Another Good Capo Lawsuit, defending Measure H (by-area elections)

See, I couldn’t locate a photograph of petitioner Marilyn Amato singlehandedly stopping the California Republican Assembly, the Family Action PAC, Tony Beall, Mike Winsten, Craig Alexander, the Education Alliance et al., all on behalf of a massive movement for expanded democracy.  So I went with the famous image to the left.

To jog your memory – Measure H is only peripherally related to this November’s Capistrano USD Recall;  there’s no reason it should really be related at all.  It is a measure to change the way this huge district elects its seven trustees, so that each of the seven “areas” only votes for its own trustee and each candidate only has to run in one area.

This reform, the very popular “by-area voting” reform, would

  1. Save the district $200,000 each election cycle (every two years)
  2. Make it much easier for a citizen of modest means to run, without needing the help of special interests
  3. Ensure that those who win are familiar with local concerns and issues, and accountable to their constituents.

In fact the current trustees (who are now in such hot water with the public) pledged to support this reform back when they were first running for office.  But once they got into office, they realized the reform would make it easier for regular folks to run against them, so they pulled a 180 and began to oppose it.  Just to consolidate their power and keep their seats safe.  Really, there’s no other credible explanation for their flip-flop.

They even went so far as to waste tens of thousands of district money on lawyers to fight against the reform, but let’s not get into that here.  You’re wondering, what is THEIR story?  How do THEY justify suddenly being against by-area voting?

Well, like a guitarist with only one string, they justify it the same way they justify anything they want to do or don’t want to do.  UNIONS.  Somehow, voting by area would give unions more power.  Twang, twang.  Somehow, though it can’t be proven, voting by area is a secret union plot.  Twang, twang, twang.

It’s really absurd.  When they blame unions for being behind the effort to recall their worthless butts, it’s not true, but at least it is plausible.  But there’s no reason at all that the unions would be behind Measure H.  Think about it.  A reform that makes it cost less to run for office dilutes the power of all special interests – including the unions!

So when anti-democracy allies of the Board sat down to write their “No on Measure H” ballot statement, they twanged on that one guitar string for all it was worth, but they did not make music.  Ms. Amato found FIVE absurd whoppers in the statement which must be removed or changed:

Approximately 85% of the annual budget is paid to the district’s employees – largely represented by unions fighting to preserve the status quo.

At best irrelevant as nobody can show the unions to have had anything to do with putting Measure H on the ballot. And gentlemen, consider the absurdity of characterizing a sweeping reform of voting methodology as “preserving the status quo.”

These public employee unions and their allies spent months getting this on the ballot.

Parents and taxpayers spent months getting it on the ballot.  Unions had nothing to do with it.  Strike that sentence.

These unions with their bloated pensions didn’t spend all that energy to help taxpayers – they’ve never cared about saving taxpayer money or put taxpayers above their paychecks.  (

A totally false, malicious, AND irrelevant (as unions have nothing to do with Measure H) statement is backed up by a nonexistent website.  Very smooth.

This special interest initiative is designed to make it easier to elect pro-union candidates who’d raise your taxes by imposing parcel taxes and more school bonds.

There’s no explanation how by-area voting favors pro-union candidates over anyone else, and Board members cannot raise taxes or bonds, you morons.  Scratch it.

Unions spend more on politics than anyone – don’t increase their power.  (

Not only irrelevant, but A COMPLETE AND TOTAL LIE!  Unions do NOT spend more on politics than anyone.  And to cap it off, the very report they cite shows that they’re lying.  Fail, fail, epic fail!  And these dunces want to run our kids’ education?

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.