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  • Monday, February 26, 2007


    OU$D BOND Watch 2008

    a Special News Analysis series by Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Can a Laguna Beach liberal blogger who boycotts Wal-mart and endorses sites like “Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O’Reilly” be a successful community smoozer for OUSD in the conservative
    Greater Orange

    Who is OUSD’s new Director of Community Development?
    A central part of Orange Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley’s Three Year Strategic Plan for OUSD, was the hiring of a Director Community Development. The new administrative position was created as a classified staff management position. In January, Blake Chism left his position as a Migrant Education Reading Volunteer Program Assistant with the San Diego County Office of Education to become OUSD’s first Director of Community Development. The assignment is basically to be a very public face of OUSD in the business and philanthropy community.

    A close look at Chism’s very vocal public record reveals a person with strong liberal convictions. Those convictions lead to the question is Chism the right person for the job of smoozing the major conservative players in the Greater Orange Communities business and community foundations? Chism strong convictions led him to share publicly that he boycotts Wal-Mart (a donor to OUSD schools and part of the Greater Orange business community) and also buys music he doesn’t like to protest the boycott against the Dixie Chicks.

    Politics and convictions aside, the stated goal of the OUSD Director of Community Development is to work with community foundations to further the district’s goals of increasing community partnerships. The new position falls under the Partnership section of OUSD’s new Three Year Strategic Plan. The Partnerships section has four subgroups devoted to the “educating” and public relations campaign “Ready to Sell”: Public Relations Campaign; Revamp the District’s use of Foundations; Director of Community Development; and Stakeholder Committee. Another of the four sections outlined in the OUSD Three Year Strategic Plan is geared toward passing a 2008 OUSD Bond is called Facilities. Two of the five Facilities subgroups are geared toward passing a 2008 OUSD Bond: Promote passing a facilities bond; and Promote Community Partnerships to adopt schools. Chrism’s new position falls under both sections.

    Blake Chism: Blogger and Community Commentator
    The first part of OU$D BOND Watch 2008 that reported on the Three Year Strategic Plan was apparently the subject of a tit-for-tat at the February 8th Orange Unified between Trustees Steve Rocco and Melissa Smith. Rocco criticizing the Board majority for pursuing a new third OUSD Bond which he said he read on the “blogs”. OUSD Trustee Melissa Smith then criticized the “blogs” for reporting that the OUSD Board had approved another bond effort, which she stated was in fact not true. The “blog bond” issue appears to stem the OU$D BOND Watch 2008 series. The series January 5th debut appeared on the OCS news blog, the Greater Orange News Service. The story states that the OUSD Board approved the OUSD Administration’s three-year strategic plan that includes a blueprint for a Bond Campaign. Blogs can be so annoying for elected officials.

    The new media of citizen journalism can sometimes be challenging for officials and organizations that want to manage the news. Perhaps hiring someone with blogger experience may be helpful. Web based journalism can also sometimes be revealing about people who establish personal blogs-like the new Director of Community Development Blake Chism has done.

    Before being hired at OUSD, Blake Chism worked for the San Diego County Department of Education in San Marcos (Northern San Diego County) at the regional Migrant Education Program. He was a Reading Volunteer Program Assistant (CLICK ON

    The Migrant Education website states the goal of the program:

    The mission of Migrant Education Region IX is to work collaboratively with school districts to meet the needs of migrant children through quality services, effective and efficient use of resources and innovative leadership.
    For more information CLICK ON

    From San Marcos, Chism wrote Letters to the Editor on various topics to the San Diego Union Tribune and the North County Times. Some were published, others not. Chism did post them on his blog called: Blake Chism: My Thoughts, Observations, and Meanderings. As of the publishing of this article, the blog is still available on line with the last post dated is June 9, 2006. Chism wrote in two letters (2/20/06 and 3/9/06) to the Tribune about the 50th Congressional special election necessitated by the resignation of Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham after corruption charges. In his Letter to the Editor published 3/9/06, Blake Chism calls for community support of Democrat Francine Busby (for more information on Democrat Francine Busby CLICK ON:
    Busby lost the election to Republican Brian Bilbray.

    In a 6/15/05 Letter to the Editor published in the North County Times, Chism writes:

    “I have always been one to support boycotts when I felt that they were in line with my values and beliefs. I haven’t shopped at Wal-Mart in quite some time, and recently bought a car which I run on biodiesel…”

    Chism goes on to write that while growing up in Alabama for most of his life, he can’t stomach new country music, but he does plan on buying the Dixie Chicks album as a statement against the Dixie Chicks boycott (the boycott was a resulted of the Dixie Chicks’ negative remarks about President Bush and the Iraqi War). Chism wrote about the Dixie Chicks boycotters:

    Why would they not support freedom of speech, even if they did not support the message? I don’t know, but I encourage their boycott. I support their right to speak out against the Chicks because I want the same right to boycott Exxon-Mobil. As for me, I’ll be buying my first-ever country album today”.

    Chasm’s support of free speech will most likely be welcomed at the OUSD District Office where the Rocco Censure has become a battle of free speech on both sides.

    Chism Blog: “My Thoughts, Observations, and Meanderings”

    Chasm’s blog, Blake Chism: My Thoughts, Observations, and Meanderings do much to reveal Chasm’s political, ethical and personal leanings and beliefs. Chism lists his blog email as his work email at the Migrant Education office.

    In one portion Chism lists his favorite books as:
    The Bible and any book that has been burned and/or banned.

    In his blog, Chism links to eight websites that include:

    Media Matters Web site description:

    Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c) (3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.
    Launched in May 2004, Media Matters for America put in place, for the first time, the means to systematically monitor a cross section of print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets for conservative misinformation — news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda — every day, in real time.

    SALON.COM Wikipedia description of (often just Salon) is the flagship web site of Salon Media Group, Inc., an Internet-based media company established in 1995 by editor-in-chief David Talbot and some colleagues from the San Francisco Examiner….

    Salon's magazine covers a variety of topics. American politics is a major focus. It has reviews and articles about music, books, and films. It also has articles about "modern life", including relationships and sex. It covers technology, with a particular focus on the free software/open source movement.
    Salon covers all of these issues from a liberal political viewpoint, although the site has also featured regular columns from such conservatives as David Horowitz and Andrew Sullivan.

    Talking Points Memo Wikipedia description:

    Talking Points Memo (or TPM) is the name of a popular center-left political blog created and run by Josh Marshall. It debuted on November 12, 2000. It covers a wide range of topics including U.S. foreign policy, domestic politics (especially at the federal level) and domestic policy.

    Sweet Jesus, I hate Bill O’Reilly

    Web site description:
    Sweet Jesus, I hate Bill O'Reilly, International is an organization dedicated to the dissemination of information that exposes Bill O'Reilly for what he is: an ego-driven, biased individual who spreads fear, hate and misunderstanding. While he sees himself as a culture warrior, his views are firmly anchored to the political right. He works tirelessly to enrage Americans and pit them against anything he considers "liberal" or, worse yet, "secular". Mr. O'Reilly uses highly manipulative forms of presentation, phrasing and, yes, "spin". Also, he's completely nuts.
    The Ed Schultz Show
    Wikipedia description of the Ed Schultz Show:
    The Ed Schultz Show, hosted by Ed Schultz, is broadcast from Fargo, North Dakota on a network of over 100 stations (as of October 2005), including seven of the 10 largest radio markets. He is also on XM and Sirius satellite radio; his show is often carried as part of a lineup that includes one or more Air America Radio shows.

    To view Blake Chism’s blog CLICK ON:

    About Me

    • Media Matters
    • Salon
    • The BBC
    • Talking Points Memo
    • Sweet Jesus I hate Bill O'Reilly, Intl. - An Organization of Hope
    • Willie Nelson - Biodiesel
    • Biodiesel
    • The Ed Schultz Show

    OU$D BOND Watch 2008
    is produced by Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

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