With 100% of precincts counted, Measure O fails.                                        Board of Directors just wasted half a million dollars of taxpayer money on this election.                                        Criminal complaints against the district will continue to be pursued.                                        Criminal and FPPC complaints against the Astro-Turfers will continue to be pursued.                                        Your property taxes based on indebtedness will now go down, as they should.                                        

Walnut Family Festival
Unqualified Success!

The booth at Suzanne Park was in a perfect spot for such a hot day. The trees above us shaded us from the direct heat of the sun for most of the day, and the umbrella did the trick in the late afternoon. It was located among other political booths, Sean Monemi was to our left, Privacy for All was to our right, and United Walnut Taxpayers was to our rear.

Even in the crowded vendor area, the banner that Jean made was visible for a hundred yards with a clear line of site across the dance area in front of the main stage to the other side of the park. Talking about the stage, we were entertained by the songs of Journey for several hours in the afternoon. It was a little loud, but the music was great.


I really didn't know what to expect. The last time I went to the Walnut Family Festival was in 2008. I went specifically to find out what Mt. SAC's Measure RR was really all about. (At that time, I was not aware of all the shenanigans surrounding the school bond industry.)

The results our little team achieved were beyond my wildest expectations. Besides passing out the flyer, we engaged each person with the issues. Many had not yet looked at the sample ballot. Obviously, some were already against such a large bond measure for their own reasons. Besides "no more taxes," the most frequently cited reason was the Board's poor management of the money it already gets and its extravagant use of previous bond money.

We passed out over 300 of our specially designed flyers which you can download right from this web site. Our rule was that we'd only give the flyer to someone who wished to get one. We didn't push them on passers by.

Where Were the Astro-Turfers?

Maybe they couldn't take the heat. Maybe they'd turn into zombies if they had to set foot on real grassroots. In any event, they were no where to be found.

With over $65,000 from the Money Men companies funding the Astro-Turfers, maybe they were out planning what they were going to do with all the money they were going to make if the voters are fooled into approving the bond tax measure.

The Board incumbents, Larry Redinger and Philip Chen, who foisted this travesty upon the voters, didn't show up either -- no booth -- no visit. That's typical for people who think they are superior to regular folks like you and me. I engaged several people in conversations that touched on current candidates. None of them knew that Redinger and Chen neither had any particular background in education -- Redinger works for Mt. SAC and Chen for the Los Angeles Sheriff. We also know that neither of them have any expertise in government bonds, except for how to spend on grandiose projects with borrowed money.

Special Interest Alert

It was clear early that the Astro-Turfers did not have a booth. As the parade was nearing the end, though, we started seeing people walking around with trash bags and later little stickers on their chests with the Astro-Turfers hugely expensive, made-in-San Francisco, design.

Apparently, with all the special interest money that was raised for her by the Board's manipulation marketing firm, Lily Chen, or Eibert or whatever, decided to pay a young girl to follow the parade route giving out free junk while lying to people that borrowing $208 million and paying back $485 million wouldn't raise their taxes. Besides the mendacity of the Board and its Astro-Turfers, the only thing this proves is the Board has been successful in dumbing down the population of Walnut and Diamond Bar to such an extent that it can no longer distinguish fact from fiction. If that's been its goal, then well done!

By the way, whenever we heard the lie from someone at the booth, we asked if they believed in Santa Claus. One yes-woman, when I asked if she wanted to put her children in debt, responded that they'd only be in debt if they continued to live in the district and they she expected they'd move away. So, she wants you and your families to pay off the debt, but not her own.

Booth Visitors

Once the parade ended (it seemed it was late in finishing), a steady stream of visitors wandered by. Michael, Warren, and I didn't let them just wander, we were out there engaging them. To be honest, we were profiling them. They had to appear like they were old enough to vote.

While the three of us, manned the booth for the whole day, we had several who people who stopped by and, after they learned about the lawlessness and deception of the Board and the Astro-Turfers, stayed around engaging people. One lady stayed and passed out flyers for several hours. She especially engaged Chinese parents, speaking to them in their native language. I'd like to thank everyone who hung around and talked to people about the measure.

I wanted to get some videos of the team in action, but we were so busy, that I was only able to get one late in the afternoon.

Several Astro-Turfer zombies approached the booth. Some to engage in debate and others to vandalize Juvenile Astro-Turfer Vandalism in the juvenile kind of way that people without a brain use to express themselves.

Important Visitors

We had a few special important, in their own minds, visitors come by the booth during the day. You could tell they were special because they had fancy name tags to show you how special they were.

The first was Tony Cartagena (Walnut City Council). He had an assistant, because he was special, who introduced him to me. I shook his hand and my first words to him were: "So you're the Republican who wants to raise everyone's taxes." His assistant chimed in and said, "That's right, he wants to raise your taxes." In my opinion, the Filipino community has better people than this to represent them.

Nancy Tragerz (Walnut City Council) sneaked by later. Maybe she learned of my brief conversation with Tony and thought better of risking meeting me.

Michael told me that Eric Ching (Walnut City Council) stopped by too. I had been taking my dog, who turned 11 that day, for a short walk. Michael and Ching are neighbors. I'm not politically correct, so it was probably just as well we didn't speak. Ching signed the worthless rebuttal in the sample ballot.

Later in the afternoon, good old Bob -- "I want to build a city pool with your taxes as my legacy." -- Pacheco (Walnut City Council) came by. He was the lead signer of the ballot argument in favor. At least he engaged about it. I used my main argument that the constitution requires a list of specific school facilities projects. He said that it does. I asked him to show me. He asked for a copy of the ballot. I lent him my copy and pointed out the language about "types of improvements." He stood there for a bit paging through the booklet. He left without responding. My thought was that this was the big politico that the Board recruited to give weight to the argument. It was obvious that he didn't know the law and hadn't read the measure before signing the argument. What a fraud.

Our last visitor in this category was Bob Taylor (WVUSD Superintendent). He's taller than I expected. He had on his district polo shirt. He's very personable. He asked about why we're opposing the measure. I used my constitutional argument. He said his door was open and that I should come by and he'd show me how bad the conditions are the schools. I declined. I told him that the response from the district that it didn't need to provide a list was why I was there. He said there is a list. I said that the list was not shared with the voters. He said it was. I said it's not in the measure. He said to come and by and we'll talk. I left it at that.

We heard many people repeat a misconception about voting. You do not have to vote for anyone. In other words, you can vote for zero, one, or two of the candidates. You can even write-in up to two candidates of your own choice.

Except for Monemi, no other candidates for school board visited. I guess they figured why should they. They're from Diamond Bar. They can win the election with just the votes from Diamond Bar. Conceit. Hubris. We heard many people repeat a misconception about voting. We heard many people repeat a misconception about voting. You do not have to vote for anyone. In other words, you can vote for zero, one, or two of the candidates. You can even write-in up to two candidates of your own choice. If you vote No On "O," I recommend that you not vote for either Redinger or Chen to protest their vote to put the unconstitutional measure on the ballot.


It's just amazing to me how little the general public knows about how our tax dollars are being spent. Here are a few things that we learned from people at the festival.

Did you know that the high school band has drones? Apparently, the band director wants to be able to have an overhead visual of the band formations. Seriously! Your money is being spent on stuff like this, while real, and perhaps imagined (how can anyone trust a Board that is willing to boldly lie), safety issues like the uncovered Westhoff stairs go unattended for years.


Copyright © 2015, Richard Michael. All Rights Reserved.