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Misleading Web Addresses Anger CUSD Candidate, Critics

The URLs look like they're for one school board candidate or organization, but take visitors elsewhere.

Sneaky website addresses that purport to represent an anti-incumbent school board candidate and groups but instead lead to opponents' webpages are stirring controversy in the Capistrano Unified School District. 

One of the misleading URLs — www.bill-perkins.com — uses the name of a candidate for the Aliso Viejo board seat, but instead takes browsers to Perkins' rival, incumbent school board President Gary Pritchard.

Pritchard could not be reached for comment.

Other URLs hijack the names of people or organizations that have questioned Capo Unified policies. For example, www.dawnurbanek.com reroutes web surfers to the website of Trustee John Alpay, who is running for re-election in San Clemente. Likewise, a website purporting to represent Hold CUSD Accountable actually leads to Capistrano Unified Children First, which is often at odds with the first group.

There’s even a fake Patch URL that leads to Children First.

Alpay could not be reached for comment.

Children First’s President Fran Sdao said her group has nothing to do with the misleading re-directs.

“We have no control what individuals do on their own,” Sdao said. “There are rogue characters in every campaign."

She added: “We have been trying to stay above board for the past three years. We’re parents, not political operatives.”

The misleading websites were registered through GoDaddy.com. Children First’s recent financial forms show a $134.61 payment to that company, but Children First Treasurer Gail Benda said it was for re-registration of the group’s own website, www.capounifiedchildrenfirst.org/.

Perkins said he has contacted an attorney about the matter to get GoDaddy's subsidiary, Domains by Proxy, which shields the identity of domain holders, to reveal who owns the URL that includes his name.

“The only thing you have in this life that they can’t take away from you is your name,” he said.

Julie Collier, president of Parents Advocate League, has also contacted a lawyer for what she believes is misappropriation of her name with www.juliecollier.com and the name of her nonprofit organization, www.parentsadvocateleague.com, which doesn’t endorse anyone for CUSD trustee.

“At the very best, it’s a childish, immature prank that you wouldn’t expect from adults,” said Collier’s lawyer, Wayne Tate, who is also representing his organization, Hold CUSD Accountable, in its efforts to combat yet another redirecting URL, www.holdcusdaccountable.com.

“More ominously, it could have substantial legal consequences,” Tate said.

Urbanek fired off a letter to GoDaddy on Monday morning, copying the missive to all CUSD trustees, Superintendent Joe Farley and the Orange County district attorney’s office.

A vocal critic of the district, Urbanek also sent an email to her supporters:

“I want to make you aware that the Domain name DAWNURBANEK.COM is being redirected to the website for Trustee John Alpay for the purpose of deceiving parents into believing that I support John Alpay for Trustee. I DO NOT SUPPORT JOHN ALPAY,” she wrote.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission said misleading website addresses don't fall under its purview.

A GoDaddy spokeswoman said such matters are "something we've dealt with in the past," but declined to comment further.

Charles October 16, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I love it - sneaky (but "perfectly legal" tactics). [Almost as misleading as advertising for your business in an online newspaper's "Opinion" or "Local Voices" blog.] I admire anyone who can beat the system. One of my favorite google searches is "perfectly legal". It's amazing how many "perfectly legal" things a person can do that they wouldn't have otherwise thought possible.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 16, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Capo Mom, currently, as someone who attends all the board meetings, pulls public records, etc., I can find no real basis for the rumor that a high school will be closed to accommodate possible future OPA high schoolers. There is no proposal before the district. OPA is doing scoping meetings to see who's interested. Someone associated with OPA said at the last meeting that the most students they would serve is 6 percent of CUSD's current population. I calculate that to be somewhere around 925 students. I find it hard to believe ANY trustee no matter what side of the issues would close a high school serving several thousand for a school that serves less than 1,000. If and when it becomes an actual proposal, I'll report it.
MayMom October 16, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Penny, when I click the links in your article they don't go anywhere. Does anybody have a hard copy of what the sites said?
concerned parent October 16, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Thanks, Capo Parent, for that. I'd only add that, most importantly, the current board majority has also consistently put students last in each of its decisions--meaning increased class size, academic and extracurricular programs cut, and up to three weeks (!) of school to be cut off. Now who is it that's run the district into the ground again?
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 16, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Looks like Go Daddy (or the site owners) took the rest down. They went to websites for John Alpay, Gary Pritchard and Children First. The URL changed in the address bar for those websites. This one still redirects http://holdcusdaccountable.com/. However, it may be down momentarily. Obviously, some one is addressing this issue.
Capo mom October 16, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Penny I don't think the idea of closing Tesoro has anything to do with OPA at all. It is clear that Pritchard, Alpay, other board members and MacCormick have some ideas about closing a school though. It is my thought that they are planning to close a high school to cut costs so they can maintain pay and benefits for CUEA. It wouldn't be in any minutes or on any agenda. It would be discussed much more quietly in an "unofficial" closed session away from the district office. Some might call it a Brown Act violation, they think of it as team building, lol. If they can blame OPA-even better, as far as the union's board is concerned.
Kathleen K October 16, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Capo Parent's use of the acronym "KKK" as an attempt at cheap humor or disparagement is offensive and she should be ashamed of herself! As for her misleading comments in defense of "Ken-Whatever last name he is going by this week," thank goodness the voters saw through his lies and booted him off the CUSD board with votes from every precinct. Yep, Capo Parent, you seem to be the only one he has fooled.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 16, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I agree. The reference to the KKK has been deleted.
Former CUCF Supporter October 16, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I don’t know why everybody should be so outraged at the conduct of a one John Alpay. He has learned his political tactics at the foot of one of the most masterful deceivers, Chris Korpi. If I were a betting woman, I would say he is behind the misdirected links. Fran Sdao tries to keep above the fray, so she basically plays, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” She doesn’t ask Mr. Korpi about all of his ruthless lies and actions, and he doesn’t tell her. So, she can deny everything with a clean conscience, even though down deep inside she knows who is doing it. As for Alpay, he has told several people, including me that he is running for SC City Council in 2014. His original intent was to finish out Winsten’s term, and then run for CC in 2012. But then he read the writing on the wall and realized he couldn’t win a Council seat, so he is running for CUSD again. That way, if he doesn’t win in 2014, he still has a job at CUSD. If he is reelected now and then wins in 2014, Area 3 will have to do this all over again to fill a vacancy. He has also gotten really dirty with sign removals. Read the Comments section of this story to find out what he and his campaign handlers are doing. http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2012/10/sign-thief-caught-proud-and-unrepentant-in-capo-usd/comment-page-1/#comment-210973
Former CUCF Supporter October 16, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I bought the whole “Reform board is evil” junk in 2010, but now I have seen what it has done to our beloved school system. Since I voted for Measure H, I have deprived myself of voting against Mr. Alpay. I encourage all of the SC people to vote for his opponent. Furthermore, don’t vote for anybody who has been endorsed by CUCF!
CUSD Children First October 16, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Cock roaches scatter when you turn the lights on.
Former CUCF Supporter October 16, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Ms. Kathleen K - I have been reading the Patch for some time now, and I admit I voted to recall Mr. Lopez. Afterwards, I had the opportunity to meet him, and now I understand why he made some of the decisions he made that might now have been popular, but they were correct. He is a former police officer, military reserve, Assemblyman, and a staff member for the Board of Equalization. He knows a lot more about government than nearly all of us. He is actually a very humble man who got displaced by a bunch of vindictive characters who are doing nothing but doing the union’s bidding. The $400 thousand used to recall him and Mr. Winsten could have been put to a greater use, and I believe our district would have been in better shape financially right now. I clearly made a mistake in my voting.
Former CUCF Supporter October 16, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I have also noticed that any time he posts something here on the Patch, you are quick to jump on him with some very invective but inane comments about his past, his present job, and his overall personality. It reminds me of Pavlov’s dog. Can I ask you what your contributions to society are? Military? Public Service? You might have a different perspective if you got a chance to meet him and talk with him about all the things that you have a preconceived notion about him. Since he works at the Board of Eq office, he can be contacted there, I am sure. It might make your heart a little less hard.
Capo Parent October 16, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Kathleen "Fatal Attraction" K I don't have a perverse thing for Ken, you do. I could give you $31 to $51 million reasons why you're wrong, but that would be way over your head, even though a cave man or woman could get it. As for being fooled, the only fool is you with your bizarre attraction to Ken.
O Captain! My Captain! October 16, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I agree, Former CUCF Supporter. While I am voting FOR Steve Lang because I believe he will make positive changes to CUSD, I would probably vote for any reasonable conservative over John Alpay. Just google Alpay and look past the first or second pages of results to find his voting record, which shows he's been in the union's pocket since his election despite the fact that he ran as the "anti-union" candidate. Alpay is politics at its worst.
momofsix October 16, 2012 at 07:18 PM
FPPC numbers are not required on expenditures under $1000. The flyers in question were not printed by, endorsed by, or paid for by a candidate currently running for board. So, it's not illegal. And in case you are wondering, no I had nothing to do with that flyer's printing or distribution.
Capo Parent Too October 16, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Then why was the same flyer sent out as a mail piece by Steve Lang in San Clemente? There was an FPPC # on that piece and it went to San Clemente homes and it had the same picture of a crying child and all the same information but John Alpay's name. Lang's campaign used it officially, his information etc that was used here in Aliso Viejo against Gary Pritchard? It's just a coincidence? I love how all these candidates say we have nothing to do with these flyers but then they wound up being used as a mail piece with the candidates face smiling all over it.
LeAna Bui October 16, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Isn't it Mr. Lang whose supporters were caught in photos taking down opponent's signs? How, exactly, is that ethical and why is the Patch choosing not to cover that news? Penny - you are showing a bias by cherry picking what stories to cover. I clicked on the whoisjohnalpay link and went to a site that shows a photo of John Alpay in a circle with a line through his face. As soon as I saw that, I clicked off the page. It is not simply a recitation of his voting record, it is a hit piece website and uses his name. I believe none of these tactics are ethical and your careful reporting of one topic while not covering the other shows an unfortunate bias.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 16, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Stealing campaign signs is as old as democracy, I'm sure. It's the stuff of blogs. I emailed all candidates and invited them to write blogs, so they could discuss items like this. You, LeAna, could write a blog and it would be more than welcome at Patch. With limited resources, we go after the bigger stories, and from a journalist's standpoint (not just my decision), this is the bigger story.
Proud Mom October 17, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Thank you Former CUCF Supporter - It is so nice to read not only factual information, but someone who admits they may have made a mistake in the past. I'm sure it was easy to do, because with the money the union has, they can convince many "eskimos to buy snow". It is easy to fall into the union's trap. I'll be honest, it is so obvious when someone is personally attacking another person in these blogs. I've been reading for awhile, and always noticed Kathleen K jumping on Ken, and I've learned ro tune out her union mumbo jumbo. Every time I've read Ken's blogs, he has been spot on. Thank you Ken.
Proud Mom October 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM
What this board does would never surprise me. They intentionally put OPA at Barcelona's site knowing full well that it was a school they wanted to close anyways. By doing so, the Barcelona parents blamed OPA (however, the Barcelona parents are also to blame because they never directed their hatred towards the district, only the OPA families). The rumor was heard for years that Barcelona would be closing, and heard by many throughout the district, not just that site. The district has a great plan, and I hope that whatever they do, they will think about their actions, and own up to them, without pointing fingers at others.
Proud Mom October 17, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Capo Parent Too - You are blowing smoke. The big issue is that someone or many people, were slimy enough to use someone's name for their own good. Really? How ridiculous!! To think you need to stoop so low to win votes, is beyond embarrassing. BTW : It is my understanding that if the fliers are under $1,000.00, you do not need FPPC numbers. So ... it is not illegal. But hey, nice try.
Dadof2 October 17, 2012 at 03:31 AM
LeAna....that was not a correct statement you made, but an emotional cry for help. on www.whoisjohnalpay.com there are 4 links to choose from. I went there, and didnt like the circle either, but did click on the links to see if what was written was factual. Every single link on the site, is from a vote, statement or comment John Alpay has made in the past. Every single one. This is an accurate look at a candidate and his record. Like Obama, who I voted for and will again, Like rOMNEY, Like any candidate has to own up to. His record. Alpay refuses to answer the questions about Yolanda McNamara and pulling votes away from Steve Lang. Repeatedly. He refuses to acknowledge his support for Oxford, since now his backers want to close it. He refuses to admit he was anti-union, but now is wholly endorsed and funded by them and our wonderful teachers in this district. He voted to FIRE teachers. He voted to cut our kids school days. He voted to DOUBLE his pay as a trustee. He is a lawyer! How much is enough?? I have never seen such a 2 faced person.
Corrine K October 17, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I have to ask, because I have lost track. I keep hearing that Alpay wants to "double" the pay of the trustees. What do they get paid?
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 17, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Corrine, by their own policies, they're supposed to be paid $750. For several years now (from before the current board), they've voluntarily cut that in half. Initially, Trustee John Alpay said that decision was made unlawfully and tried to get it reversed. Then in June, with the district facing a dire financial situation, he made a motion that the board take an additional cut, equivalent to what employees across the district will take this year. But his motion had a sunset, so to speak. He said that at the end of this year, it will reverse back to board policy, or $750. Then, the district didn't calculate the cut, so the board voted to just cut the pay by a straight $50. See: http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/articles/after-heated-exchange-trustee-pay-reduced-by-50 and http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/articles/so-far-no-pay-cuts-for-cusd-trustees
Corrine K October 17, 2012 at 03:58 PM
So the complaint is that he (Alpay) wants the pay to go back to where it originally was. So, 7 trustees x $325 = $2,450 each month, right?
Corrine K October 17, 2012 at 04:03 PM
CUSD Children First actually makes an important point. "Julie Collier, Dawn Urbanek and Bill Perkins? They weren't around in 2010." Bill Perkins is the latest Johnny Come Lately to try and run for an office with no experience and no expertise. Just a desire to be elected to something...anything.
Dadof2 October 17, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Whats even better than that, was 1 month ago John Alpay tried to get the board to vote on reducing their pay to 0. He added this gem to the agenda on a Friday afternoon, thinking nobody would get word of it and he could look like a hero. Just happened to coincide with a new election, and a new campaign piece he could then vocalize to the 20 teachers who support him. Everyone saw what he was trying to do. The board snickered, people called him out and I am sure he wasn't too happy about it. Which is it John? Double it? Reduce it? Take it to 0? Just depends whop is listening, and to what audience he is speaking. A politician in every sense of the word.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 18, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Follow up story here: http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/articles/children-first-volunteer-tied-to-misleading-website-addresses
PDub October 19, 2012 at 07:07 AM
Dont forget at that board meeting when the pay was reduced by $50, there was already a motion on the floor by another trustee, to which Alpay ignored, and offered his motion which carried, all so he could get his name attached to the reduction in board pay just before election time...and when parents had the floor and spoke about his continued waste of board/taxpayers time...he referred to them as ones creating a "political circus".....seriously.....thats the kind of tact he has...not that he was going to get any votes from the group of SC parents in attendance anyway....

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