Don't drink the Kool-Aid
Miramontes says story about his proposed contract with PUSD is really an attack on Superintendent Gundry
Just about any objective person reading Peter Dreier’s opinion column “Keeping Ramon onboard” in the Jan. 30 edition of the Pasadena Weekly would come to the conclusion that Dreier has some sort of axe to grind with me that almost borders on an obsession.
This is evident in the way he uses half-truths, innuendo, mystery “sources” and downright tried and true yellow journalism to buttress his hack job on my character and my company. The purpose of his gossip column is an attempt to deter third persons from associating with and doing business with my company and me.
So, let’s set the record straight.
When I first ran for political office, Dreier actually endorsed my school board race. However, when he discovered that I was not willing to read off his political script and that I would not pray at the Temple of Dreier, well, this was too much for Mr. Dreier’s delicate sensibilities to manage. The bottom line is that he didn’t like that I wouldn’t dance to his radical leftist tune and this is what his smear campaign is truly about.
I refer the reader to Tony Brandenburg’s “Sneaky Pete Is Back” on the Sierra Madre Tattler for a wittier analysis of Mr. Dreier’s diatribe.
I stand by my record with the Pasadena Unified School District. I am a mainstream Democrat who pushed for the first-ever Project Labor Agreement in PUSD, delivered more resources to our Northwest Pasadena students, and I never once voted for a school budget that laid-off teachers. I was always the lone dissenting vote.
My commitment to the community extends beyond the PUSD. For the past 11 years I have worked with John Muir students to achieve their dreams to attend college. Dreier made no mention of this or the thousands of dollars I have personally donated and the tens of thousands I have helped to raise. For more information, please visit mpyd.org to help our local kids go to college.
Mr. Dreir all but accused me of forming illegal contracts with the PUSD. There is no law or board policy that prohibits a former board member from working with the district. Mr. Dreier alleges that there were some shenanigans between PUSD Superintendant Jon Gundry and I that led to my firm being given a contract to do work. The fact of the matter is that the superintendant has discretion to enter into contracts without board approval as long as those contracts fall below a certain monetary threshold. Mr. Dreier was fully aware of this.
So why all the insinuation that there was wrongdoing by anyone involved? The answer is that Mr. Dreier and his crony, Board President Renatta Cooper, are looking for any toehold to oust Mr. Gundry, and if they can take a swipe at me in the process, all the better.
Dreier wondered aloud how I was able to hold down more than one job at a time, that this aroused his suspicions. One thing that Dreier either could not conceive or elected to ignore and not mention is that I have a small consulting firm with staff. Here’s a news flash, Dreier: My firm can bill for the work those employees or consultants do.
Dreier’s personal smear campaign goes on to throw me in the mud of the city of Bell corruption scandal for my work representing the Southeast Cities Schools Coalition. It should be noted that this was a government agency that included several cities, not just Bell, and it in no way had anything to do with the corruption in Bell. Using Dreier’s logic, I would be able to assassinate his character by insinuating he had a hand in sexually assaulting students at Occidental College merely because sexual assaults occurred at Occidental College and he happens to work for Occidental College.
If you really want to know the core of this man’s beliefs and the techniques he advocates in his very own words, read Mr. Dreier’s “The Case for Transitional Reform,” published in Social Policy, January/February 1979, pp. 5-16, where he blatantly advocates intentionally collapsing the US economic system in order to usher in a socialist state. Better yet, just read the section on Mr. Dreier written by author Stanley Kurtz in his book, “Radical-In-Chief, Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism.”
The political landscape is rapidly changing and the old guard is worried. Dreier, Cooper and ACT, the status quo political machine, have been given a brutal beating in recent local elections, due to good progressive candidates and Martin Truitt’s brilliant political brain.
I don’t dismiss the fact that Mr. Dreier has his supporters and fan base in town. But Jim Jones also had his followers. And the Kool-Aid these people are drinking will only lead them to a political cemetery.
Time and demographics are on my side, Mr. Dreier. The ramblings of grumpy old men are soon forgotten.
Ramon Miramontes is a former member of the Pasadena Board of Education.