Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

There are no less than five Democrats running for the SAUSD School Board this year, including Santa Ana Planning Commissioner/Attorney/Bike Trail Activist Bruce Bauer; Congressional Field Rep./Planning Commissioner Beatriz Mendoza; Social Worker Dr. Alfonso Alvarez; college teacher Dr. Rigo Rigoberto; and business owner/Anti-Bike Trail Activist Mark McLoughlin. The latter three (Alvarez, Rigoberto and McLoughlin) are supported by the local education unions while the first two (Bauer, Mendoza) are supported by the SEIU and other local labor unions. (The SEIU is also supporting Rigoberto).

So why are the unions at war with each other? Why run so many similar candidates (honestly all of these candidates pretty much agree on close to 100% of the issues) for the same body?

Editor's Note: This picture is not doctored. John Palacio really looks like this.
Editor’s Note: This picture is not doctored. John Palacio really looks like this.

I found out recently that the Santa Ana Educators’ Association recruited their own slate of leftwing candidates because they did not want current SAUSD Trustee John Palacio to take over control of the SAUSD School Board. Palacio, and his fellow Trustee Valerie Amezcua, recruited and are backing Bauer and Mendoza.

The irony is that the SAEA has always endorsed Palacio when he has run previously for the SAUSD School Board. But they seem to be peeved at him now.

Cecilia Iglesias
Cecilia Iglesias

So here we are with no less than five Democrats, all pro-labor, running for three seats on the SAUSD School Board. Two Trustees have retired – Jose Alfredo Hernandez and Rob Richardson. Current SAUSD Trustee Ceci Iglesias is running for reelection. She has recruited her friend Angie Cano to run as well.

The result of the war of the unions is that the Democrat vote in Santa Ana will be split among five candidates. That favors Iglesias and Cano, who are Republicans. While there are not too many Republicans in Santa Ana, the lot of them will probably vote for these two ladies.

Bruce Bauer and his children
Bruce Bauer and his children

The white vote in our city is consistent but lesser now than it was a few years ago. Presumably they will prefer Bauer and McLoughlin. But the two candidates may cannibalize these voters, splitting the white vote and perhaps diluting it.

I personally feel that Dr. Rodriguez and Dr. Alvarez have the advantage of their titles, which makes a difference in a city like Santa Ana where so few residents have college degrees, much less graduate degrees. But there are so many men in this race that it will be difficult for any of them to out-poll the rest. Dr. Rodriguez has the advantage there as he ran for the SAUSD School Board last time around and so presumably he has higher name I.D.

Mark McLoughlin doesn't want you to ride bikes on the trail by his house
Mark McLoughlin doesn’t want you to ride bikes on the trail by his house

The SAEA did not even bother to speak to any of the candidates they are opposing, which is petty and ridiculous. No way does the community benefit from splitting the left vote five ways!  But I am sure that Iglesias and Cano are appreciative of this.

Iglesias and Cano are also the only candidates in the race who support parental choice in education. This is sort of a big deal as Santa Ana’s families are desperate for other school options. Many families already pulled out of our public schools years ago, opting for Catholic, Lutheran and Evangelical schools. Santa Ana’s charter schools are also very popular. In fact most of the public schoolteachers I know send their own kids to private or charter schools, even though their union is opposed to school choice.

As one might expect, the race is getting ugly. The SAEA sent out a nasty press release today ripping Bauer for saying that he is endorsed by Santa Ana teachers. But he responded with his own release, stating that he is in fact supported by a substitute teacher’s union and by local teachers Sal Tinajero and Angie Amezcua, who are both members of the Santa Ana City Council.

So who to vote for? Well if you want the teachers to control our school district then vote for Rigoberto, McLoughlin and Alvarez. If you want Palacio to control our school district then vote for Bauer and Mendoza. If you want to promote more school choice for Santa Ana’s families then vote for Iglesias and Cano.



By Editor

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

18 thoughts on “Why the local unions are running opposing liberal slates for the SAUSD School Board”
  1. If you want right-wing nuts that don’t even send their family members to district schools, vote Cano and Iglesias. Iglesias couldn’t get her kid into Segerstrom or Godinez(missed deadlines), tried throwing her weight around at the principals, so she took her son out of the district. She’s also breaking fundraising rules. Just absolutely shameless.

    1. Vote Ceci Iglesias and Angie Cano for School Board. We PUT STUDENTS FIRST.. Editor article is spot on..

      Shaw( why dont you reveal yourself) it’s a shame you are always fighting, parents and students. Let parents choose what’s in the best interest for their children. I am confident parents and Community will vote for Choice “School Choice”

      Vote Ceci Iglesias and Angie Cano! !!

        1. Shaw the teachers have only themselves to blame for this fiasco. They should have worked with Palacio. Six liberals for three seats is ridiculous.

          1. Editor: please do your research. Gloria Alvarado did not file papers to run for School Board. Additionally, the Santa Ana Educators Association reached out to all board members to identify candidates when we went through our endorsement process, so we could identify candidates who support public education and great public schools.

          2. Thanks for the update. That still leaves five liberals for three seats. Not great odds. Perhaps the SAEA teachers are not good at basic math?

            I know for a fact that the candidates backed by Palacio DID NOT hear from the SAEA. Why is that? And why would you support Mark McLoughlin – a nasty guy with a terrible NIMBY record?

          3. Editor: what can I say? I know for a fact that John Palacio was contacted and asked for potential candidates’ names before the Santa Ana Educators’ Association conducted their endorsement process in May. Apparently, he decided to bring his own candidates into the race AFTER the teachers had completed our endorsement process. Why he is fighting us is the more pertinent question.

  2. Bless your heart Shaw. I put STUDENTS FIRST! I support parents right to choose the best Quality Public Education for their children.

  3. My grandchildren attend a GREAT charter school in Santa Ana. I am for school choice – and don’t say that charters are not accountable – they ARE accountable!

    1. You are an idiot or a manipulator. The independent charter schools in Santa Ana (and the state) are not accountable for their instruction. Students do not take any of the same standardized exams to compare students skills to their public school counterparts. Many charter schools cater to parents fears and the ego’s of how bright there students are by artificially inflating grades. Parents would leave by the hundreds if they new the truth. I was fooled and manipulated and now my kids can’t hack it in college and had to go back to community college due to poor grades. Most charter schools are all about smoke and mirrors and offer little education beyond schools like ITT Tech. The school that was just shut down by the Feds by refusing to fund them.

  4. It is odd that two white men running are claiming to be Democrats given that both are connected to Santa Ana’s conservative past. Mark led the recall against Nativo. Bruce was a registered Republican & related to the Doughty Family.

    1. That is a very likely outcome as Rigoberto has won before and as such he has a higher name I.D. And Alfonzo, like Rigoberto, has a Doctorate, which I am sure the voters will find appealing. Plus they both work in education.

      Cecilia is going to be tough to beat as she is the only incumbent on the ballot.

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