tammanyville horror!

“One can only hope we can avoid being dubbed the Tammany Hall community college district.” Dave Lang

     NOWADAYS, the SOCCCD Faculty Association is pretty unremarkable, I suppose, but it wasn't always so.
     No doubt you are aware that the district took a serious nosedive c. 1996. Perhaps you heard crazy stories about —a Holocaust denying trustee, the Fiscal Watch Lists, 1st Amendment law suits, Brown Act violations, disastrous reorganizations, accreditation nightmares, admin. positions as spoils of war, etc.
     Could that be true?
     It be true all right.
     The ultimate cause? A rogue faculty union.
     Well, it was the union leadership, anyway. The Faculty Association was once controlled by unprincipled louts—in some cases veterans of the massive faculty effort to oust a tyranical chancellor (Larry Stevens) in the eighties. (I suspect that the Stevens episode, which occurred before my time, figures into this subsequent saga of union over-reach, payback and greed. The Stevens fight was the "good war" to the union's subsequent misbegotten and immoral Vietnam adventure.)
     For a while—for several years—those people couldn't be removed or controlled. Things only got worse, much worse.
     Here's the story.

FACULTY ASSOCIATION. (A.k.a. the "union")
(Entry from The Dissenter’s Dictionary, 1999)
PLUS some Dissent posts from that era (1998-1999)

Sherry M-W
     The SOCCCD faculty union, the legal representative of faculty concerning contractual matters; a chapter of the California Teachers Association (and of its division, the Community College Association [CCA]).
     By the mid-90s, the FA was controlled by a small group of faculty—the OLD GUARD—that utterly disregarded rules, laws, common practice, and democratic principles. Starting in about '96, for over a year, union members sought unsuccessfully to secure (among other things) a copy of the chapter's bylaws—an effort that increased in intensity during and after the infamous ’96 trustees race, in which many tens of thousands of union dollars were used to finance the notorious homophobic "SAME-SEX" flier. Faced with this pressure, president Miller-White (and vice president MacMillan) asserted that the bylaws would become available once a mysterious "clean up" process was completed. (We were told that "typos" needed to be corrected.) Eventually, owing to pressure brought by the CTA, Miller-White produced a copy of "the bylaws," but it was soon determined to be a version that had been registered with CTA many years before and, according to CTA guidelines, was no longer valid, since it had not subsequently been submitted for review and registration. In about December of '96, reform members discovered that, not only had the chapter's leadership failed to keep valid bylaws on file with CTA but they had even failed properly to register the chapter with CTA. When reformers then applied for a CTA charter, CTA officials, fearing litigation, insisted that the old chapter, despite its failure to be chartered, was indeed a chapter of CTA. ("If it quacks like a duck, it's a duck.")
Sharon Macmillan
     Owing to the chapter's egregious election conduct and its undemocratic ways, a lengthy letter of complaint, signed by 109 tenured faculty, was sent to the CCA president in December of '96. Ultimately, this yielded the formation of a CTA "leadership team," which visited the district in April (?) of '97 and later issued a report, according to which the chapter had indeed failed to keep minutes or proper PAC records and had engaged in unacceptable campaign tactics. (See LEADERSHIP TEAM REPORT)
     During this period, Miller-White and her Old Guard cronies continued to run the chapter as though it were their private club. Invariably, Representative Council meetings would be held without a quorum (the issue was never raised). When reformers complained about this, Miller-White invariably became hostile and even belligerent. During one meeting in '97, Rep Council members agreed, contra Miller-White, that an effort should be made to determine the existence of a quorum, but it soon became clear that the members present could not agree what constituted a quorum. Indeed, it became clear that there was disagreement regarding who was and who was not a member of the Rep Council!
Bill Heffernan
     During the spring of '98, the Old Guard finally permitted an internal election of officers and Rep Council members, but when it yielded many Reform-candidate victories, Miller-White and her group simply declared the entire election null and void, citing their own error with regard to egligibility requirements for one office. In subsequent months, the Old Guard spent tens of thousands of dollars promoting the candidacies of two avowedly anti-teachers union candidates—Padberg and Wagner, friends of the Board Majority. When union members asked whether this was true, Miller-White and her cronies simply refused to answer. Thanks to fliers and ads that implied, falsely, that Padberg and Wagner could help stop the El Toro airport, the two were elected in November of '98, and the Board Majority expanded to 5 members.
Curt Mclendon
     In the spring of '99, owing to the involvement of CTA, new internal elections were held, and the reformers won, though MacMillan (formerly president-elect) now presided, despite being on sabbatical. (Naturally, the Old Guard contested the election.) The PAC committee, however, comprised former chapter presidents, and thus was dominated by the Old Guard. Thus, the reformers initiated the arduous task of gaining membership control of the PAC.
     Toward the end of her tenure as president, Miller-White, without proper authorization from the Rep Council, made a "verbal" request to the Chancellor to cut withholdings from members' paychecks, and he readily complied. This meant that no monies would be collected for the union PAC—money that could eventually be used to defeat Fortune, Williams, and Frogue in 2000. When the new Rep Council decided to restore the withholdings, Sampson was notified, but refused to restore them. (At one point, he cited the fact that the request had merely been "verbal.") Eventually, CTA lawyers demanded the change, but Sampson still refused to make it. This has resulted in PERB complaint which may soon be ruled upon.

* * *
Here's the successful flier used to insure victory of FA's benighted candidates of '96.
Local Republican households ate it up.

From Dissent 25
April 12, 1999

By Big Bill [Roy Bauer)

     “Hisssssssss! Hisssssssss!” –Such were the sounds that came my way as I sat in the visitors’ section awaiting the start of the March 29 Faculty Association meeting. “Huh? Wha—?”, I mumbled amid the room’s chatter. Then, in the distance, I saw Sherry’s mouth, which moved aggressively, saying something at me and about me. Owing to my deafness, which is exacerbated by precisely such conditions as then existed in the room, Sherry’s words were indecipherable, though I sensed unpleasantness and caught one clear reference to “polyester.” When her mouth seemed to stop, I smiled and exclaimed, “Thanks for the update, Sherry!”
     The meeting promised to be interesting. As you know, recent union elections yielded both a decisive victory for “reform” officer candidates and an expansion of the all-important Representative Council, allowing for much improved representation. Not surprisingly, Sherry has responded with blatant and increasing obstructionism.
     We’re witnessing the Old Guard’s last stand, and it’s ugly—and amusing!
Old Guard's Mike Channing
     Sherry’s conduct has earned her the ire, not only of the membership, but of Margaret Hoyos, the regional CTA rep, and David Lebow, the CTA bigwig who has been assigned the task of guiding this benighted flock to the promised land. A few days before the March meeting, an Executive Council meeting was held—Hoyos was there to underscore its legitimacy—and these matters were discussed. Sherry didn’t show.
     The Association Newsletter is an arrow in the obstructionists’ quiver. One naturally assumes that a union newsletter, which is paid for by members’ dues, would reflect the activities and deliberations of the Rep Council, the union’s decision-making body. Not so for our newsletter, which has become Sherry’s (and her cronies’) private organ of propaganda, dedicated to pursuing an agenda utterly disconnected from that of the membership and the Rep Council.
     The latest FA Newsletter, which arrived in mailboxes a few days before the 29th, presents hare-brained conspiracy theories, once again defends Mr. Frogue, and attacks critics, most of whom are members of the union. Its articles—“How the cancer got started”; “Need a script for a farce? Try Saddleback and Irvine Valley”—are paranoid, offensive—and hysterical.
     Keep ‘em comin’, I say!
     But who writes this stuff? Not Sherry: she’s not that, um, ambitious—and, besides, one of the articles is grammatical. Who, then? For instance, who wrote this lovely paragraph?:
Material abounds amid the once whimsical—now sordid and destructive—machinations that have both fed and propelled the political strife there. Both locales have (and continue) to [sic] provide a spectacle of intrigue and subterfuge. The result: a curious caldron of contradictions in which pomposity serves cover for inanity and righteousness obfuscated pettiness [?]. Sadly, both locales have subverted tradition, making what was once respected and compelling, comedic. The case in point: Accreditation….
K. Woodward
—These sentences exhibit the unmistakable piss-poor pizzazzery of Mr. Tone “Slap” Loogie, a man who has never written anything without using the word “obfuscate,” and who holds the U.S. indoor record for composing the longest string of sentences that, while saying virtually nothing, deeply impress the clueless.
     —Back to the union shindig of the 29th. At about 2:15, Sherry called the meeting to order, and, immediately, a dispute arose: should the meeting be “full” or abbreviated? Harsh words were spoken. I ducked as a sausage whizzed past my head. It was a Jimmy Dean sausage, someone said.
     Soon, Chris R motioned to add several items to the agenda as “new business,” including PAC status and funding, communication protocols (minutes, newsletters, etc.), appointments to committees and chair appointments, transfer of power to new treasurer, etc. These items corresponded to a list developed by the Executive Council during its Hoyos-chaperoned meeting of a few days earlier. Essentially, by adding these items, Chris sought a discussion of the many ways in which Sherry abuses her power and subverts the will of the membership.
     The motion passed overwhelmingly. (There wasn’t time for most of these items, which will be taken up on the 12th.)
Mike Runyan?
     The Rep Council next discussed the minutes of the last meeting—yet another matter of wild controversy, as you know. Ray C requested a correction. Andrew T inquired regarding the absence of any mention of the “press access” episode: during the February meeting, a reporter sought entry to the meeting room, and Sherry perfunctorily declared that she (the reporter) was not welcome. “On what basis do you say this?”, someone asked. “President’s prerogative,” said Sherry. Few were persuaded that Sherry possessed such authority.
     The WHO (“We honor ours”) award was next on the agenda. At the February meeting, Sherry had proceeded on the assumption that Lee W chairs the “committee” that determines the nominees for the local’s WHO award. Members asked about the process whereby Lee became chair. As I recall, Sherry stated, irrelevantly, that Lee is always the WHO chair—and, besides, she has the prerogative regarding chair assignments. Once again, skepticism regarding the alleged prerogative was expressed. (In fact, according to the bylaws, chair [and committee membership] appointments by the President must be confirmed by the Rep Council. Lee’s appointment has never been confirmed by that body.)
     To ease tensions, Andrew was added to the “nominations” committee; Andrew and Lee were directed to work together before the next meeting to oversee the nominations process.
     Back to the 29th: Hilariously, Sherry now reported that, when she informed him of his chairhood, Lee seemed “surprised and bewildered.” (How could she tell?) Even so, she informed him that he and Andrew were the “nominations” committee and that they had better get to work. Andrew, a conscientious sort, tried to carry out his mission, but he had no luck meeting with Lee. Indeed, he and the Walk Man had agreed to meet that very day (the 29th), but Lee missed the appointment. Perhaps he suffered from bewilderment again.
     Sitting quietly in the visitors’ section, I regarded all of this with amusement; I was suddenly taken aback when Andrew announced that he had nominated me (Big Bill, a.k.a. Roy B) for the award! Mine was the only name put forward for nomination, he said. But then we learned that, somehow, another person’s name—Ann H’s—was put forward. Andrew asked how that had come about, for he was on the nominations committee and was never told about her nomination. No clear answer surfaced.
     At one point, without warning, Ann got up and described the wonderful work she’d been doing recently. I was impressed. Lee argued that I was not a fit nominee for the WHO award—I have not provided “long-term service”—and my polyester pal Sherry seemed to agree. Nevertheless, my name remained in nomination.
     A vote was necessary, since only one person can receive the WHO award, but those in attendance violently disagreed regarding how voting should proceed. Several sausages took flight. In the end, the Council decided on a secret ballot. Andrew eventually read a statement in support of my nomination, whereupon I soon left the building. The next day I learned that Ann had won, 17 to 14.
     Though, normally, I have no interest whatsoever in receiving awards, I recognized that my winning the WHO prize would embarrass the Old Guard. (In effect, the WHO prize would become the F*CK YOU prize.) So, in that impish spirit, I hoped to win and was disappointed at losing.
Baño Bob Kopfstein
     I don’t really know the deserving Ann, though I have had some friendly conversations with her. I recall her asking me to remove a “Recall Frogue” button from my shirt during the notorious December, 1997, “Time for Pie” union meeting at Marie Calendar’s. It was offensive to her, she explained, so I removed it, for which she seemed appreciative. Subsequently, we had one or two conversations, always friendly.
     I was surprised, therefore, when, during the ill-fated union elections of April ‘98, she, along with Mr. Evans and Mr. Curtis, put out a hit piece on me. The flier simply presented two remarks—placed in quotation marks—attributed to me: “…Teaching faculty work too few hours” and “…Teaching faculty make too much money.” Now, in fact, I had not said those things, nor had I been quoted in the press as saying them. Indeed, I had often expressed contrary views. The quotations were utter fabrications. What sort of person, I asked tearfully, would put out a campaign flier like this? WHO—I say WHO—(sniff sniff) could do something like that?
     Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
     Next, Sherry and Ray explained the dire consequences of IVC’s failing to be accredited—an outcome, they implied, unnamed dastardly persons among us actively sought. “There will be layoffs,” warned Ray. A scream was heard. Then someone pointed out that the layoffs would affect only part-timers. Everyone was relieved and terribly pleased—everyone, of course, except the few part-timers in attendance, who angrily clutched fistfulls of Jimmy Dean sausage and dreamt of revolution.
Howard Dachslager
     A fierce disagreement soon erupted concerning the shape made by the several contiguous tables around which Rep Council members were seated. “Gonna be a square, an’ that’s that!” said Sherry. “A circle!” shouted Roni. “No shape!” shouted Andrew. A coffee mug flew, Howard and Walter embraced and screamed, and a melee broke out, with hot liquids and sausage aflyin’. Soon, however, brandishing fancy new automatic weapons, several campus cops rushed in to restore order. “Shape made by the freakin’ tables? Who gives a shit!” commented one cop as he chewed on a sausage he had found.
     Somebody asked Roni L to give the Treasurer’s Report. You’ll recall that, at the last meeting, Roni, despite having been duly elected as Treasurer, had not been granted access to the union’s accounts. (All eyes were on Sherry, who said nothing.) This time, Roni reported that, after a six week wait, she finally gained access. There is $11,000 in the account, she said, though there are also various outstanding bills, some going back to November of 1997!
     Walter F noted, smugly, that, despite worries expressed last time by some Reps, the union had enough money after all for its $650 charity expenditure. He was implying, of course, that those who voted against the expenditure—choosing, instead, to approve appropriations only after the existence of funds was determined—were mistaken. In response, Roni noted that, at the time of the vote, the Reps did not know there was money in the union’s account. Whereupon, inexplicably, Walter suggested that he knew.
Old Guard's Patrick Fennel
     But what about the PAC account? You will recall that, not long ago, without having consulted the Rep Council or the membership, Sherry and/or the mysterious PAC committee decided to close down the union’s PAC account. Sherry therefore instructed Harry Parmer, Acting VC of Human Resources, to cease the relevant payroll deductions. According to the Association’s bylaws, however, neither the PAC committee nor Sherry have the authority unilaterally to adjust dues, and the change in deductions amounted to a change in dues. Hoyos—and CTA attorneys—then entered the picture, declaring that the payroll deduction adjustment was indeed illegal, which Roni communicated to Harry, who then dutifully commenced undoing what he had done. A defiant Sherry then spoke with El Ced, and the Chancellor—who’s used to taking arbitrary and senseless orders—then instructed Harry to undo his undoing, which he did.
     I’m not making this up.
     Rumors persist that union leaders engaged in hanky-panky with the PAC account and other accounts—e.g., co-mingling monies from different accounts. If so, the misdeeds may soon come to light, for, as Roni announced during the meeting, the CTA is presently investigating the FA’s PAC and PAC monies.
     Upon hearing this, Sherry angrily defended the leadership. “We have never had misappropriation of funds!” she said. “If the state hasn’t found anything,” she declared defiantly, “the CTA sure won’t!” Then she added: “I pity the poor fool who points a finger at Sherry Miller-White!” When some wag commenced pointing at her, she barked, “Watch it, Sausage Boy!” (Well, I may have invented that last part.)

Andy Kish
     Then Sherry launched into a defense of her actions regarding the payroll deductions, causing a brouhaha. Again, the cops rushed in, this time sliding on the greasy floor and crashing noisily into the square table construct amid howls of laughter. To save face, they brandished their weapons and busted a coupla heads.
     After the cops left, order was restored, and some Reps cited the union’s new bylaws, which clearly prohibit Sherry’s payroll deductions gambit. Sherry responded by saying—GET THIS!—that the bylaws are “illegal”—because, she explained, they were passed by 2/3 of voters, not 2/3 of the membership. (Reminder: the bylaws election was necessitated by Sherry and Company’s incompetence. Remember the months she spent in ‘97 allegedly fixing typos in the bylaws? Meanwhile, the chapter had no valid bylaws on file with CTA. The resulting “fixed” bylaws were pronounced illegal, and so Sherry and friends was compelled to rewrite them again, and those bylaws also proved illegal. Then the CTA stepped in to do the job. Hence the recent bylaws election.)
Note: the election “challenge” period has lapsed without a challenge. Hence, contrary to Sherry, the new bylaws are legal.
     Pretty soon, Andrew started singin’ my praises, and so I got outa there right quick. I’m not sure what happened next. Maybe the Reps hung around for some kind of training session. Could be. —BB

* * *
From Dissent 26, 
May 3, 1999


by Chunk Wheeler [Roy Bauer]

Late 1996:

FA's trustee: Lorch
• The union spends tens of thousands of dollars seeking the victory of Frogue, Fortune, and Williams—right-wing candidates (excepting Fortune, and long-time Democrat) with whom it would pursue an unholy alliance. Consultant Pam Zanelli—who later would become the district’s chief PR person—advises exploiting anti-gay sentiment. Subsequently, Association President Miller-White approves a homophobic campaign flier filled with various lies and distortions. Many in the district community are outraged. Frogue, Fortune, and Williams handily win. In December of ’96, the BOARD MAJORITY era begins. Immediately, the BM take aim at the Academic Senates, carving away at reassigned time.

• Horrified by the union’s tactics (of which the flier is only one example), Association members and other faculty complain to the union leadership, which is utterly unresponsive. (For instance, President Miller-White consistently ignores letters and other communications, a pattern that has continued to the present.) Members request copies of the bylaws—to no avail. By about February, a copy of bylaws, called “dirty” owing to misspellings and other errors, surfaces. Ultimately, the document is determined to be the 1983 bylaws, which are invalid.

• In December (’96), 109 full-time and tenured South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) faculty send a letter to the California Teachers Association (CTA), complaining about the Association’s tactics, its refusal to provide copies of bylaws, its apparent PAC misconduct, its persistent refusal to account for income and expenditures, etc.

Early ’97:

The Old Guard's
Tony "Loogie" Garcia
• The Association conducts an “open forum” during the January ’97 inservice week. During the meeting, Miller-White seems to acknowledge that the Association’s “Same Sex” flier was indeed homophobic. “It was too homophobic for me,” she says. But she refuses to apologize for it, insisting that its use was necessary to protect “life as we know it.”
• A special meeting regarding the bylaws is scheduled for February 24, but President Miller-White fails to show. A few weeks later, a so-called “clean” version of the bylaws is issued by Miller-White, but, inexplicably, it contains substantive changes relative to the “dirty” copy. The changes conveniently serve the interests of the Association’s existing leadership and power structure.
• Late ’96 or early ’97: faculty discover, not only that the Association has no valid bylaws on file with CTA, but that it isn’t even chartered with CTA. Ron A immediately files chartering papers and then, hastily, so do Association leaders. Fearing lawsuits, CTA decides to recognize the Association independently of chartering, thereby violating its own bylaws and standing rules.
• In the absence of bylaws, some divisions elect new reps, which are briefly, if reluctantly, recognized by Miller-White at Rep Council meetings. By late April, however, M-W refuses to recognize them, appealing to “the bylaws.”
During this period—and for the next year—M-W routinely conducts meetings that are quorum-less. Attempts to draw the situation to her attention are met with indifference and sometimes open hostility.
• The “quid pro quo” relationship between the Association and the Board Majority (Frogue, Williams, Fortune, and Lorch) produces some strange board decisions. In April, the board reverses its decision of a month prior, making Raghu P. Mathur the Interim President of IVC, despite his having not one day’s experience as a full-time administrator. The appointment is made illegally (according to OC Superior Court Judge MacDonald), during a closed session.

The CTA investigation:

Lois Tinson
• In March of ’97, CTA President Lois Tinson informs concerned faculty that a “leadership team” would be visiting our district to investigate the chapter. On May 13 and 14, at the Laguna Hills Holiday Inn, the team conducts interviews. (Among those who speak on behalf of the chapter’s leadership: Raghu P. Mathur, the recently appointed interim president of IVC.) Privately, team members admit that they are horrified by what they find.
• The team’s report is finished by mid-June. The Association leadership immediately puts out a press release, declaring that it has been vindicated. In fact, however, the report essentially verifies the complaints made by “concerned faculty” back in December. Under the heading “recommendations,” the report states:
◆ “The team believes that the Faculty Association must take immediate action to bring the current bylaws into compliance with CTA and NEA policies and standards….”
◆ “Copies of bylaws should be made readily available upon member request…In the future, all changes to bylaws should be referenced by date at the end of each paragraph.”
◆ “The chapter should establish a secure repository for archives of minutes and financial records.”
◆ “All documents should be available upon request for inspection. Minutes should be kept of all meetings…Financial reports should be made monthly and published.”
◆ “[M]eeting announcements should be made to the general membership in advance of each meeting.”
◆ “…CTA reaffirms its belief that discrimination is not acceptable in any form or forum…[I]n the future, the chapter must work to make sure that campaign strategy decisions do not cause more problems than the election victory intends to solve.”
◆ “…[T]he chapter should…make all the required restructuring of their PAC to comply with the new law.”
◆ “The chapter should follow its own bylaws regarding contract survey gathering…[E]mployees shall be surveyed to determine content and that the actual proposal be approved by Association members.”
• Throughout this period—and up to the present—the Association newsletter routinely attacks critics among the membership, offering no evidence and providing no opportunity for rebuttal. Newsletter articles are usually unsigned.
• Almost immediately, Interim President [Raghu] Mathur makes unpopular and idiotic decisions, inspiring complaints from faculty and the community. The Old Guard immediately come to Mathur’s defense. During the August (’97) board meeting, Anthony G congratulates “the board for appointing Dr. Raghu [sic] as the Interim President.” According to Anthony, “[Mathur is] a courageous moralist who has confronted many of the ills of the north campus despite the vitriolic invectives and hollow protestations that he has encountered to condemn the obscene and immoral practice of release time…The community should elect [sic] a statue to him for his courage. [Mathur’s critics] you would find on the Who’s Who list of release time usurpers!” [At that point, Sherry Miller-White shouts: “Amen!”]
     Mr. Bill H states, “Some of us—and that includes Raghu—say this scandalous system for the favored few is over.”
     Note: Before becoming IVC President in ‘97, Mathur enjoyed 80% reassigned time for many years.

Summer of ’97:

Frogue holds up journal of the
Institute for Historical Review
• In July of ’97, in a closed session, the Board (illegally, according to OC Superior Court Judge Seymour) reorganized the district, without having consulted with any governance group. There is no evidence that the Association fought this action by the group that it had put into power.
• In August of ’97, the Frogue “JFK” seminar issue explodes. The union leadership does not object to Mr. Frogue’s actions. It continues to defend him at meetings, during press conferences, etc.

Fall of ’97/Spring of ‘98:

• In September, the Board Majority appoint Raghu Mathur permanent president of IVC amid howls of protest from IVC faculty, among others. (The appointment is later ruled illegal by OC Superior Court Judge Seymour.) In selecting Mathur, the BM simply ignore their own policies. The union offers no complaint.

• During the Board Majority era, perceived administrative “enemies” of the Old Guard are pressured out or fired. (Burgess, Merry, Rivas, Deegan, et al.) At the same time, some Old Guard characters (or their pals)—Mathur, Runyan, Woodward, Roquemore, Chandos, et al.—become administrators or secure other important positions.
     The Old Guard routinely employ ad hominem attacks against the critics (of the Mathur/BM/union Axis). For instance, critics are accused of seeking to avoid teaching. In February of ’98, Woodward declares that the critics are “a small group of people who are disgruntled about having…to teach….” In January, Roquemore describes the critics in this way: “They are teachers, and they have been asked to return to the classroom to…teach…and they are mad about it.” Naturally, these charges are groundless.
     Soon, however, Woodward and Roquemore become administrators. Woodward seeks to replace Tony Carcomo, but eventually settles for the role of Dean (of Liberal Arts at SC). Roquemore becomes the Acting Vice President of Instruction at IVC, then the Acting Dean of Student Services there.

Roy Bauer ("Chunk
Wheeler," FA critic)
• In late ’97 and early ’98, the Association bargains with the district over the contract. Scandalously, Trustee Williams, who owed his victory in ’96 to the Association, is among the district negotiators. Eventually, an agreement is arrived at, and, despite the district’s serious financial woes, it is quite generous to faculty, especially those with influence in the Association. Though, at first, union leaders deny it, the contract eliminates reassigned time.

• In February, two critics of the Association appear on KPFK’s “Lawyers’ Guild” program. Ken Woodward appears on behalf of the Association. Woodward engages in repeated personal attacks and makes numerous factual (and logical) errors. Among his more memorable remarks:
◆ “One thing that I do think is very positive about the trustees is shared governance….”
◆ “The board is very compassionate.”
◆ “…everyone’s moving [out of the district] to better jobs; that’s how great this district is!”
◆ “What they said about reassigned time being eliminated is completely false.”
◆ “[That the union is acting undemocratically] is complete nonsense.”
• On Feb. 23 (’98), the Rep Council decides, illegally, that only it (i.e., the Rep Council) would be allowed to vote to ratify the recently “revised” bylaws. (The bylaws state: “These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the membership.”) The content of the “tentative” contract is explained. President M-W defends not having fought for “domestic partner benefits” and having made no mention of the tentative contract’s elimination of reassigned time in the last Association newsletter, which purported to list “Highlights of the Tentative Agreement.” She also defends Mr. Frogue.

• March 2 “contract ratification” meeting. Members from IVC ask that a similar meeting be held at IVC. Sherry responds by saying, “I will not go there.” Negotiators acknowledged that they did not know that steps 26-30, which are restored, apply only to Ph.D’s.

* * *
From Dissent 9
November 2, 1998

by Chunk Wheeler (Roy Bauer)

     Have you seen it? On Saturday (the 31st), the Register ran an article on the front page of its Metro section entitled “Board’s Unlikely Secret Allies,” which describes the faculty union leadership’s habit of helping to elect undesirable candidates—the likes of Steve Frogue, John Williams, Don Wagner, and Nancy Padberg—and refusing to discuss these actions with the rank and file.
     The case of Wagner, a member of the explicitly anti-teachers union Education Alliance, is especially interesting. As he says, 
“The teachers union?…The California Teachers Association is overwhelmingly liberal. I would seriously doubt they would support a conservative Republican like me. I was generally pleased to get the support…but I think it’s strange that it’s the union.”
     The solution to the mystery is, of course, simple:
“Why is the faculty union giving money to endorse candidates who are appealing to a segment of the voter population who is opposed to unions?” said [an] Irvine Valley College professor…”It’s simple. It’s the buying and selling of board members. They will do anything to keep control of the board majority.”
     Anything indeed. According to the article, “In 1996, the union paid $40,000 to mail out” the notorious homophobic “Same Sex” flier, which got Frogue, Williams, and Fortune elected and put our chapter on the CTA shit list. (“[T]he flier was bad…It was really bad,” says CTA’s David Lebow.) It also reports that, this year, the union formed the PAC “Community Taxpayers for Dr. Andy Kish for Trustee.” After Kish dropped out of the race, a new committee was formed, the “South Orange County Taxpayers for Quality Education.” According to the article, “More than $69,000 from [the] Andy Kish PAC and another union PAC [was] transferred” to the new PAC.
     Could it be that our odious union leadership has sunk that kind of money into electing the likes of Don Wagner and Nancy Padberg?

(Click on graphic for more detail.)

     I’ve done a little research on Mr. Wagner, whom the union’s Curt McLendon [of the Old Guard], in his recent letter “to colleagues,” describes as “moderate.” Mr. McLendon must be joking. Those who are interested in understanding Mr. Wagner’s “moderation” are encouraged to examine the following:

Lee Walker
     1. The website of “The Federalist Society” (www.fed-soc.org/who) (Wagner is the founder and president of the Orange County chapter.) The Federalist Society is committed to “reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law.” The Society’s board of trustees includes those celebrated “moderates” Robert Bork and Edwin Meese!

     2. An article entitled “Defining Control” (Register; 6/16/98), which describes Wagner’s views on “local control” of schools and the dangers of “the federal government…overreaching its powers.”

     3. A letter, appearing in the 2/19/98 Register, in which Wagner argues for school “choice.” (“Only by returning choice…to parents and taking it from the education bureaucrats can we reverse [the decline in public education]…I trust parents much more than I do the government to make the right education decisions for children.”)

     4. An article Wagner published in the Register (July 13, 1998) concerning some judges and whether minors need “parental consent” before getting an abortion. (It’s the tone of the letter rather than its thesis that is perhaps revealing.)

John Williams: a key player in all this.
His undoing, c. 2012, was ignominious.
DtB was instrumental. We're very proud.
Dissent 26
May 3, 1999

by Red Emma

"Red Emma" (aka Andrew T)
     So there I was, doing my best to keep my mouth shut at the March 29th F.A. meeting. Red Emma and Lee W and Ann H (floating like the cherry in a Shirley Temple), the three of us sitting in one of those Tomorrowland table/chair module constructions outside the board meeting room at Saddleback. Lee was interviewing Ann, ostensively to offer his hastily contrived profile of her to the F.A. Rep Council, the leadership of which was doing its best, as usual, to find a way to both legitimize its procedural disarray and boost morale, in its interestingly ironic way. I had nominated Roy B for an award to be given by the CTA. In response, the junta quickly dusted off Ann. Newly revived, she would now not shut up.
     “I once attended a regional CTA conference,” she offered. “I was nominated Tractor Queen at the County Fair. Once, I dreamed I was a butterfly.”
     Lee wrote it all down.
     Impatient, I seized this opportunity to ask Ann if she’d taken a position against “the Nazi” (my personal nickname for, well, the Nazi) when Lee interrupted me to challenge this understated diminutive. “How can you call him that?” asked Lee. “Easy,” I said. “He advocates Holocaust revisionism and allies himself with White Supremacists such as Michael Collins Piper” (of the infamous Spotlight).
Walter Flosser
     “Have you actually read Piper’s book?” asked Lee, shockingly. (Is shock still possible after two years of this?)
     “I’ve read parts of it,” I mumbled, with atypical ineloquence. “I’ve read plenty.”
     “Well, you should read the whole thing,” opined Lee mysteriously. “He explains it all.”
     I gave up on Lee, lost in dreams of jack boots and average height. Has anybody besides me noticed his resemblance to any of seven other little men in ill-fitting costumes? Hi ho!
     Needless to say, the Rep Council voted for Ann who, on the way back into the meeting room observed that I seemed quite angry. I admit to being momentarily unnerved by her unusually perceptive remark.
     “Yes. Very angry,” I said to her. “You see, Ann,” I offered, avoiding any terribly big or confusing words, “I don’t like Nazis.”
     All of this really happened.

* * * * *

     There was a special meeting in there, too. April 12, I think it was. Highlights included the sudden dramatic departure of a number of the revanchists who, attempting to destroy a quorum, departed the cozy room in the Saddleback Library I call Hell. Poor, hapless Carolyn from Saddleback, innocently or not, was left to carry the contrarian duty of obfuscation. She was somehow not sure how her division “felt”, which suited Madame President just fine. El Rey and Sherry sat smugly counting votes in their heads (miscounting, it turned out) while C., unable to see the little marionette strings attached to her limbs, struggled to figure out where she imagined America stood on PACs generally. Suddenly forced to acknowledge a quorum after all, El Rey and La Reina watched with despair as, with their co-conspirators now drooling in unison just the other side of the door, the vote to reinstate the illegally closed PAC passed. Later, of course, the F.A. faux newsletter reported that the now minority junta had been prevented somehow from re-entering the room.

* * * * *

     File under clueless: Recently the editors of the faux F.A. newsletter put out their bitchy and inelegant analysis of the opposition. Interestingly (to me at least), they accused writers of this journal of assuming “folksy” nicknames. For Red Emma, these are indeed fighting words. In fact, there is nothing remotely folksy about my nom de plume. Far from being folksy, the names Big Bill, Red Emma and Rebel Girl are meant to evoke real, historical, radical American labor heroes. That the lives and work of “Big Bill” William D. Haywood (1869-1928), “Red Emma” Goldman (1869-1940) and Elizabeth Gurly Flynn (1890-1964) (celebrated by songwriter Joe Hill as “The Rebel Girl” in his eponymous song) are unfamiliar to educated South County community college instructors might perhaps be surprising if these were not the same right-wing fools who voted for (as I have many, many times stated at what pass for meetings), “A Nazi, a homophobe, and two members of the Christian Coalition.” This Red Emma volunteers right now to teach a community education seminar at either campus on “Trade Union Activism in America.” Oh, by the way: The traditional appellations for people who conspire with management? Scabs, turncoats, Reagan Democrats and, as Joe Hill also sang, “goons, ginks, and company finks.” Folksy, indeed.

* * *
Dissent 3
March 18, 1998

 by Rebel Girl

     The ancient Greeks warned against hubris, the pride that made people believe they could defy the law, defy the gods. Why? This pride, this hubris, leads to arrogant behavior and a tendency to disregard the rights of others.
     Hubris is perhaps the best way to characterize the current jostling for power within the evolving SOCCCD administration and the insolent behavior of the board majority. How else to explain the ascent of Raghu “Narcissus” Mathur, Mike “Ganymede” Runyan, Ken “Midas” Woodward and the other Myrmidons who wait for resignations and the subsequent job announcements?
     The union angle? The metamorphosis of union leaders to management stooges is troubling--especially considering the single-minded crusade to diminish faculty power shared by these “faculty” leaders and the administrative colleagues they hope to join. The fingerprints of “acting” administrators are all over the proposed administrative hiring policy--the same policy which will cement their own appointments in months to come.
     Unlike the convenient (lecherous Zeus’s sneaky self-changes) or vindictive (the punitive metamorphosis meted out to the presumptuous Arachne) or even compassionate (Daphne’s mutation into a laurel tree) transformations so prevalent in Greek myths, the recent morphing of faculty to management seems steeped in self-interest and nepotism, inspired perhaps by hubris.
     What happened to the Greeks who were too full of hubris? Nemesis, the goddess of retribution, was dispatched from Mount Olympus to deal with the offenders. While “nemesis” has come to mean a vengeful opponent, the Greek origin is closer to “distribute”--or to mete out matters evenly. The goddess Nemesis ensures that hardships offset the ill-got fortune gained by hubris. It’s a kind of justice.
     Rebel Girl recommends that offerings of thigh bones wrapped in fat and libations be presented to Nemesis at the appropriate alters near you.

* * *
Dissent 3
March 18, 1998

  by Rebel Girl 

   The union’s recent appearance at a district press conference to offer our unqualified endorsement of Trustee Steven J. Frogue was surprising. The growing public record about Frogue is disturbing to say the least, and should have made most pause, even those who have previously wholeheartedly endorsed a man who, at least three years ago, thought the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review was worthy enough to enter the “debate” about the Holocaust. (Just to be sporting, let’s leave out of this my criticism of Frogue’s campaign tactics that attacked gays and lesbians.)
     Can the union support Steven Frogue? Sure. Why not? In the past it has--to the tune of thousands of campaign dollars. Should they? Sure--if the union wishes. My criticism is with how this endorsement was decided--the process, my union sisters and brothers, the process.
     According to remarks made by negotiating team member (and vice-chancellor of fiscal services stealth intern--just see who that job goes to--there’s process for you) Ken Woodward during his recent radio appearance on KPFK, the union had not taken a stand on the recall campaign. In fact, Brother Woodward chided fellow Brother Bauer about Bauer’s claim to the contrary: “Well, the faculty union actually itself, as Roy Bauer well knows, has not taken a position on Mr. Frogue....”
     So the union’s quick action, some 4 weeks later, to oppose the recall campaign and support Frogue caught some of us by surprise. Had we missed something? A meeting? A phone poll? A flyer? Were we supposed to vote on Frogue as well as our contract? What happened? And when?
     My concept of a union is pretty basic. A union is just that, a confederation, an alliance. It is made up of people who have some kind of affiliation--in our case, our shared working conditions. A union represents its members, recognizing that, of course, as with any union, there might be disagreements among the membership. Still, it’s the charge of the leadership to seek guidance, permission even, from the members and to operate the union democratically. This charge should not be taken lightly. Who says? The law. (No, no, not those pesky ever-evolving F.A. by-laws--the law. Of the land.)
When did our union decide to oppose the recall campaign? When did the union decide to reaffirm our support of Steven Frogue? How was this (potentially embarrassing) decision made? When? Who was consulted?
     Clearly, the union leadership, which has so often ignored the rank and file in the past, has done so again--and this time cloaked themselves with our “manufactured” consent. At the press conference, Brother Bob Kopfstein (at first reading a statement on behalf of FA president Sherry Miller-White) said that the union opposed the recall on the grounds that it was “disruptive.”
     Apparently the presence on the college board of a person who sympathizes with the Institute for Historical Review and The Spotlight is not “disruptive.” Apparently the systematic dismantling of shared governance is not “disruptive.” Hmmm.
     Perhaps a better tactic, one that would have honestly addressed and represented the obviously deep divisions within the membership, would have been for the union to have abstained from any action in this case. Or certainly refrained from any public action until they had done what union leadership should do--especially in a situation as volatile as this one--consult its members.
     As for now, my fellow union sisters and brothers, look at those with whom our leaders have aligned us. And why? For what purpose? To save face? To be loyal? It reminds me of an old song, Waist Deep in the Big Muddy.

It goes like this:

It was back in 1942
I was part of a good platoon
We were on maneuvers in Louisiana
One night by the light of the moon
The Captain said, told us, to ford a river
That’s how it all begun
We were--knee deep in the Big Muddy
But the big fool kept yelling push on.

The Sergeant said, “Sir, are you sure
This is the way back to the base?”
“Sergeant, I once crossed this river
Not a mile above this place,
It’ll be a little soggy but we’ll keep slogging
We’ll soon be on dry ground.”
We were--waist deep in the Big Muddy
With the damn fool yelling push on.

The Sergeant said, “Sir, with all this equipment
No man will be able to swim.”
“Sergeant, don’t be a nervous nellie,”
The Captain said to him.
“All we need is a little determination
Follow me--I’ll lead on.”
We were--neck deep in the Big Muddy
And the damned fool kept yelling push on.

All of a sudden the moon clouded over
All we heard was a gurgling cry
And a second later the Captain’s helmet
Was all that floated by.
The Sergeant said, “Turn round men
I’m in charge from now on.”
And we just made it out of the Big Muddy
With the Captain dead and gone.

We stripped and dived and found his body
Stuck in the quicksand
I guess he didn’t know that the water was deeper
Than the place he’d once been...

...Well, I’m not going to point any moral,
I’ll leave that to yourself
Maybe you’re still walking, maybe you’re still talking
Maybe you’ve got your health
But every time I hear the news
That old feeling comes back on
We’re--neck deep in the Big Muddy
And the damned fool keeps yelling push on

Knee deep in the Big Muddy
And the fools keep yelling push on
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the damn fools keep yelling push on
Waist deep, neck deep
We’ll be drowning before too long
We’re--neck deep in the Big Muddy
And the damned fools keep yelling push on.

Famously, CBS attempted to prevent folk legend Pete Seeger from singing this song on the Smothers Brothers Show because of its obvious parallel to LBJ’s suffocating Southeast Asian war policy. [END]

Dissent 53

October 9, 2000

The Return of Red Emma (with an appearance by Mrs. Red Emma)

 by Red Emma

     “A spectre is haunting South Orange County Community College District—the spectre of regular correspondence. The history of all hitherto existing F.A. actions is the history of anonymous fake newsletters, a president in bed with management, and yes, pants droppings during meetings.”
            So begins the letter I received last week from Comrade Lee Haggerty, President of my local, on pleasantly official union letterhead. I’d never, in two years of union membership, ever gotten a letter from the F.A. I especially appreciated Haggerty’s inspiring closing remarks:
       “We have nothing to lose but Dorothy Fortune. We have a world to gain. Teachers of the district, unite!”
        —Well, not quite. But that I actually received such an epistle at all (“Dear Faculty Association Member,” indeed) thanking me, Red Emma, for my continuing membership, acknowledging “attempts to make the association more democratic, open and representative,” inviting Red Emma and everybody else to attend scheduled Rep Council meetings, and announcing the PAC endorsements of the four “Clean Slate” candidates seemed to me like a manifesto announcing a new era in Faculty Association deportment. Of course, at this point, Red Emma is willing to see manifestos in memos, faxes or post-its.
        My only complaint is the letterhead, which puzzles Red Emma much like those indecipherable phonetically-constructed personalized license plates which don’t, no matter how long you follow the car they’re on, seem to make sense. Let’s all say it out loud together, friends: “SOCCCDFA” See what I mean?

A Miraculous Occurrence 

Happily, Red is back in the pedagogical saddle at IVC, albeit at 7 a.m., this assignment due to either clumsy political retaliation or incompetence or perhaps both—you choose. As a result, he’s noticed a few things, jolly and whistling his way to the photocopy machine (I’ve used 3% of my allotment, Howard) at sun-up. First, there’s nobody on campus except Brenda (with fresh coffee abrewin’), the leaf blower guy, and a couple of tired looking rabbits. Yet, happily, friends, this is the very best time of day for concerted viewing of the President’s Chair.
        The morning light catches the rich sheen of its genuine leather, sparkling on the polished brass tacks and, yes, staring at it through the window in A-100, you can just make out the slight impression made on the plush headrest by the swollen skull of the Chief Executive himself. No doubt he’s been sitting there all night, thinking about how what he does affects students. Just think of it. Perhaps the Great Man’s imprint on the Chair may yet be warm. I proceed with my teaching day, renewed in my mission to bring hope to the hopeless, joy to the joyless, and clues to the clueless.
        This sobering early morning miracle ranks among Red’s most personally moving spiritual experiences: seeing the famous Chartres cathedral, the image of the Virgin on a garage door in Santa Ana, and the face of Richard Nixon on a Twinkie. Or maybe I’m just still asleep.
        Speaking of Raghu Mathur, I am reminded of Oscar Wilde’s famous line about him: “He has fought a good fight and has had to face every difficulty except popularity.”

An Unfair Occurrence 

At the September meeting, the new, letter-writin’ local agreed to file an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) regarding the district’s fairly shameless disregard for the contract and its subsequent purposeful bungling of the hiring procedure surrounding a recent full-time hiring at Saddleback. It seems that there was dismay aplenty at Personnel for ignoring its contractual obligation to give Adjunct Faculty with 10 semesters of service an automatic job interview. Curiously, Red Emma’s name did not quite make it to the committee. Oh, well, always a bridesmaid, never the Bride of Frankenstein.
        This particular vote was just another example of unanimous plebiscitary at the F.A. meeting, the PAC’s recommendation having been similarly met with all ayes. Ironically, the only real example of dissent was from Red himself, who voted against giving Bob the K a bag of cash to take down to Mexican orphans. Why? Because Emma would prefer to establish a BUDGET ITEM for such charitable contributions, put the intended money in an interest earning account, and do something more than symbolic improvisational charity work on behalf of Bob’s Kids. Red’s funny that way. Also, I fully expect the orphans to organize before November as a project of the “Conservative Faculty Association” (SOCCCCFA) and come out against same sex marriage benefits. 

An “Unusual” Occurrence 

Has anybody else at IVC noticed the recent arrival of four or five closed-circuit television monitors over at the cafeteria? Their installation has transformed our benign little commons into an unpleasant, loud ER Waiting Room, with non-stop closed-circuit “satellite” television meant for mental defectives. You know what I’m talking about: misogynist music videos, action film promotions, and fake news for somebody’s imagined College Demographic. Eating my bagel, I watched, horrified, a 3 minute top of the hour “news” piece which outlined the two (sic) presidential candidates’ positions on public education (astonishingly, they’re both for it—though one wants to take out the “public” part), followed by a story about a hapless skunk with a 32 oz. Taco Bell cup stuck on its snout. I assume the segment’s corporate underwriter was Taco Bell. (The skunk was a Nader supporter.)
       So, why would a public education institution surrender its scholarly community’s singular gathering place to Turner Communications, Inc.? Why, you say, Red Emma (you Commie Anarchist bastard!), because by pimping for a major media corporation, we’ll secure hundreds of thousands in cash, computers, television sets and Taco Bell promotional merchandise for the college, right?
       Wrong. Sources tell Red Emma that the college got just plain squat for its big public education sell-out. The service is “free” to college subscribers, which include, according to ex-IVC PIO Joyce Kirk, 1,800 institutions. Wow.
       Joyce, it’s like Mom used to ask me.
       Mom: “Li’1 Red Emma, if those colleges have a Nazi on their board, TVs in their cafeteria and if they jump off a cliff, are you gonna join ‘em?”
      Red Emma: (sighing) “Oh, Mom!”
       But now that I think about it, Mom (a registered Republican) didn’t let us kids eat Taco Bell or other junk food, god bless her.
       And we were told never, ever to sit so close to four or five television sets (or Holocaust deniers). It’ll rot your brain, she said. Mom was right. And how long, you ask, is the college bound to play this endless crap on the TV? Sources tell Red it’s a 2-year contract. Apparently Kirk imagined a big payoff which she’d then cleverly apply to her own Public Affairs budget instead of giving it, say, to the students or the Foundation.
       In loving tribute to Mom, Red Emma walked into the cafeteria one morning last week, reached up and just turned off the closest TV set. (There’s a little button marked, oddly, “power.”) Perhaps if observed by administration, he might have merited a write-up by administration—an “Unusual Occurrence”?—and a teaching assignment for next semester of, say, 6 a.m. With a few more of these modest acts of resistance, Red may end up teaching class at three in the morning. Fine. It’ll just be me and Brenda and Raghu’s phantom head. Meantime, I suggest that concerned students, faculty, and staff join Red’s anti-corporate media campaign. If enough of us turn off the monitors, the occurrence will no longer be unusual.

A Part-Time Occurrence 

Dale Carranza, pal-o-Mathur
        Yes, folks, it’s time for the new, democratic local to start assembling its list of demands toward negotiating the next contract. Never too early, especially with a five (!) year contract. Catalina D., the new S’back Adjunct Rep, mentioned “seniority” for part-timers. Thoughtfully corrected by Full-Timers on the illegality of such a scheme, the spirit of her suggestion was nonetheless vigorously applauded. The leadership of the local and its “majority” full-time members (we part-timers outnumber them 2.5 to 1) must prioritize the issue of justice for part time faculty. In addition to instituting some kind of district-wide policy regarding whatever you want to call the right of first refusal policy accorded full-timers, this district needs to pay us for an office hour, as mandated by the California Legislature. We’d also like a computer of our own, please, and a real office, a part-time bulletin board, and paid “flex” time. And while we’re at it, how come the adjunct mail boxes are below the full-timers’? Huh?
       Red Emma plans to hold his first paid office hour at 6 am, drinking a cup of Brenda’s fine coffee and selling tickets to pilgrims wanting to see the “Miracle Chair.”

A “Conservative” Occurrence 

Responding to a press release sent out by the South Orange County Community College Conservative Faculty Association, a part-time IVC faculty member recently sent his own release. In a shameless effort to mollify one of his favorite contributors, your editor has agreed, despite his best instincts and the high journalistic standards of this publication, to reprint it, below.  —R.E.



Saddleback College   
Irvine Valley College

Our mission: “TRUTH”
Our motto: “ONENESS”

Our constituency: 
the really, really truly conservative faculty members of the South Orange County 
Community College District.

Our enrollment numbers: wouldn’t you like to know?


*    The One, True, Conservative Faculty Association Challenges SOCCCD Faculty Association
*    Membership Announces Endorsement of Tom Fuentes—for ALL FOUR TRUSTEE positions 
*    Affiliate Faculty Associations endorse Fuentes

Contact: Andrew Tonkovich, Chair, OTCFA (949) xxx-xxxx

Today, Friday September 22, the Chairperson of the SOCCCD-OTCFA denounced the SOCCCD Faculty Association as “a small rogue group of faculty members made up of the majority of faculty in the two-campus district.” Comments attacking the legitimacy of the faculty labor union and its PAC were made by OTCFA Chair Andrew Tonkovich, an Adjunct Faculty member at Irvine Valley College, one of the district’s two colleges.
“Who do they think they are? A union?” sniffed One True Conservative Chair Tonkovich. “Just because they negotiate our contracts and we elect them to office doesn’t mean that they represent us.” He went on to declare, “So what if their membership is at an all-time high. Who cares that the state California Teachers Association (CTA) recognized this remarkable growth with an award? It doesn’t mean that the SOCCCD Faculty Association represents anyone other than the people behind them—the faculty.”
The un-elected, un-appointed, unofficial spokesperson of the One, True Conservative Faculty Association touted the credentials of his own newly-formed organization: “We’re NOT like those other faculty associations you read about in the papers. We’re NOT recognized as a collective bargaining unit by the state. We DON’T collect dues. We DON’T hold meetings. We DON’T negotiate teachers’ contracts.”
“In fact,” offered Tonkovich, “we DON’T have any legal or political standing at all. No, not a lick! Still, we offer the ONE, TRUE CONSERVATIVE VISION: Oneness. Truth.”
Tonkovich added that his organization “put the ‘con’ in “conservative.”
Tonkovich then announced his Faculty Association’s endorsement of Orange County Republican Party Chair Tom Fuentes for not one, but all four district Trustee positions in November. “He’s our candidate. If he’s not on your ballot, just write in his name or ‘GOP guy.’ They’ll know who you mean.”
        Fuentes is currently a candidate in only one district, but has raised an unheard of $100,000 to fund his race, more than four times the average amount of other candidates.
        Fuentes was recently appointed by the Board of Trustees to replace the retiring Steven Frogue, an alleged Holocaust revisionist, who was the subject of a community recall effort. “We believe Tom Fuentes plans to use this position as a stepping stone toward a Supervisorial run,” said Tonkovich. “That’s fine with true conservatives like us.”
        OTCFA’s position follows the SOCCCD-FA’s recent endorsement of four “Clean Slate” candidates for the Board of Trustees’ race. “Their endorsement means diddly squat,” said Tonkovich. “Look, all the Faculty Association did was put together a democratic process allowing all faculty to develop questions about important issues facing the district, interview candidates in an open forum, and then vote their choices. Just because the vote was unanimous doesn’t mean a thing. I mean, this is America, isn’t it?”
        Tonkovich cautioned reporters to “Listen to us! Not THEM!”
        He also announced the formation of affiliate One, True Conservative groups, each offering individual F.A. endorsements of Trustee Tom Fuentes for all four positions. These affiliate groups include:

            The One, True, Conservative Nudist Faculty Association (OTCNFA) 
The One, True, Conservative Buddhist Nudist Faculty Association (OTCBNFA)
Friends of the Tom Fuentes Urban Park (FTFUP) 
The One, True, Free, Faux Conservative Faculty Association ( 1234CFA)

        Tonkovich’s remarks were met by complete indifference. He is, nonetheless, available for comment. (949) xxx-xxxx.

* * *
Mmmmmm, time for Pie!
By Roy Bauer

     From Dissent, December, 1997.

     Last Monday, Julie, Steve, and I headed south, in separate cars, to attend the monthly Faculty Association [union] meeting (which is always held on the day of the regular board meeting). When I arrived at the usual meeting place, I found a note that said that, this time, we would gather at the San Juan Capistrano Marie Calendar’s. This gooey development made attending the meeting even less attractive than usual, but I didn’t want to abandon my stalwart friends, who, for all I knew, had already seen the note and headed for the Land of Pie. If so, they would surely appreciate the presence of another ‘Viner, and so I drove to Marie Calendar’s. When I arrived, I realized to my horror that Julie and Steve had bailed on the meeting, which made sense, ‘cuz, if you know Julie and Steve, they’re the sort who can get pretty peeved about unannounced location switcheroos.
     Despite the time—I was twenty minutes late—I was among the first to arrive at the House of Mucilage. I found Sherry and one or two others talking shop in a private room which comprised a long Last Supper-style table. Sherry, who sat in Judas’ chair, seemed surprised (horrified?) to see me. Nevertheless, she received me cordially, in a minimalist sort of way, and, for once, she gave me a copy of the agenda, etc. My gratitude was so great that a blushed, and the room was bathed in red light, though that could have been caused by the goddamn Christmas lights that someone had stapled to the wall.
     Others soon trailed in until about eight of us sat around the table, and, by then, the conversation became business-like. The discussion turned to the faculty evaluation procedures, a copy of which Sherry had distributed, and so I took the opportunity to draw everyone’s attention to section L, which seemed to forbid the critical comments that President Mathur had been adding to the evaluation forms of some of his faculty critics (e.g., me). Amazingly, several in attendance took my concern seriously, and they advised me to speak with Ken Woodward, who had not yet arrived.
     Soon, the proceedings seemed just like a meeting, and so, ever the stickler for detail, I asked, “Has the meeting begun?” Sherry said No. Nevertheless, my question seemed to cause her to declare that the meeting had now begun, which surprised me. I asked, politely, if we had a quorum, and, as she had done during a previous meeting, Sherry ignored me. Pete Espinoza, however, interrupted Sherry, saying, “I think this is important; the meetings of every organization I’ve ever belonged to start by determining whether there is a quorum,” or something to that effect. One or two others said they agreed. An unfamiliar woman then suggested that we simply hold an informal/unofficial meeting. The suggestion caused Sherry obvious pain; evidently, she expected to do some real business, despite the unhelpful Marie Calendar ambiance, which seems to shout, “Mmmm! It’s time for pie!”, and the switcheroo.

     But it was clear to all that, though we had pie, we did not yet have a quorum. After a few others arrived, the quorum issue was raised again, and a discussion of quorum rules ensued. The discussion was odd, for opinion was very divided, and it was clear that, among this group, the quorum rules were at best unfamiliar. “Could it be that, previously, the Association has not attended to quorums during its meetings, despite its bylaws?”, I asked myself. A voice in my head said, simply, “Yup.”
     Initially, Sherry seemed unsure whether it was the presence of 2/3 or 1/2 of Rep. Council members that made a quorum, though she soon settled on the latter proportion. (In fact, as I discovered later, the “new” bylaws state that a majority of Rep. Council members constitutes a quorum.) Naturally, some of us attempted to determine the exact number of Rep. Council members (i.e., the number of division reps plus officers), but this, too, produced confusion and controversy, in part because some forgot that IVC is part of the SOCCCD. For instance, someone mentioned that some divisions are represented at each meeting by two reps. And yet, as Ray C noted, the bylaws clearly state that each division is to be accorded only one rep. I think someone said, “Whaddya know!”
     In any case, we continued to try to determine the number of division reps. Then someone asked me, “Are you a division rep?”, and I responded, “I would be if the President would allow it.” This inspired Walt (?) to ask for clarification about my status. (You will recall that, though Steve and I were unanimously elected as reps by the FA members of our schools, during the April 28 union meeting, Sherry refused to recognize us as such. During a more recent meeting, I insisted on being recognized, which led to talk among some union regulars of some sort of accommodation.) In response, Sherry declared that we would not discuss that matter during this meeting. Then, inexplicably, the meeting proceeded.
     It seemed to me that the quorum issue had been left unresolved, for, though some members were under the impression that we were quorum-less, in fact, Sherry had made no clear decision on the matter. Eventually, Sherry declared that the meeting would now go into “closed session,” an occurrence that required that I leave the room, since I, as a non-division rep and non-officer, was not a member of the Rep. Council. Sharon Macmillan made a plea to allow me to remain, but Sherry was unresponsive. As I got up to leave, I reminded Sherry that this so-called “closed” meeting could not be official unless there were a quorum. Then I was told that the closed session would last no longer than fifteen minutes, and that someone would fetch me when it was over.
     I waited a little while, but it seemed to me that I had been put into an undignified situation, for I was sitting by myself, pie-less and disenfranchised, in Marie Calendar’s. I got the hell out of there.

     TWO HOURS LATER, people began to assemble outside the SC conference room where the Board Meeting is usually held. The Board’s 5-7 closed session was running late, and so we were locked out until well after 7:00. Luckily, we were entertained by the delightful spectacle of students setting fire to their hair and stabbing themselves in the arm. We all hooted and applauded, which, along with the hair fires, kept us warm and toasty.
     The Board meeting commenced with the usual rites: the Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer, and the ritual burning of jello. (Is it just me, or are others also creeped out by doing the Pledge? I bet the Mafia has a Pledge of Allegiance.)
     New Board officers were elected. The result: Williams is now the President, etc.
     Some of the speakers during the “public comments” portion of the meeting were provocative. For instance, the Jewish Defense League showed up, and two of its members spoke in their usual vulgar manner. One of them simply hurled inelegant insults at Frogue for three solid minutes. The crowd embraced this fellow as it might embrace an undulating pile of banana slugs.
     But matters soon improved. The president of “Women For” (OC) spoke on behalf of Pauline Merry, a recent recipient of the organization’s “Woman of the Year” award and an even more recent object of the Board Majority’s displeasure. (Against expectations, no announcement concerning Dr. Merry’s fate was made that night.) Other speakers (Brenda B, et al.) spoke movingly against Frogue and the Board. As I kind of counterpoint to Raghu’s recent remarks (see above), I read some results of the recent IVC Accreditation Survey. (E.g., 67% of full-time IVC faculty disagreed with this statement: The college president fosters effective communication within the college community.)
     Student  Shelly Riddle politely read the recently-ratified ASIVC resolution concerning the Board Majority. It stated, among other things, that the ASIVC are “outraged” concerning the Majority’s “reckless and unwarranted...reorganizational changes” and have “no confidence” in the Majority, who were individually named. More specifically, the resolution asserted that members of the majority had made statements to ASIVC that did not square with the facts, judging by information the students had acquired.
     As Shelly returned to her seat, Trustee Fortune proceeded to hector her concerning the source of the students’ information. Fortune’s inappropriate prosecutorial manner clearly upset Shelly, who nevertheless held her ground, stating repeatedly that the Board had been sent documents that cited the sources in question. Then Bill Hewitt, who had helped secure the information from the district, stood up to respond to Fortune’s challenges. Predictably, Bill was met with shouts from Williams and Fortune, who indicated that he was out of order. To his everlasting credit, Bill continued, undeterred. In the end, Fortune came across like a first-class Arschloch.
     The next and last speaker was Pourya Khademi, another ASIVC representative. He responded to Trustee Frogue’s recent remarks that seemed to dismiss student government (“those kids”) as illegitimate. Pourya made all the right points, and he made them terribly well.
     I know of several students who, in recognizing and responding to the incompetence and venality of the Board Majority and their friends, have grown tremendously as persons. Shelly and Pourya are among them. Perhaps they can serve as an example to faculty.
     Please read the most recent Irvine World News, which contains several useful articles and a helpful editorial. —CW

* * *

Dissent 52

September 25, 2000

DAY OF THE WEENIE: Williams and the Faculty Association go their separate ways, but Brown Boy ain’t goin’ quiet-like

 By Chunk Wheeler [Roy Bauer]

            Well, Luke, judging just by union meetings, the Old Guard is kaput, for its members almost never show up—even for the gatherings of the Political Action Committee (PAC), of which several Dark Siders are members.

Loogie Patrol:

Mr. Loogie
            But appearances are deceiving. In early September, the Dark Side, brandishing light sabers, evidently stole campaign documents from the county Registrar’s office—possibly in order to secure a list of major contributors to Trustee Dave Lang’s pro-faculty candidates—the aptly named “Clean Slate.” Soon, those contributors—plus some reporters—received a “newsletter” in which a “registered Democrat” named “Lynn Hudson” of IVC’s “Gay-Lesbian Task Force” rejoiced that Lang is “solidly in favor of Domestic Partner Benefits (for same-sex partners)” and that he has “promised to make [same-sex domestic partner benefits] a board issue, if his slate wins….” “Reports” from “Professors Bob Cosgrove and Roy Bauer” were the alleged source of this information. 
            In fact, however, Cosgrove and Bauer gave no such reports and Lang has made no such statement.
            Hudson’s so-called newsletter quotes a remark made by Lang to the IVC Voice in 1996—that’s when the Old Guard first used the “same-sex” gambit, i.e., the ruse of deceptively associating members of Lang’s slate with a “same-sex domestic partner benefits” agenda in hopes of sending hysterical homophobes—of which there are many in South County—into the voting booths to select Board Majority candidates, those staunch stalwarts of heterosexuality (and celibacy, presumably). Back in November of ’96, Lang was reported by the Voice as saying that, if such benefits were to become a board issue, he would vote for them. But, in the same article, he is also reported as saying: the “only way domestic partner benefits would be supported in the district would be if the party in question negotiated it with the union…” [my emphasis]. In other words, “same-sex domestic partner benefits” is properly a union, not a board, initiative. That remains true in 2000.
We did some checking: there is no record of a student named “Lynn Hudson” in the district, and there is no such organization as the “Gay-Lesbian Task Force.” Further, the envelopes in which Hudson’s newsletters were mailed sported addresses that were literally cut out of the stolen Registrar’s Office documents. (They are in the distinctive hand-writing of Lang’s chief assistant, Sherry W.)
Plus there were indications that spit was used to secure the addresses to the envelopes.
            So we’re seeing more of the same old dirty tricks. Any day now, Mr. Garcia will start hocking loogies again.

Never mind the Bullock, here’s the Wienermobile:

Tony Garcia
            On the 14th and 15th of September, seven candidates in this year’s four SOCCCD trustee races were interviewed by members of the Faculty Association PAC. The interviews, held at the Saddleback College Student Services Building, were open to the public, but few citizens or faculty availed themselves of the opportunity to meet the candidates. Indeed, a luridly erect Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, parked outside the building during the second day of interviews, attracted far more attention. Reportedly, the appearance of the uncircumcised wheeled wiener was part of President Bullock’s ongoing efforts to promote “respect.” 
            I saw one student cram a weenie into a water fountain spout.

Much ado:

Unavoidably, union leadership had a crowded calendar, and so, after the interviews on the 14th and 15th (Thursday and Friday), the plan was to hold a PAC meeting at 2:00 on Monday, the 18th, to decide on endorsement recommendations to the union’s Representative Council—the organization’s decision-making body. The Rep Council, in turn, would meet at 3:00 that same day to make a final decision regarding FA (and thus CTA) endorsements of trustee candidates. 
            Potentially, tens of thousands of CTA campaign dollars are at stake. With any luck, the state union will soon pitch in some serious money to help us to bring the Board Majority era to a close.

Thanks, Ced:

            But what about the local’s own treasure chest? Well, you’ll recall that, owing to ruthless and illegal actions taken by the Chancellor on behalf of his board patrons (Williams, Fortune, et al.)—namely, El Ced refusing to adjust deductions from members’ pay checks when asked to do so by new and duly authorized FA officers cuz he only recognized the authority of the BM’s pal, Sherry M-W—the local has been prevented from amassing a campaign war chest. 
            In previous issues, Dissent has reported the CTA’s thus far successful PERB action against the Chancellor on behalf of the local. Unfortunately, this success won’t do us much good: Ced and the BM have employed delaying tactics, and the matter won’t be settled until a hearing on October 30—too late to make a difference in the election. 
            Still, independently, the CTA can provide substantial campaign funds, and efforts are afoot among FA officers to secure them for this campaign.

Some ancient history:

            Four years ago, the candidacies of John Williams, Dorothy Fortune, Steven Frogue, and Don Davis were promoted by what was then the bylawless, anti-democratic, Old Guard-dominated FA and its ultra-secretive PAC. According to many political observers, Williams, Fortune, and Frogue owed their ’96 victories to the union’s expensive, offensive—and manifestly homophobic—“Taxpayer alert/same-sex ‘marriage’” mailer, sent out to receptive Republican households throughout South County. (Davis lost, despite the mailer, apparently owing to a split in the conservative vote between himself and a Christian Coalition candidate.) 
            By mid-‘97, a CTA “leadership team” investigated the Old Guard’s conduct and judged it to be unacceptable. They were particularly troubled by the “same-sex” flier. According to the team’s report, issued on June 23 of 1997, “CTA reaffirms its belief that discrimination is not acceptable in any form…[I]n the future, the chapter must work to make sure that campaign strategy decisions do not cause more problems than the election victory intends to solve.”
            Use of the “same-sex” issue as a way to manipulate voters had been advised by then-FA consultant (and current SOCCCD Public Information Officer) Pam “Big Bird” Zanelli, the woman who, even now, is working hard to get her bosses—Fuentes, Williams, and Fortune—reelected by preparing a $50,000 “fluff piece” mailer (complete with Ronald Reagan photo), designed to show up at voters’ mailboxes just before the election. (The mailer likely violates FPPC rules.) The decision to take Zanelli’s advice was made by then-FA president Sherry “Incommunicado” Miller-White, who, later, while acknowledging that the mailer was “too homophobic for me,” argued that its use was necessary to “protect life as we know it.” 
            It was surely the nadir of our union’s sorry history.

Back to the Sept. 14th/15th interviews:

            Only Dave Lang (Irvine) and Bill Hochmuth (Mission Viejo/SJC) were slated for interviews late Thursday afternoon (the 14th). I have been told that Ms. Fortune—who has filled her chest with $29,000 of her own money—declined to be interviewed (or was she just “out of town”?) and that Mr. Fuentes was too busy showing George “Dubya” around the county to bother with our Podunk union affairs.
            Fuentes was busy all right. That Thursday saw the opening of the county Republicans’ “Newport Beach” headquarters (in Costa Mesa!), and Fuentes, head honcho of OC GOPers, was there, rubbing elbows with the likes of Christopher “Big Teeth” Cox. According to the Times, some guy named Connor was there, too, urging Fuentes to adopt his idea of a cool campaign jingle: “Get off your tush and push for Bush.” Fuentes smiled and tried to walk away. No luck.
            The day before, the Fuenster was stuck dealing with an angry crowd of Repubs when George Dubya didn’t show for an OC campaign stop. According to the Weekly, Tommy Boy, stalling for time, resorted to using Raghu Mathur’s “One Clap” and introducing fat guys in straw hats.


            Dave Lang’s interview went very well. Lang, who, you’ll recall, stormed out of the notorious “surprise reorganization” board meeting of July ’97—on the grounds that Williams, Fortune, and Co. were violating the Open Meeting laws (a judgment affirmed months later in OC Superior court)—emphasized his strong commitment to shared governance and his rejection of micromanagement, of which, he seemed to say, there has been far too much for too long. He also noted that “working conditions” at the two colleges are poor. Duh!
            Unless I am very much mistaken, Mr. Ken Woodward attended this interview. As you know, Ken was a loyal, if unmannerly, member of the Old Guard cadre that lied and scammed and schemed to ensure the Board Majority’s victory and general happiness. For this, he was rewarded with a deanship, which he later resigned in high peevitude, owing mostly to Lee Walker’s endless elfin antics. Independently, Ken—de facto chief negotiator for the faculty in the negotiations of ‘98—is much celebrated owing to his amusing habit of informing everyone at all times that he “has a Ph.D. in economics.” But I digress.


            The 2nd interviewee, Bill Hochmuth of Mission Viejo/San Juan Capistrano, who is running against Mr. Williams, also emphasized his distaste for micromanagement and his inveterate embrace of shared governance. As a businessman, he felt that he could help the district to pursue new technological education programs. He looked pretty good, especially compared to that fool John Williams. Plus he drives a cool Jaguar.

Friday’s marathon:

            On Friday, five candidates were interviewed: Dave Colville (Laguna Beach), Bill Shane (also Laguna Beach), Bob Loeffler (Lake Forest), John Williams (Mission Viejo/SJC), and Don Davis (Irvine). It was pretty taxing. Some of us dealt with the horrible pressure and pace by drinking as much beer as possible between interviews. Well, not really.


            Mr. Colville, a former Villa Park High School teacher (I was one of his students, but I hardly remember the guy), said he don’t know much about our district’s history, or about anything else for that matter, though he added that he had heard about a “guy” at Irvine Valley College who has received some votes of no confidence and who didn’t seem to get along with his faculty nohow. 
            Apparently, Colville, who appeared to have stopped by in mid-jog, was aware that “reassigned time” has been eliminated in our district, crippling faculty involvement in governance. “You should get release time; it’s ridiculous if you don’t,” said the fit but grandfatherly Mr. Colville. 
            In fact, reassigned time was quietly abolished during the negotiations prior to the contract of ’98—by the happy duo of Ken Woodward and John “Brown Boy” Williams. Oddly, just before contract ratification, Mr. Woodward, appearing with critics Roy Bauer and Jan Horn on KPFK’s Lawyers Guild program, proclaimed: “What [Bauer and Horn] said about reassigned time being eliminated is completely false.” Well, no, what Bauer and Horn said about reassigned time being eliminated was completely true. Owing to an Old Guard disinformation campaign, the ever-clueless hoi polloi voted for the contract. And so here we are.
            In Mr. Colville’s view, the board should stick to setting policy and should leave various other matters to the relevant experts—namely, the faculty. He seemed to allude to cronyism at the trustee level—something, I think, about a former trustee applying for an administrative position. At no point did he mention the name “Teddi Lorch,” nor did he allude to Pterodactyls.
            It is rumored that Mr. Colville was recruited by the Board Majority’s Padberg and Fortune, despotettes who routinely ignore and reject the advice of faculty. If the rumor is true (and I don’t really know), perhaps Nance and Dot brought the old guy into the election in order to split the non-incumbent vote, thereby improving incumbent Fortune’s chances of victory.
            You’ll recall that Fortune announced her intention of retiring in July, only to reverse herself immediately before the candidacy filing deadline, when poor Colville thought he was running only against a single non-incumbent. I hope he’s pissed.


            After Colville came splitsville, but we returned after an hour for Mr. Shane’s interview—surely the most impressive of the seven. The amusing and intelligent Shane, director of a county non-profit organization, explained that, in the Jewish community, the Frogue issue loomed large, at least until the Froguester’s resignation. Frogue’s disturbing misadventures accounted for Shane’s early interest in the district, but when he learned more about our colleges, he was “shocked” to discover that depth of our troubles. The board, he said, has set up an improper administrative structure and is clearly hostile to the district’s own faculty. He seemed to think that those were very bad things. The PAC seemed receptive to that notion.
            According to Mr. Shane, board decisions should be made only when there is “buy in” from the various constituency groups. Our board, he suggested, doesn’t seem to care about buy in at all. 
            You’ll recall that, back in early ’97, the Board Majority hired the Sorenson Group to study our organizational woes. In early July, the Group issued a preliminary report that advised the board to aim for—you guessed it!—more buy in by “stakeholder groups.” Nevertheless, a few days later (on July 16), in a surprise move, the Board Majority, including Williams and Fortune, reorganized the entire district. No effort to achieve “buy in” among constituency groups was made, though, post hoc, Williams and his crowd engaged in convenient historical revisionism to cover their asses. But, once again, I digress.
            Shane delineated four specific goals: (1) put an end to the turmoil; (2) put an end to the litigation; (3) further integrate the district and its colleges with the larger community; and (4) make the district more of a “resource” to that community. 
            Clearly, Mr. Shane has lots of good ideas.


Howard Dachslager, pal-o-Mathur
            After yet another one-hour break, “Handsome” Bob Loeffler, formerly an IVC number cruncher, arrived for his interview. Mr. Loeffler, a resident of Lake Forest, noted that, though district faculty as a group are well-paid—and deservedly so—the wealth is not evenly distributed, for entry faculty salaries are low. He advised correcting the situation so that the district can attract the best instructors.
            Evidently taking a shot at Mr. Williams, Loeffler opined that trustees should not directly involve themselves in the collective bargaining process. As you know, back in ‘97-‘98, Williams negotiated for the district (alongside Bill Jay, another Old Guard crony). Seated on the other side of the table, of course, were the union’s Old Guard (Ken, et al.)—people to whom Brown Boy was plainly beholden. That circumstance—and Williams’ willingness to play so direct a role in negotiations—rightly scandalized many throughout the state.
            Loeffler rightly noted that, despite BP2100.1 (the board policy that delegates authority over various matters to the faculty through the Academic Senates)—shared governance is now essentially “dead” in the district, a situation that, as a trustee, he would work hard to reverse. He prefers to make decisions that are informed by input and advice from others, said Loeffler. 
            He recalled that, years ago, the DRAC committee (faculty and administrators that meet to ponder district fiscal issues and advise the board) found a receptive audience in the board. But those days are long gone, and the board now pursues its whims with indifference to outside advice. Loeffler would try to bring us back to our earlier, happier situation. 
            Loeffler described how our board has taken on permanent expenses based on one-time funds—an act of folly that has had serious consequences. He also bemoaned the exodus of qualified administrators over which our board has long presided. (Loeffler was himself among the exiles. In 1998, he told the Irvine World News that he “can no longer effectively or happily work in the unsettled political and administrative environment in both the district and at IVC.”)
            Mr. Loeffler ended the interview by explaining that he is an educator, not a politician. In fact, he supports term limits for trustees: if elected, he will not serve longer than two terms.
            Clearly, Bob left a very strong impression with the committee. He knows the district well—and he knows what’s wrong with it.

Earth to Curt:

            The eccentric Mr. McLendon, Old Guard crony extraordinaire, attended some of these interviews, taking copious notes. Perhaps he’ll issue a report. 
            Alas, his political judgment is not to be trusted. As you’ll recall, two years ago, perhaps distracted by “radio signals from extraterrestrials,” he wrote a defensive note to union members, suggesting, absurdly, that Don “no political appointments” Wagner and Nancy “Poo Pants” Padberg—whom the Old Guard-dominated PAC were quietly supporting with tens of thousands of members’ dollars—were political “moderates.”
            In truth, as any idiot can readily discern, these two are anti-union extremists. At the time of the ’98 election, they proudly proclaimed their membership in Education Alliance, an anti-teachers union, religious Right organization headed by the author of Proposition 226. The latter measure, you’ll recall, sought to destroy union power in California. Or so said the confused Mr. McLendon in several union meetings, when he wasn’t defending Wagberg.
            Not that I’m complaining. I like Wagberg. Wagner’s best moments as trustee are his occasional daffy harangues against the American Association of University Women, owing to the group’s association with “Hanoi Jane” Fonda. Such moments are priceless. Padberg’s chief contribution to the carnival that is Our Board is her occasional homage to Rush Limbaugh and her insistence that meetings start with a robust round of Queen’s “We are the Champions” followed by glossolalia, shakin’, and head-spinnin’.


            Next came Mr. John Williams, who, he said, used to be in “law enforcement” (he was a bailiff). Williams explained that he wants to be reelected because the “job isn’t finished yet.” For instance, he bemoaned our inability to hire the best new faculty, owing to their relatively low salaries.
            Williams also noted that he “helped close the current contract.” Indeed: he negotiated for the district during the last round of contract negotiations (‘97-’98). Jeez, at the time, he offered no objection to the oddly inequitable distribution of salary monies, which transferred wealth in particular to those who controlled the union and its PAC: Ph.D.s and geezers. Somethin’ doesn’t add up here.
            One aspect of the “new hires salaries” problem is that excellent faculty (in other districts) who may otherwise be inclined to seek employment in the SOCCCD fail to do so because they must take a severe cut in pay. Until 1998, an instructor in another district could take the “steps” he accrued there for up to 11 years and transfer that standing to our district. But Williams was among those negotiators who sought to save money by reducing the 11 years to 5! This means, of course, that our ability to attract the best faculty has seriously declined.
            So, John, what’s this guff about low salaries?

“Sorry about the dictatorship thing”:

            In his response to our “shared governance” question, Williams took yet another plunge into wienerology. At first, he made noises resembling those of a shared governance super-advocate, crowing that he, John Williams, helped pass BP2100.1, the district’s “delegation of authority” policy. 
Well, said John, he was all set to “rely on faculty” and so on, but then something happened. Our bankruptcy-induced fiscal problems forced the board to “resort to slash-and-burn finances.” Suddenly, it became necessary to ignore faculty advice! You see, said Williams, “normally,” trustees should be mere “cheerleaders” who “don’t need to get in the way.” But, in recent years, “things came up that necessitated trustee involvement.” 
Now here’s the capper. Said Williams, piously: “We need to listen to you and rely on your advice and counsel. I hope we can return to those days now.”
Good grief!
            Naturally, Williams failed to explain why other OC districts, who were far more severely affected by the bankruptcy, did not likewise suspend its delegation of authority agreements with faculty. Neither did Mr. Law Enforcement explain what entitled the board to violate the law, which requires delegation of authority to faculty (see Title 5, S.53203). 
            If Williams has been so damned concerned about the district’s fiscal health, how did it come about that, well into his tenure (which began in late ’92), the district was placed on the State Chancellor’s fiscal watch list? And if the board (i.e., the Board Majority) suspended shared governance in order to improve the district’s health, why has it been in decline since the BM’s descent into unilateralism in 1997? 
(There’s been little growth since early ‘97—headcount has remained flat—and productivity has gone straight into the toilet. See www . sccd.cc.ca.us/ ref/almanac/ enrollments/ c1f90to00.htm [and c1sp90to00.htm]. And remember: the reason for our current fiscal “health” is, not alleged “fiscally conservative” board policies, but a financial windfall produced by an unforseen increase in property tax revenues. See Irvine World News, 9/21/00.)
            Up to this point in the interview, Williams’ blather implied some sort of embrace of shared governance. Then came the switcheroo: he suddenly declared that “shared governance isn’t working.” Jeez. That implies some sort of rejection of shared governance, don’t it?
That, of course, is his actual view, illustrated by a thousand examples, such as El Ced’s initiative, on behalf of Williams and his colleagues, to modify 2100.1. “The board felt it delegated too much authority to the faculties and it needs to clarify and correct some of the policies,” Chancellor Sampson told the Times late in 1999.
Anyhow, after the interviews, we got the hell outa there.

The Rep Council Meeting:

            At 2:00 on the 18th, a quorum of PACsters met, as per plan. Not surprisingly—in view of the interviews—all votes were cast for Lang, Hochmuth, Shane, and Loeffler—the members of the “Clean Slate.” Williams (and his slate-mate, Davis) failed to receive even a single vote. Fuentes and Fortune could not be endorsed, owing to their failure to participate in the interview process. They had been duly apprised of our desire to interview them but then they blew us off. 
            At 3:00, the Rep Council met, whereupon Lee Walker showed up to talk about avocados.
            Pete Espinosa next spoke on behalf of the PAC and its recommendation process. He explained that the process had been “clean,” that the committee took care to “follow the rules,” and that there was “good participation.” The PAC, he said, decided to endorse Lang, Hochmuch, Shane, and Loeffler. At that point, Mr. Welc explained that he was “in a fog,” and he was.
            After Pete and the others dispelled the miasma, Miki motioned the Rep Council’s accepting the PAC’s recommendation and endorsing specifically those four candidates. The Rep Council vote in favor of Miki’s motion was unanimous.
            Miki noted that this was the first time she was allowed to participate in the Association’s trustee candidate endorsements since 1980. She felt good about the change.
            Lee H, the union’s president, noted that, now that we’ve “talked the talk” it’s time to “walk the walk.”

Good grief!

            A few days earlier, Julie had discovered that the chapter was in danger of missing the deadline to apply for CTA campaign funds, and so arrangements were made to contact CTA officials immediately after the Rep Council vote. At about 4:00, Pete ran out of the room to make the phone call. Whew!
            Well, we’re on our way.

John is peeved:
            Four days later (9/21), the Irvine World News reported that the 

South Orange County Community College District’s faculty association representative council voted unanimously Monday to endorse one incumbent and three election newcomers for the Board of Trustees in the Nov. 7 election. Last week, the same four candidates announced their plan to run as a slate under the slogan “Vote the Clean Slate on Nov. 7.” The endorsements include Area 1 incumbent Dave Lang, Area 3 candidate Bill Shane, Area 6 candidate Bob Leoffler and Area 7 candidate Bill Hochmuth.

            When interviewed for the story, Williams sounded pretty whiny: “[He] said the association’s decision came from a small group of the people and not the entire membership.” 
            But, according to the new union bylaws, the Rep Council, which includes 35 members elected by their divisions, is authorized to make the union’s endorsement decisions. 
            Previously—in the days when Williams and his pals were endorsed—only the members of the PAC—a group not elected by the membership and then comprising only past union presidents—made endorsement decisions. 
            So what the hell is Williams talking about?
            The article ends thusly:

     Lisa Alvarez, the slate’s campaign organizer and a union member, said the unanimous vote of the faculty council is symbolic.
     “The union has been so divided for so long. It’s quite amazing. Such unity is inspiring. 
     “Clearly the faculty on both campuses has sent a powerful message,” Alvarez said. 

            Now watch the rats come outa their holes. –CW

Dissent 48

April 24, 2000

IGNOMINY: Sharon’s last hurrah (4/3/00)

By Chunk Wheeler [Roy Bauer]

. . .

I walked into the room at about 3:00, only to find an empty room, except for Dan R and Sharon M, who were having what appeared to be a mildly strained conversation, which I tried not to hear. Five minutes later, a few others had filed in, including CTA’s David Lebow, wearin’ snazzy shorts. He had been hanging around outside, evidently trying to avoid having to speak with Sharon, our besieged and departing chapter president.
            It wasn’t until 3:18 that a quorum was achieved and the meeting commenced. Immediately, Ray “Whitewash Willy” Chandos objected to the inclusion of the Treasurer’s report in the minutes of the previous meeting on the grounds that the document contained “inappropriate” remarks—remarks inspired by the Treasurer’s consternation re the Old Guard. Ray’s objection went nowhere. 
            Andrew, leader of the chapter’s adjuncts, complained that he was incorrectly listed as an observer at the March 6 meeting. Nope, he said. He’s a Rep Council member, not a damn observer. (Though Andrew’s courses this semester were cancelled, he remains a dues-paying member of CTA. That organization has ruled that he may nevertheless remain on the Rep Council, given that he expects to continue his relationship with the district.)
            Lee W, wearing a jacket the size of a circus tent—no doubt in order to obscure further promiscuous pants droppages—argued that, since Andrew doesn’t appear on the roster of district employees, he can’t be a member of the Rep Council. But Roni explained about all that. “You need to contact CTA,” she said. Lee, now spinning underneath the bigtop, declared that he would register a complaint with that organization. Dan R weighed in in favor of Andrew and so did David L, but Ray was unhappy, as usual, but to no avail. Jeanne tried to get us past the “Andrew” issue, which led to a vote, with only Ray voting for the Dark Side, the union wing of which on this day seemed to be in its final death throes, thank God. In the end, a correction to the minutes was made on Andrew’s behalf.
            Roni presented her new treasurer’s report, which referred to Sharon’s recent alleged shenanigans, the gist of which is that, reportedly, Sharon has been running amok, ignoring and failing to solicit the desires of the Rep Council.  
Lee H
            Roni also reported that the CTA audit of our chapter’s finances is going badly, since the auditors continue to be burdened by a “lack of cooperation” from the Old Guard. A bank account for one PAC account is unaccounted for, she added, sounding pretty discouraged. Ray complained about Roni’s report.
            Next came the ratification vote for the new Political Action Committee (PAC). That group will have the job of providing recommendations for the chapter’s support of trustee candidates. Ultimately, the Rep Council will decide which candidates shall be supported by the Chapter/CTA. You’ll recall that the previous, Old Guard-dominated PAC (the group that, now, somehow can’t seem to find its financial records) had made that decision for the chapter, yielding disastrous support of Frogue, Fortune, Williams, and even two avowed anti-unionists (Padberg and Wagner).
            We were voting on a list of members who had requested membership on the PAC. The process that solicited the requests produced a list dominated by Reformers, an outcome that can be attributed, not to Reformer machinations, but to the usual Old Guard buffoonery and ineptitude. Nothing prevented the Old Guard from requesting membership; they just flat failed to do it.
            Some Old Guardsters, now realizing that they had missed the boat, were pretty steamed, and they whined and objected—which was pretty funny in view of the great lengths that had been taken by union Secretary Dan R to inform everyone of the request process and deadline. 
            Consider: on March 10, Dan sent out an email that said:

Last Monday, March 6th, the Representative Council approved procedures for constituting PAC membership…The Standing Rules call for up to 15 “at large” members of the PAC, in addition to the past presidents and Executive Committee of the Faculty Association (current president, past-president, treasurer, and secretary). Any member of the Faculty Association who wishes to serve on the PAC must submit a letter of intent to serve…The timelines are as follows:…Friday, March 31, 5:00 PM…Deadline for past-presidents, Executive Committee members, and candidates for members “at large” to file a letter of intent to join the PAC…The letter may take the form of an e-mail message to [Dan].

Then, on March 18, Dan sent out a reminder, which stated:

If you wish to be a member of the PAC you must file a letter of intent by 5:00 PM Friday, March 31…Past-presidents, Executive Committee members, division/school Representatives, and faculty members “at-large” wishing to serve must file this form, indicating as well whether they wish to run for Treasurer of the PAC….
Then, on March 27, he sent out yet another reminder:

…if you wish to be a member of the Faculty Association PAC, you must send me an e-mail…indicating your interest by 5:00 PM this Friday, March 31. This includes past presidents of the Faculty Association, Executive Committee members, members of the Representative Council, as well as faculty wishing to be members “at-large”….

            Nevertheless, on the 3rd, some who had missed the deadline commenced caterwauling. Bill Otta, for one, beefed that he had told that Lee W of his interest, and now, doggone it, it’s too late to join up! Lee began to droop.
But, some asked, what about Dan’s many reminders? “My computer doesn’t always work,” offered Otta, lamely. And why did he express his interest in joining the committee to someone—namely, Lee W—who isn’t even on the Rep Council? Everyone stared at Bill as if to say: “Get a clue, dude.”
Lee was trying to think of something to say. Eventually, he cried that Dan should have sent out the “invitations” about membership through the regular mail, adding that we shouldn’t “punish” people who “don’t check their email 3 or 4 times a day!” —Hmmm. Just once a week—hell, once a month—woulda been sufficient in this case, Lee. 
Ray said something daffy about citizenship, and then David L advised us not to “hassle” over this. The feeling in the room was definitely pro-hassle, however, for people had lost patience with pathetic Old Guard misadventures and buffoonery.
Roni gave a nice slippery-slope argument, and then somebody said something about how Sharon and Sherry had left a note with Roni (Why Roni? Do these Old Guard types ever follow instructions?) indicating their interest in joining the committee. Good grief! 
Roni said she never saw the alleged note. Jeanne motioned that we just go with the list of people who duly applied for membership—but that we include Sharon and Sherry, if that “note”of theirs ever turns up. (It never did.) There was a roll-call vote, at which time one of the Dark Siders dismally intoned “sustain” instead of “abstain.” Ray didn’t complaint about that.
The motion carried 17 to 8 and a new era had begun.
As I recall, at this point, an alarmed Lee W alerted us that, as things stood, many past union presidents were not on the committee! With that, Dan saw an opportunity. The Old Guard has never provided a list of the membership of the old PAC—which is supposedly made up of “past presidents.” Stunning, isn’t it? But since Lee was claiming that some “past presidents” weren’t on the new PAC, he must know who these past presidents are! So Dan asked: just who are these past presidents who aren’t on the committee? “Could you name them?” 
Lee now said he had to “think,” a bad sign.  He provided no names. Amazing. 
Otta wasn’t finished caterwauling. “I told many people in this room [he seemed to gesture toward Lee] that I wanted to be on the committee,” he said, accusingly. “That’s what irritates me!”
Lee quietly disappeared into his tent.
We moved on to the “second PERB settlement agreement.” You know what that’s about. Back on the 29th of February, Sharon signed a tentative agreement (with the Chancellor), according to which the Chancellor would, at long last, restore the withholdings from member paychecks and the district will fork over $3,000 to compensate the chapter, which it screwed over in an attempt to keep the newly Reformer-dominated union out of the next trustees race. Days later, the Rep Council ratified the agreement, but then, on the 9th of March, the board failed to do likewise: though they discussed the matter, they took no action.
Sharon now explained that, on the morning of March 10, she received a call from the Chancellor. The Chancellor, she said, reported that, on the previous night, the board had rejected the agreement, and so he asked her to come to campus to help him hammer out another one. Sharon complied. In fact, a few hours later, she signed a second agreement, one that eliminated the $3,000 payment. But, only four days earlier, the Rep Council had balked at the low cash payment of the first agreement, though, in the end, it voted approval and went along with the 3K amount. Why, then, did Sharon sign a new agreement that eliminated the cash payment?
Well, people were pretty steamed about this. Sharon started blaming everyone in sight for this whole sorry mess and her chin started aquiverin’ like it does sometimes. In the end, she said, unnecessarily, that the Rep Council is “free to do what” it wants regarding the 2nd agreement. 
People expressed consternation and even anger regarding Sharon’s conduct. Said a peeved David L: if the chancellor had called me on March 10, I would have told him to “shove it up your ass.” The audience thrilled.
Then the whole sordid tale of Sharon’s alleged pre-board meeting misconduct was revisited—how, according to the district’s lawyer, Sharon had lobbied the board to refuse to sign the original agreement that she had herself signed back on the 29th of February and that had been ratified by the Rep Council on the 6th
At one point, Lee H asked the obvious question: why had Sharon signed an agreement (on the 10th) that was clearly at odds with the agreement approved by the Rep Council? 
Things only got worse for Sharon. Dan, one of the chapter’s four officers, felt compelled to report that, on the night of the 10th, Sharon had called him regarding union business. Indeed, Sharon and Dan talked thrice over the weekend, and not once had she mentioned to him that she had just signed a new agreement with the Chancellor! “And I resent that,” said Dan. Everybody did.
Eventually, Someone motioned that we reject the second agreement. The motion passed.
Toward the end of the meeting, David L addressed the group--for the last time, for he, too, was moving on. He explained that some Old Guardsters had written nasty letters to CTA about him. His favorite letter, said he, complained of David’s “misguided ambition to democratize the chapter.” We all laughed. (Curt wasn’t in the room.) Another letter said that David had “gone native”—a reference, perchance, to his habit of wearing shorts and short sleeves. David, who did indeed look pretty darned casual, noted that the president of CTA had described his (David’s) conduct as “professional.” He further noted that, in the course of his dealings with this chapter, he had been vilified by “both sides.” We all clapped as David marched forth into new worlds of vilification.
Joe, who was clearly appalled at Sharon’s conduct, considered a motion to censure her. “I don’t think she should go out with honor,” he said. The Old Guard demured, and even some Reformers counseled against such a motion, saying that we should pursue a censure only after performing an investigation. 
A visibly quaking Lee W complained once again about the Dissent—something, near as I can figure, he does wherever he goes. I bet he even brings it up at church: “That goddam Dissent!” He had given, he said, David L five issues of that newsletter. (We stared at him, wondering what his point might be.) 
Why, he finally asked, weren’t people at IVC complaining about the Dissent? 
“Because we like it,” said Julie.

* * *

Dissent 45
February 29, 2000


 By Chunk Wheeler [Roy Bauer] 

            1. WHAT ARE THEY HIDING? 

     Despite many months of effort, the Faculty Association’s treasurer, a member of the ascendant Reform faction, has been unable to secure the union PAC committee’s financial records, owing to the noncooperation of committee members. A box of records has been provided, but, according to a recent treasurer’s report, CTA accountants have determined that  it contains no PAC records; further, says the report, “Margaret Hoyos [CCA staff consultant] has sent a certified letter to faculty who are listed as Treasurers on PAC reporting documents [for the relevant time period]...requesting that they contact her if they have these documents. She has informed them that CTA may take legal action, if necessary.”


     As you know, back in August, CTA filed a PERB complaint against chancellor Sampson. According to the complaint, Sampson refused to make an adjustment in FA members’ withholdings at the request of duly-authorized union officials, despite his having complied with an earlier unauthorized request from Sherry Miller-White to reduce withholdings. As things stand, Sampson’s action will effectively prevent the union from amassing a war chest, and that may preclude its being a factor in the upcoming trustee elections, in which three Board Majoritarians (Fortune, Williams, & Frogue) will likely seek reelection.

      Dissent has learned that the PERB conference in which this matter may be decided is scheduled for Tuesday, February 29. Expect good news.


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