s 18,446. With the assistance of attorney John Moot, Clark sued the County Registrar of Voters and McCann in an effort to ensure provisional votes were counted."

In other words, this race was decided by two votes out of 39,894. The plaintiffs waged suit for the Registrar of Voters to account for all of the provisional ballots impacting this election. Again, as the original U-T article stated:

"The suit said the law and guidelines for elections officials say those votes should be counted, because the signature is the key data point....The ruling was two-fold — that the registrar has some discretion to interpret election law the way it’s written and that a voter’s residence address is particularly important in elections for determining when an individual has a right to vote."

There was a difference of 0.00001 percent, and Judge Sturgeon rushed to pull the curtain back across the Great and Powerful Oz. The plaintiffs don't need to establish the standing of some forlorn citizen with a tear-off tab. The Registrar refused to account for provisional ballots that met their own defining criteria for valid ballots: Were all the voter signatures from persons legally registered who had not voted elsewhere?

How anyone who has sworn the same oaths to the Constitution as a poll worker that I have (and, apparently, Ponzi) can explain away this problem is beyond me.

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eastlaker March 25, 2016 @ 7:16 a.m.

As previously stated, Vu is a law unto himself, and I guess he knows who he works for. The rest of us can hazard a guess.

Regarding the judge in this case--I can only say that I do hope that eventually justice will prevail.

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Susan Luzzaro March 25, 2016 @ 9:49 a.m.

Ponzi, thank you again for your contribution. The Election Code information is consistent with what Clark and Moot cited. Sturgeon's decision and Vu's interpretation increasingly look like the last word on the decision is not over.

I found an anecdotal contribution of yours a compelling argument as well:

"Most people that use provisional ballots seem to be busy, time-starved and probably are struggling to balance their work, family and responsibilities and voting is something they want to do but are not savvy about."

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anniej March 25, 2016 @ 12:32 p.m.

TO ALL - IT IS SITUATIONS LIKE THIS WE NEED TO BE DISCUSSING AND SHARING, OPENLY, not just on Comment boards like this but over our pickets fences, at our Easter dinners, with are friends and family.

We have come to a time when it is more important than ever to get involved and do our parts to insure justice prevails. That will only be accomplished if each of us takes the time, no matter how little to play a role.

**when going to the polls this November be sure you have vetted the candidate, be sure you understand not where the new tax money being asked for is going - but what has been done with past tax monies. Were past promises honored?

HAPPY SPRING/EASTER!!!!!

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Elevation March 29, 2016 @ 12:48 p.m.

Happy Easter to you too!

Annie, did anyone ever tell you..that..you fill up our senses, like a night in the forest, like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain, like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean.......

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Visduh March 29, 2016 @ 8:33 p.m.

When you cannot use logic, use ridicule or emotion or . . . Why can't you come up with some facts or evidence or something with solid basis? The answer is that you have none of those things. I remember that a brother of Bleisch made an attempt to post comments at one point, Izzat you, bro?

6

Elevation March 29, 2016 @ 10:57 p.m.

Here's some logic.

Visduh, home come when the investigation was over in August 2014, credible news sources like the SD Union Tribune and Star News wrote a story about it but the reader did not....oops they did...a year later, with another author (Dorian Hargrove) breaking it.

Visdhuh, do you know other credible journalists or media members in San Diego? Notice that when they write a story they never comment or post on their own work like Susan Luzzaro does on her own stories? What other reporter does this?! They don't. Credible respected reporters don't!

Read the story Hargrove wrote. I provided more stuff than any of the other posters. When I posted stuff, you just layed down and quit. Didn't see any comments from you afterward.

Bring it Visduh!

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Elevation March 29, 2016 @ 11:22 p.m.

Never mind. There's nothing for you to bring, because if you had something, you would of posted it after my posts 6 months ago. That's like a guy in a street fight who lost and then began talking trash 6 months later after the dispute was settled (been there done that). I was the only one that provided facts to the story. You and your buddies will find out the rest once the audio board docs are played again and the facebook posts are shown. I know it's a waiting game, but be patient :-)))

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shirleyberan March 28, 2016 @ 1:34 p.m.

Under oath Bleisch has to tell what he knows about school chum conspiracy.

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Elevation March 30, 2016 @ 11:22 a.m.

This is more interesting. Under oath, female teachers, who made false sexual harassment accusations, will have to tell how they conspired with the union president and 1-2 district admin who cozy up to the union. They played dirty and lied, in order to stop charter school (accountability) momentum. It was a big win for them. The end justifies the means right? Corruption.

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Elevation March 30, 2016 @ 11:01 a.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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StacyH April 4, 2016 @ 5:32 a.m.

Yes, yes. This all sounds like such a travesty against the altruism of the working class underdog. That is, until you learn that Aurora Clark is a staunch member of a small, but annoyingly vocal, group of "community activists" that absolutely must have their way.

When they don't get their birthday pony in either Sweetwater or Chula Vista, they make darn sure they bust up everyone's toys before they stomp off with theirs.

True to 1930's German politics, the aim is to ensure that we all "accept" their ideals, their henchmen, and their candidates. Or else.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that John McCann was not their choice. So, out came the tantrum.

Not caring much for McCann myself, or even the details of this case, I am n happy to see that, for at least one member of this group, the price of the continued extermination of Sweetwater's previous regime is now at $99,918.

Let's see if the rest learn their lesson as they continue down the same path of cleansing.

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StacyH April 4, 2016 @ 5:34 a.m.

I attend school board meetings primarily to learn how the two local districts are advancing my children's educations. Despite the same old cronyism rampant in the previous administrations, both the Chula Vista Elementary District and the Sweetwater Union High School District should be commended for their service to community exhibited at each meeting. My husband and I agree there are a lot of exceptional efforts being made in this collaborative undertaking.

The series of positive and uplifting student achievements that typically kick off the evenings are a breath of fresh air for parents like us. It's good to see smiles and congratulations prevalent throughout the board rooms as each student group basks in their well deserved adulations.

These good vibrations are invariably shattered at each Sweetwater meeting by one, Cathleen "Cheers". The quotation marks are in place as sarcasm and cruel irony.

The student's evening is overshadowed by the public input segment which usually headlines Cheers, who is another staunch member of Clark's gang.

You can literally feel the life blood drain out of the room as she ambles to the podium. The smiles disappear one by one as if a eulogy awaits.

Then, it starts.

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StacyH April 4, 2016 @ 5:36 a.m.

Since we are forced to listen that rake-on-a-chalkboard voice at each and every Sweetwater board meeting, we eventually lose three minute chunks of our lives that can never be recovered. Each excruciating episode leaves scars that no amount of therapy will erase. My husband and I have learned to leave at that point of the meeting in an effort to salvage the good vibes. Lately, we just don't go at all. In the safety of our home, we listen to the recorded lowlights the next evening with two tall Merlots.

It is clear that Cheers' self indulgent wielding of free speech and community "activism" is nothing more than a bully pulpit in her bid to single-handedly rule the Sweetwater Union High School District.

Most people can recognize the difference between activism and obstructionism. Since power is obviously what she and her ilk are after, she couldn't care less about the meaning of either.

The only accurate statement she uttered at one of the recent sessions was her own admission that she is "not the sharpest tool in the shed". That fact was further solidified as she spent the next three minutes trying to convince us that she had the slightest idea of what she was talking about.

These snippets of self-deprecation are a transparent ruse for the subsequent rants so rife with blustering, sanctimony and condescension.

Her claims that "if it weren't for her" a myriad of crimes against humanity would never have been discovered, and, of course, righted, is simply laughable. The people that actually know the facts tell me that Cheers has about as much of a hand in these "revelations" (if they even existed) as Daisy Duck had in breaking the Watergate scandal. It's easy to be the hero of witch hunts in which you author, star, and steal the Oscar before the real facts are known by the masses.

Likewise, it takes a special brand of coward to grab credit for the hard work of others. She should get an award for that role.

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StacyH April 4, 2016 @ 5:39 a.m.

The doom-and-gloom she routinely paints over Sweetwater and Chula Vista are a mere gimmick to keep the populace shivering and coming back for the next installment.

Somehow, we are supposed to believe that Cheers and Company are the sole vanguard between a corrupt world and our children's well-being. Sounds pretty National Socialist to me.

That skunk-do may finally be fading, but the stench coming from underneath is as putrid as ever.

Clark and Cheer's sidekick, Nicholas Maranovich's, patronizing wisdom is equally hard to listen to or take as seriously. Imagine trying to stay awake while listening to a sermon from that small turtle in the old Looney Tunes cartoons. It's hard to vomit and yawn at the same time, but I can honestly say that I have done just that.

I love how he starts off with the assurance that he "doesn't mean to sound negative or be a downer", but proceeds to do exactly that for each of his time slots. Any useful information never makes it out of these three minute dirges alive.

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StacyH April 4, 2016 @ 5:42 a.m.

For those that haven't snuck out of the board meetings by that time, input from the other members of the troupe quickly reduces their credibility to zero as well.

Make no mistake about it, this small group of individuals is very agenda-based despite their innocent poll worker slant. Of course, these agendas typically serve only their egos and objectives while pretending to serve the needs of the other thousands of families in Sweetwater and Chula Vista.

Their thirst for power and control has grown both alarming and tiresome. Occasionally, they hit pay dirt thanks to the unwitting administrator or board member. Except for judge Sturgeon, there are plenty of good men and women still doing nothing to stop the growing evil. If we don't give Clark's gang the power they demand, maybe they'll find another hobby so the other families can work towards, and enjoy, our children's accomplishments.

The upside of the First Amendment is that it guarantees we all enjoy free speech. The downside is that it guarantees we will be subjected to free brainwashing. So, when Clark, Cheers, or the rest of the gang utters a word, start checking your own facts over a nice glass of wine. A smooth red will cushion the blow when you discover you've been fed a line of bull.

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eastlaker April 5, 2016 @ 9:38 a.m.

Wow. Quite the screed. Maybe you might consider cutting back on those smooth reds. Clear thinking could help take care of this.

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StacyH April 21, 2016 @ 8:06 p.m.

Stow your smarminess Mati. You're just as much a part of the pitch forks and torches as the rest of those mooks. Just thinking of your nasal-fest makes me thirsty too. Cheers.

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VigilantinCV April 4, 2016 @ 7:26 p.m.

I think many of you are dead wrong. The address IS important. If you live in Santee or Escondido, you CANNOT vote in Chula Vista, whether you are a registered voter or not. Many people who have businesses in Chula Vista live in other cities, like San Diego. But they have Chula Vista P.O.s for their businesses. You see them checking their boxes in the post office every morning. Having a P.O. in Chula Vista does NOT allow you to vote in Chula Vista, and that is why you are told that you CANNOT use P.O. Box addresses. And if you have moved to La Jolla, and so just make up a Chula Vista address that does not match what the Registrar has on record, it should not count. Only legitimate Chula Vista residents (business owners or not) should be able to vote in Chula Vista elections.

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dbdriver April 4, 2016 @ 8:20 p.m.

If, according to the post that Ponzi posted (March 25th, 9:15a), the state rules and guidelines on provisional ballots is true, then the ballots should be counted, or at least been given more inspection. Especially if the signature matched.

I wonder why they, beyond address, were excluded and if those who cast them were contacted to clarify. There could be a number of valid reasons why something didn't match, but upon verification they may have counted.

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eastlaker April 5, 2016 @ 9:34 a.m.

Mr. Vu was able to make the decision, and his record is not exemplary. We really do need to work to gain and maintain justice in this part of Dodge.

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eastlaker April 7, 2016 @ 8:51 a.m.

Obviously those who vote in Chula Vista need to be legal residents of Chula Vista. I have never disputed that. But--Vu should follow the regulations that the state gives us, not come up with something on his own.

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oskidoll April 7, 2016 @ 10:17 a.m.

I quite agree with Eastlaker. Where does it say that Registrar Vu gets to make it up as he goes with regard to which ballots are counted and which are disregarded?

One wonders what provisions Registrar Vu might be making regarding provisional ballots for the upcoming primary election June 7. It is reported that the turn out is predicted to be quite high (which is a good thing) but which may well overwhelm the system. Is Vu doing anything proactive, such as encouraging more voters to use mail-in ballots?

How about giant posters for each polling place that clearly spell out the rules for provisional ballots?

For example, there might be a separate area in each polling place for those who are using provisional ballots, with the rules clearly posted, perhaps a flyer given each person when they are handed the provisional ballot. How about making the text on the outside of the provisional ballot in large bold print regarding what the voter must do to correctly cast the ballot?

There are lots of proactive steps Registrar Vu might take to help, rather than hinder, the process. In the long run, it would make his job easier but he would have less opportunity for arbitrary and seemingly capricious rulings after the fact.

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eastlaker April 7, 2016 @ 10:31 a.m.

The problem encouraging more people to use mail-in ballots is that it is easier to declare those ballots incorrect somehow...at least the way Vu seems to do things. Unless I have greatly misunderstood this whole thing.

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joepublic April 7, 2016 @ 11:11 a.m.

Good ideas, oskidoll. Maybe you should forward them to the registrar's office. Good point, dbdriver. How hard would it've been for the registrar's office to contact the voters in question and do a little investigating? It just might've saved a lot of time and money, not to mention having a more positive effect on the public's perception of the voting process.

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eastlaker April 8, 2016 @ 1:22 p.m.

Well here's the problem as I understand it: there was a hypothetical calculated risk in that those determining which ballots were legitimate and which were not could check voter registration rolls. If someone was registered in such a way that did not look like it would be a vote for a certain candidate, it was judged to be easier to disallow those ballots. Not exactly what we think of when we talk about representational democracies.

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oskidoll April 8, 2016 @ 11:05 a.m.

It seems to me that the County Board of Supervisors should be asking the questions about preparedness for the upcoming election of Mr. Vu, or at the very least, directing their CEO to do so.

After the last brou-ha-ha and ensuing lawsuit, wouldn't you think someone in an official capacity might be paying attention to the need to make the Registrar's office more transparent and accountable?

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eastlaker April 11, 2016 @ 3:54 p.m.

To answer your question--only if they are interested in discouraging the registrar's "whimsical" approach. It just might be all part of the Great Web, to paraphrase Jeeves.

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