Measure K is Breaking the Law, Again

In politics they always say “Follow the Money” which is why campaign finance laws are a thing. Knowing who is paying for a campaign can give you a lot of insight into why they want to win.

Which brings us to Measure K, yes another tax in the form of a bond being voted right now thanks to absentees and early voting.

Despite voting ending tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3rd, we STILL have no idea who is funding Measure K. Why? Because just like they broke the law to use a public resource to influence the election (by bribing Troy High students with graduation tickets to walk for Measure K), they’re breaking the law AGAIN by not disclosing any of their funding.

As of right now, 1:30AM on Monday, March 1st, the day before the election this is what is on the CA Secretary of State’s website:

“No contributions received found.”

The same issue is happening at the county level. Nothing in LA or OC.

What are they hiding? Who is funding Measure K? Why are they breaking the law, AGAIN, to pass this thing? Who benefits? Because it mostly certainly won’t be our kids.

Vote No on the School Bonds. No on J & K.


Who is Funding Measure K?

Your absentee ballot should have arrived in the mail already & we’re hoping you Voted NO! on all of the things. No on Prop 13 and No on Measures J & K.

Who is funding these bonds? Well, the Measure K people don’t want you to know because they’re breaking the law and refusing to file campaign finance statements as required by law.

But the reason for that might be because if you look at the data to make a decision you might find things such as who is funding Measure J here in Fullerton.

Measure K Funding

Thus far $28,000 has been disclosed in donations.

Of that $28K, $20,000 came from an Architectural Firm in Oklahoma that builds schools.

Another $4,500 came from vendors (two in the school supply business).

And ANOTHER $1,800 came from bureaucrats currently in the local school districts (that excludes teachers, just admin). You know, the folks currently bankrupting the schools with their pay/bennies.

This means that over 93% of the current funding supporting Measure J is coming from people who will benefit directly from your taxes being raised for the next 25+ years.

A quarter of a century of taxes so a few well heeled and connected folks can profit.

Stop being an ATM for these people. Vote No on J & K and all of the things.


Vote NO on J & K Signs Available

Help defeat the regressive bond measures, J & K, by putting a sign in your yard, window, office or other place that gets plenty of traffic. The more people who see this message, the better.

They can be picked up at 110 E. Walnut, Fullerton, Ca 92832 during normal business hours.


The Maxwell Smart Strategy For Approving School Bonds

Here’s a little history from back in August to give you some context on Measure J & K on the March Primary Ballot.

One of the regular go to jokes on the old Get Smart show was when Don Adams, after being caught redhanded in a baldfaced lie, would follow up with “Would you believe…” while trying to walk back the lie to something the listener might accept.

Well, it turns out that this is exactly how school bond measures get drafted and, ultimately, passed.

The Fullerton School District has recently commissioned a Baseline Bond feasibility survey from True North Research (available here) and they have been calling residents to feel out their receptiveness to a $198 milion bond measure that, by their own admission, will increase property taxes by at least another $93 per year. What is interesting about the survey is not that the School District wants more money and isn’t shy about raising taxes to do it (they wouldn’t be a government agency otherwise) but that it is designed to determine what promises need to be made to get it. Hence the reason why the question about removing “dangerous asbestos” was included, even though A) asbestos is generally more dangerous when it is removed and B) the City of Fullerton supposedly removed the asbestos from their classrooms thirty five years ago according to this article in the LA Times archive.

The results of the Baseline Survey will be presented to the Fullerton School Board at their next meeting on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. The bond measure, if when it is ultimately approved by the School Board to go on the ballot will likely be drafted based on which spending priorities polled best, and for an amount that does not exceed the comfort level the polled residents expressed.

Of course the problem arises when the promises needed to pass a bond measure conflict with the what the school district wants to actually use the money in question for. And if the Fullerton School District is anything like the North Orange County Community College District or most other school districts, the solution is simple – spend it on what you wanted to anyway, and to hell with your promises.

Would you believe $500 million for a brand new state of the art Veteran’s Center? How about a couple busted laptops and a new football stadium?

I take no joy in calling out the Fullerton School District here.

Unlike the City’s roads (which are a pothole strewn laughingstock), our schools are among the best in Orange County and a key reason many of us chose to live here (myself included). But well run or not, our schools suffer the same problems endemic to government – excess allocation to pay and benefits at the expense of infrastructure, administrative bloat and employee protections that make it too costly to fire bad employees – and until these problems are addressed bond measures designed to paper over the financial shortfalls will be a steady fixture at the ballot box. Along with a steady stream of promises nobody intends to fulfill.

Originally written by Sean Paden. Cross posted with permission from Friends for Fullerton’s Future.


Do You Have Rocks in Your Head?

Fullerton’s School Districts think you do because they want you to cough up thousands of dollars over the course of the life of School Bond Measures J & K.

Both bonds say they’ll cost you $0.03 for every $100 in home value. Seems cheap, right? Wrong.

Here’s the actual math on what these bonds will cost you:

According to Zillow the median home sale price in Fullerton is just shy of $650,000.

$0.03 for every $100 is $30 for every $100,000 in home value. So a $650,000 home (the median price) would just be $30 * 6.5 or $195. Per Bond.

That’s $195 for Measure J And $195 for Measure K.

$195 + $195 = $390/year that you will have to pay.

This will last for decades. So if the life of these bonds is 25 years you’re looking at $9,750. That’s $9,75o out of your pocket and this won’t satiate the beast. They’ll be back for more debt and more of your property in short order.

But wait – there’s more. You’re still paying for previous bonds. You’re still paying $195/year just for 2014’s Measure I.

And this math is for the MEDIAN home value. Live in a property worth $400k? Prepare to eat $6,000 over the life of these bonds. Live in a property worth $1Million? Prepare to eat $15,000.

Think you’re safe because you rent? Ha! The landlord isn’t going to just eat that tax – welcome to higher rents to offset their property tax increase. Your rent will just keep on goin’ up forever and ever amen.

If you vote for Measures J & K in March you’re voting to rob yourself of thousands and thousands of dollars all while the districts spend 80+% of their budgets on salaries & benefits.

To gift this new credit card debt, designed to pay for district wish list items, while over 1,150 district employees make six figures is insulting at best. While you’re still paying for their last spending spree is even worse.

You’d have to have rocks in your head to fall for this nonsense again.

Vote No on Measure J & K. Enough is enough.

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Bonds are Credit Cards for Bureaucrats

In 2014 voters approved Measure I which gave the Fullerton Joint Union High School District $175 Million in new bonds to play with and play with them they did. The same year they sold the last of those bonds (Fiscal Year 2019) they had to close the Fullerton Gym because the roof was unsafe.

The March Primary is the first election since the district sold off the last of their Measure I bonds and here they are in 2020 with their hat in hand asking for MORE bond money and this time they want an additional $310 Million in debt.

It needs to be pointed out that school districts use bonds as credit cards and to showcase how these bonds are just credit cards for them to squander I’ll point to the District’s own financial statements:

Outstanding general obligation debt totaled $183,465,000, providing a remaining bonding capacity of $261,314,183.

This means that you currently have $183+Million in debt and the District can ask you to let them put you into an additional $261+Million in debt before they’re in violation of State Law for being too far in debt.

Bonds are sold and then paid off with massive interest through your property taxes (and rent increases). They’ve maxed out their Measure I credit limit so they’re asking you to raise the limit and to pay for it for a few decades.

But wait – what’s the math on that? How can they sell bonds worth $310 Million when by law they only have $261 Million of debt left on the credit card?

Because as we saw with Measure I, bonds are sold over the course of several years which means that they’re either expecting CA’s Prop 13 (2020 Primary version) to pass which will allow them to increase their debt limits OR they plan to max out the bond debt and issue more as they free up space by raising your property taxes.

Not only has the Fullerton Joint Union High School District not paid off the 2014 bond as it’s going to be coming from your property taxes (and rent increases) for years to come – they didn’t even finish getting the money from it until 2019. These bureaucrats are hoping you won’t notice that they want to max out their credit card to the legal state limit that and mark my words they’ll barely be through the Measure K bonds before coming back and begging you for more in a few short years.

The Elementary Schools got $50Million in 2004 and now they want $198 Million.

All in all, the schools are asking you right now for more than Half a Billion dollars in Bond debt (on top of the bond debt they already have you paying for). Enough needs to be enough. The schools need to reassess how they pay for things & what they prioritize before simply begging for more debt at your expense the minute they run out of room on the credit card.

Say No to the School Bonds. Enough is Enough.


Bureaucrat Pay

If you head on over to Transparent California you can see where a lot of our tax money goes but here’s a sample of the Top Paid Bureaucrats in the Fullerton School system.

In 2018 there were over 1,150 people in the 2 Fullerton school districts making over $100,000/year in total compensation.

Keep in mind that these are the people demanding that the average family fork over $400+ more each year in NEW TAXES in the form of Bond Payments.

They lied about the last bonds that they haven’t paid off yet, they’ll lie about these bonds. Meanwhile their pay will keep on rising.


A School Bond Is A Tax

The Fullerton Union High School and the Fullerton Elementary School District have placed two massive bonds on the March 3, 2020 ballot. This was done at the last minute and with little fanfare so that opponents wouldn’t submit opposing ballot statement or be able to mount much of a campaign.

This is the sneaky type of behavior that is associated with people who know they are pulling something over on you. In this case it’s a form of property tax. And the implications are huge. $500,000,000 in principal obligation, another $500,000,000 in interest payments.

Make no mistake about it folks, every time your school district gets 55% of the voters to approve one of their bonds it shackles you to debt – debt obligation that shows up on your property tax bill until the debt is paid off. The debt will last for decades, just like your mortage.

It used to be pretty hard to pass one of these bonds until our legislature, at the behest of schools districts and teacher unions lowered the approval threshold from 67% to 55% – the level that they knew could be persuaded to vote “yes” for the sake of the children.

And over the years bond ballot language has become fuzzier and fuzzier, and the so-called “oversight committees” process more and more of a transparent sham.