Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024
Saudi mistreatment of women
Saudi mistreatment of women

Why in the world would the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) get involved in a consulting contract to help run two technical schools in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia? It is a crazy idea – and it is wrong on so many levels. Yet the scheme, which was hatched by the RSCCD Foundation, is moving forward – but not as was expected.

The potential profit from the deal has also been reduced from $8 million to $2 million after negotiations with Saudi Arabian officials finished, according to the Santa Ana College Newspaper, El Don.

But whether or not the RSCCD will actually make any money off this questionable deal is a very good question. Algonquin College in Canada, initially lost almost one million dollars with their ill-advised Saudi partnership, according to Barry Resnick, the the immediate past president of the District’s Faculty Association (FARSCCD). Algonquin has now cut off all ties with the Saudis and they are reeling in debt estimated to be $5.8 million.

Other than Trustee Phil Yarbrough who publicly opposed this agreement, the six other board members supported the Saudi deal. And on September 29, 2015 the RSCCD Foundation entered into a partnership agreement to commence work with the Saudis – five months after a Saudi government investigation was opened into corruption against the RSCCD partner, according to Resnick.

How is the Foundation feeling about this deal now? Well they cancelled their September board meeting and moved it to December. That’s right – they moved their meeting to AFTER the November election. It is quite possible that the Saudi deal has been an abject failure and that the district has squandered thousands of taxpayer dollars.

Why would the RSCCD even want to do business with the Saudis given how that fascist country deals with women, gays and Jews?  It is completely unethical for the RSCCD to be doing business with these people!

Two despicable politicians - Anaheim Councilman Jordan Brandman and RSCCD Trustee Arianna Barrios
Two despicable politicians – Anaheim Councilman Jordan Brandman and RSCCD Trustee Arianna Barrios

There is a reason that the incumbents on the RSCCD Board who are up for reelection this November – Claudia Alvarez, Nelida Mendoza Yanez and Arianna Barrios, are all facing challengers this year. That by the way is unprecedented!

Barrios by the way is doubling down on her mistaken support for the Saudi project. Check out what she told the L.A. Times: “The foundation’s project with Saudi Arabia promotes education, cultural understanding and will facilitate progressive change.”

I wonder if Barrios knows that “the Saudi government had sanctioned the beheadings of 82 people in the first three months of the year. In contrast, the kingdom beheaded 158 people total in all of last year,” according to the International Business Times.

Saudis have also recently been exposed buying sex slaves from ISIS, according to the India Times.

Nelida Yanez
Nelida Mendoza Yanez

Barrios, Mendoza Yanez and Alvarez should be ashamed of themselves for getting into bed with the Saudis!

I encourage you to vote for those who are running against these incumbents. Also note that the incumbents recruited Zeke Hernandez to run for the seat that was vacated by Jose Solorio. Please do NOT vote for Hernandez! Vote instead for his opponent, Matt Schauer.

Claudia Alvarez
Claudia Alvarez

Here are the challengers who are running against the RSCCD incumbents:

Matt Schauer
Matt Schauer

The RSCCD Faculty Association has endorsed Aguinaga, Diaz, Gordon and Schauer. These challengers are all Republicans except for Aguinaga, who is a Democrat. Nguyen and Gordon are also elected members of the OC GOP’s Central Committee.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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