Thursday, August 23, 2007


Orange County, CA: A growing number of elected officials are joining with parents, taxpayers and citizens who have been frustrated with the leadership of their local School Board. and are now calling for "Old Guard" Trustees to step down or be recalled. The political revolt taking place in South Orange County provides a text book case for how a citizens campaign can successfully conduct an orderly revolution, using the democratic process.

The Full Disclosure Network®(FDN) is releasing the latest two episodes (Part 5 and 6) covering the history and new developments in Capistrano Unfied School District (CUSD) controversy along with a FREE eight minute Internet video preview (click here to view) of the on-going cable tv series on the real life grassroots campaign to recall or replace all seven of the elected CUSD Trustees.
  • While the CUSD recall petitions (2006) were disqualified from the ballot under unusual circumstances, the organizers and citizens went on to defeat three of the incumbent Trustees in the next regularly scheduled election (2007). The Trustees were replaced by candidates supported by the Recall Committee. However, the four remaining “Old Guard” Trustees are now being accused of undermining the efforts of citizens and the new Trustees to truly reform the District and restore accountability
  • Latest episodes to be cablecast during the first two weeks of September throughout California. The recall leaders are now joined by elected officials from many small cities in the District who describe their own horror stories of dealing with the former Superintendent James Fleming who recently resigned. A short time after his resignation, he was then indicted by the Orange County Grand Jury for alleged use of taxpayers funds to prevent the recall petition from qualifying for the ballot.
  • The FDN series on CUSD documents the historic battle to reform the District starting in 2005 up to present. In all there are six, half-hour Full Disclosure® programs and three Video News Blog on the Internet each reporting step by step, the citizens struggle to regain control of their school district.

Elected officials are featured in the episodes calling for the "old guard" Trustees to step down or to face another recall election are:

  • Mayor Pro-Tem Gary Thompson, City of Rancho Santa Margarita
  • Tom Russell, CUSD Recall Leader
  • Mayor Tony Beall, City of Rancho Santa Margarita and CUSD Recall Leader
  • Mayor Carmen Cave, City of Aliso Viejo
  • Councilman Mark Neilson, City of San Juan Capistrano & Recall Leader
  • Trustee Anna Bryson, Vice Pres. CUSD Board (newly elected)
  • Mayor Gail Reavis, City of Mission Viejo
  • Trustee Ellen Addinizio, CUSD Board (newly elected)
  • Councilman Lon Uso, City of San Juan Capistrano
  • Councilman Steve Knoblock, City of San Clemente

One of the major obstacles encountered by the recall leaders was the difficulty in gaining media attention to the problem due to refusal of the District and the Trustees to be interviewed. Indeed, the Full Disclosure Network® encountered fierce resistence as well, when the CUSD Administration and Trustees steadfastly denied interview requests. This fact is doumented in previous FDN episodes and in correspondence posted on the CUSD FDN website page and most recent email rejecting our requests for interviews from the new Director of Communications.

The Full Disclosure Network® (FDN) is known as “the news behind the news” covering, in-depth, important issues the mainstream media often ignores. As an independently produced and privately funded cable access program FDN is currently featured on 45 cable systems in the State of California and on the Internet as a public service. Producers of the program are host Leslie Dutton and T. J. Johnston. In 2002 the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presented FDN with a local public affairs Emmy Award for the series "L.A.'s War Against Terrorism". Channels and Airtimes for the programs can be found on the website.

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