Capo Unified Throwdown: Alpay & Pritchard take on extremists Maddox & Winsten

Here is your latest news from Ground Zero in the War on Education, aka the Capistrano (Capo) Unified School District:

Capo Unified Children First candidates
Gary Pritchard, John Alpay.

On Tuesday the 13th, the day before the recall of Trustees Ken Maddox and Mike Winsten was officially announced (it’ll be on the Nov. 2 ballot as expected) the Children First Alliance 2010 endorsed their hand-picked candidates to take their place:

John Alpay, a San Clemente corporate attorney and member of the OC Republican Central Committee, who vows to represent three constituencies only:  taxpayers, children, and homeowners; and

Gary Pritchard, an Aliso Viejo music professor and previous Democratic senatorial candidate against Mimi Walters, who believes school board members “should be working more closely with parents, teachers and community leaders, as well as working to shore up school financing in Sacramento and Washington.”

(The CUSD includes all or part of the cities of San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita, and the communities of Las Flores, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Ladera Ranch, and Wagon Wheel.)

The extremist incumbents of the “Reform Slate”
– Mike Winsten and Ken Maddox.

Predictably, partisans of the embattled incumbents are already trying to paint these two challengers as union tools, which in South Orange County is akin to labeling them Communists.  Of course it’s a red herring – unions have nothing to do with either of these candidates, and Alpay in particular, although he pledges to “stand behind the teachers, as they teach my children,” has promised not to accept money, endorsements or assistance from the teacher’s union.

No, ignore the mudslinging.  The parents have simply had enough of this so-called “reform” slate they ill-advisedly voted in a few years ago, and have now found the perfect candidates to “help restore balance and sanity to the Board and heal the damage caused to the district by the current trustees.”

I’ll be working on a “Capo Recall Primer” over the next few weeks, to explain why I call this “Ground Zero in the War on Education,” and why this struggle is vital and fascinating to Californians and Americans everywhere who care about our public schools and children.   For those of you who already know the issues down in the district,

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About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.