Fact Check: Did Candidates Tell Truth About Wise Budgeting?
Teachers for a Change today challenged the credibility of several candidates who wrote in ballot statements and a Sunday newspaper perspective they were dedicated to fiscal conservatism and wise budgeting.
Board President James Ramos said he “advocated” a $500 million construction project, however registrar expense documents show some of the $334,000 the chair at San Manuel tribal casino raised or spent came from contractors and building firms.
“Future generations will be burdened with millions in unpaid interest charges,” said Richard David Boyle, president of the education advocacy foundation. Last year Boyle testified before the San Bernardino County Grand Jury about corruption in the district, especially between the casino and local political bosses, and would raise these issues at Tuesday’s forum at Crafton Hills College.
“The San Manuel tribe gave Bill Postmus $25,000 and he gave back $5000,” Boyle testified to the Grand Jury in 2009. The Grand Jury filed charges against Postmus, once chair of the local Republican Party and former assessor who is now facing a long prison term for bribery, corruption, methamphetamine use as well as using tax money to hire young homosexuals who did little county work but gave him sexual favors, cleaned cars and did housework for their boss, according to last week’s court testimony.
In 2007 Federal Drug Enforcement agents investigated the casino for murder plots, laundering money for the Mexican Mafia and selling millions of dollars in methamphetamines and other drugs. Several tribal members are now in prison.
Boyle said he will turn over to the next Grand Jury panel evidence from the Registrar of Voters and Secretary of State that will show the San Manuel tribe gave $1 million to an organization called “People for a Better Government.” Boyle said he called the number listed and it was a lawyer’s office in Los Angeles. “This organization is a scam,” Boyle charged, “set up to deliver money to politicians they want to buy off.”
Boyle said that Attorney General Jerry Brown and County District Attorney Mike Ramos have been given millions of dollars in casino and tribal donations and “they won’t prosecute obvious violations of racketeering laws.” Boyle has discussed possible RICO Act violations with the local office of the United States Attorney General.
Incumbent Don Singer said he pressed at state and local levels to bring down textbooks costs, but Boyle charged that since being on the board, the former president has voted for increasing these costs directly to students by 250 percent. “I told the Grand Jury we should investigate a conspiracy between book publishers and college administrators that resulted in over pricing for inferior quality books, most costing over $100 for paperbacks.” Other challengers also said in the debate they opposed waste in spending.
Former dean, Donna Ferracone, said she “put students first,” but apparently approved of Crafton Hills College President Gloria Harrison’s decision to cut ten classes and then hire a part time outside consultant for $332,000. “Crafton Hills College is now on probation, and could lose accreditation,” Boyle said. “Firing a good deaf sign language teacher, Mark Chavoushi, and closing ten badly needed classes is not quality use of taxpayer money.” Don Nydam told an audience in last week’s debate at Valley College he wanted to get rid of all part time faculty and hire only tenured teachers. “This would double the costs to taxpayers and students” said Boyle. “Not a good idea in these hard economic times.”