Look closely at the candidates running for the Conejo School Board

By James Nelson
Do you believe politics aren’t in local school boards?  You are dreaming.  Conejo Democrat candidates Lauren Gill and Karen Sylvester are using the Act Blue fundraising site for their campaign donations.   In answer to the question if it is run by the Democrat Party, Act Blue boldly states on its webpage   “..We are a mission-based organization, which is why only Democrats (not Republicans) can use our tools to fundraise. ”   Wow!  These women clearly are not interested in representing conservative families in the Conejo Valley.
This donation website also explains that they take a cut of 3.95% from every donation for Act Blue’s various causes.  So, if donors think they are directly supporting a supposedly non-partisan CVUSD school board candidate with their cash, think again. Ask yourself this:  Is 4% of your Lauren Gill donation perhaps going to Antifa to pay for living expenses of the rioters in Seattle or Portland or some other radical cause that maybe you really don’t like? 
Do you need more evidence that Gill and Sylvester are not interested in representing Republicans?  Take a look at their bios.  Lauren Gill is the Education Leader of Indivisible: Conejo.  Their national mother organization, Indivisible, is funded in part by George Soros.  The website states  “We’re a grassroots movement of thousands of local Indivisible groups with a mission to elect progressive leaders, rebuild our democracy, and defeat the Trump agenda.”  Is that the appropriate mission for someone running for a non-partisan office as a local public school board trustee?  They should blush in shame at their hubris.  There is no way Gill can fairly represent any conservative family in TO.  She has drunk the progressive Kool-Aid and there is no cure for that poison.  Candidate Karen Sylvester’s bio brags about an East Coast education at 2 uber liberal universities.  She also has a history of membership in district organizations with pro-teachers’ union bias on education matters.  I’ve got news for her:  being a PTA officer and a District Advisory Committee member are NOT pluses for conservative voters in this town.
Lauren Gill and her supporters have made it clear for months that they have little respect for Republicans.  Some of Gill’s supporters post  comments on Facebook pages that are shocking in their hate for Trump and any of his supporters.  Some say they hope the corona virus gets us.  Another person wrote that every Republican deserved to have a frying pan hit them up the side of their head!  A local progressive social media “influencer” wrote that all Republicans have an evil and racist agenda.  She urges her Facebook friends to vote for Gill, because Gill “cares” for all the children, and implies that Sandee Everett doesn’t.  
This same influencer fails to mention that she herself works for a marketing company, and neglects to say that Gill was also an executive in many marketing positions including her own Gill consulting firm.  Why is this a bad thing?  Well, spin doctors and lies have done harm to parents and students at CVUSD for many years.  Lots of money wasted on lies about non-existent awards, such as the phony California Top 100 School Award that used to hang on 10 schools. What a sham that was.
 And let’s never forget illegal programs like the unethical 40 credit test for $20 at the continuation school.  Students were pushed out of the school without taking classes and their parents were told they were good to graduate.  This scam falsely inflated the graduation rate at the school, giving it a reputation for “excellence”  it hadn’t earned. The Acorn ran several stories about this fraud.  The school was busted and the CVUSD was roundly reprimanded by the CA DOE, as well as the owners of the copyrighted test.  Young parents weren’t around then, and older voters may have forgotten.  I haven’t.  
This diploma fraud was covered up by retiring liberal trustee, Betsy Connolly, a founder of Conejo Together.  That group has a committee that collected $12,000 as of September 19 for Sylvester and Gill, a total of $12,000.  They are using Act Blue’s website for donations, thus funneling off monies to other liberal projects by charging a  user fee.
A proud liberal leftist, Dr. Connolly has also endorsed Karen Sylvester.  Sylvester is being promoted by an associate of Dr. Connolly, an executive in the same marketing company that was involved with the fraudulent Top 100 school claim on official Conejo Valley maps and school accountability report cards.  Shame on these people who enjoy telling such lies to the public.
Fraudulent marketing of the CVUSD is a bad thing.  Lies to voters and taxpayers have resulted in lawsuits.  The CVUSD has spent years cleaning up the mess of former superintendents.  The clean up was getting much better until the last election 2 years ago.  It has gone downhill.   Now more ethics violations are surfacing.  We all know that  liars have trouble breaking the habit.  The last thing we need now is to roll backwards into the swamp of dishonesty from marketing people and employees. 
My advice to all the Area 5 voters in NP who are getting those anti-Sandee postcards is this:  be an informed voter.  Do NOT fall for the rhetoric of the marketing spin doctors who are who are heavily invested in Lauren Gill’s campaign.  There is a Blue Progressive agenda here to oust all Republicans from local office.  
We need a fiscal conservative on the board.  I’m supporting Sandee Everett because she asks the hard financial questions.  As the only experienced incumbent in the race, she holds the title of Trustee.  The Conejo Valley can continue to trust her to actually study the budget reports and to continue keeping the administrators on their toes.  Sometimes they wriggle in discomfort during board meetings.  Too bad.  That is a trustee’s job to make sure that public funds are being wisely used. I admire people who are frugal, don’t you?  
For Area 1, I recommend conservative candidate Patti Jones, mother of 7 who has been involved in local education for years.  She has a strong moral compass and is not interested in wasting money on marketing our public schools.  She is for demanding quality education from staff for our children and grandchildren.  She is against the liberals’ agenda of promoting expensive social justice programs and bizarre leftist propaganda in the classroom to the detriment of time which should be spent on basic English, Math and Social Studies skills.
We now have a spendthrift board of 4 progressives  who wasted public money on consultants and studies and research trips with fancy hotels and meals .  That needs to come to a screeching halt.  Put the brakes on spending.  Do not vote in the two radical democratic candidates. Vote to put Sandee and Patti on the Conejo Valley Unified Board of Trustees. 

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.


James Nelson is a resident of Ventura County


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