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  • Monday, October 25, 2010

     

    Nguyen and Surridge try to take over OUSD School Board

    eLECTION Watch 2010
    an Orange Net News Special News and Analysis Series

    OUSD Board of Trustees Battle of the Slates as Nguyen and Surridge try to take over OUSD School Board

    The campaign blue and orange colors are the same, the websites look the same, the campaign signs are identical except for the names. Orange Unified School Board outsider candidates Chris Nguyen and Tim Surridge are running as a far right slate in a bid for control over the Orange Unified School Board. Both candidates have paid to be on a controversial slate mailer called Continuing the Republican Revolution.

    Those who know Nguyen who has little educational background (his main claim to any experience is he attended OUSD schools) see his bid for a seat on the OUSD Board as a first step in political ambitions much like his fellow Orange Villa Park Republican Assembly (OVPRA) Board member Alexia Deligianni who won a seat on the OUSD Board in 2008. After being elected to the OUSD Board and with barely half of her first term completed, Deligianni made an unsuccessful (and personally embarrassing) run for the California Superintendent of Public Instruction. Nguyen’s online resume full of political apprenticeships was removed after ONN published the link to Nguyen’s politically ambitious resume which had no educational interests or experience aside from the schools he attended. A further example of Nguyen’s disconnect is his political website which lists one of his core issues as consolidating OUSD health plans:

    "Chris believes the OUSD Board must push forward with the consolidation of health plans to save taxpayer money. By pooling OUSD employees, OUSD becomes a bigger purchaser in the health insurance market and is able to negotiate cheaper health insurance rates".

    That consolidation has long since been approved by the OUSD Board and all of its employee groups and has already been instituted.

    Nguyen is running for the open seat that Melissa Smith was forced to give up in a re-districting of her Trustee Area. Smith has endorsed and is actively campaigning for Dianne Singer. Nguyen however is endorsed by OUSD Board members Deligianni, Mark Wayland and Rick Ledesma. A win by Nguyen would give the four control over the OUSD Board. A win by Singer and re-election of Kathy Moffat and Kim Nichols would give current Board President and moderate John Ortega the swing vote and make him the power broker between the two blocks.

    As of the last financial filing period, Nguyen had more money than all other candidates for the OUSD office combined-$60,000. That amount came from just 10 people. Two contributors, Dzung Nguyen and Lien Tonnu both of Anaheim, both gave $25,500 each to the first time candidate. Public record searches show that Dzung Nguyen and Lien Tonnu are related. The other 8 smaller donations for Chris Nguyen’s were from outside the district with many from outside the state.

    In a rare move, OUSD Board Rick Ledesma has endorsed Tim Surridge over the current board member who holds the seat- Trustee Kim Nichols. Both Nichols and Ledesma are Republicans. Surridge a graduate of Christ College in Irvine is a private school teacher, but does not mention that on his website while touting his educational experience as a “classroom teacher”. In a strange, yet cleaver blurb about himself, he lists his wife’s more extensive educational experience more than his own:

    “I have lived in this district with my wife Shelly, who possesses a masters degree in education, and is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher with 30 years of classroom experience.”

    Both Shelly Surridge and Tim Surridge have worked at the same private school, Salem Lutheran School in Orange. Shelly Surridge is still listed as a staff member. Tim Surridge is no longer listed on the staff directory. There are no records for either Surridge on the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing website about holding a current teaching credential. On her school website, Shelly Surridge writes:

    “The 2010-2011 school year will be my 29th year of teaching and my 22nd year at Salem. I love Salem because I get to hang out with the coolest kids in the whole world and we get to share Jesus all day long.”

    The Salem Lutheran School in Orange is a member of the ultra-conservative creationists branch of the Lutherans called the LCMS or the Missouri Synod.

    Surridge only raised a little over $7,000, most of that in a loan from himself. In addition the cash-rich Daniel Nguyen paid a little over $2,000 for cable television ads for Surridge.

    Both Surridge and Nguyen paid to be on the slate mailer Continuing the Republican Revolution produced by Scott Hart of the Newport based political consultants Hart & Associates. The mailer has come under fire for recommendations that are opposite to true conservative positions. The flyer looks like it is officially from the Republican Party, which it is not, and quotes Ronald Regan (long deceased) and name drops President George W. Bush. Each person and position pays to be on the flyer (see story link below).

    More on Continuing the Republican Revolution:NEWPORT


    For more information about LCMS CLICK ON: LCMS


    eLECTION Watch 2010
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    Comments:
    "Nguyen however is endorsed by OUSD Board members Deligianni, Mark Wayland and Rick Ledesma. A win by Nguyen would give the four control over the OUSD Board. A win by Singer and re-election of Kathy Moffat and Kim Nichols would give current Board President and moderate John Ortega the swing vote and make him the power broker between the two blocks."

    Huh? I think your story is wrong. Nguyen's web site says he is endorsed by John Ortega (in addition to Deligianni, Wayland, and Ledesma).
     
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