The Best School Board Money Can Buy (Updated)
|The Sweetwater District Money Trail
This chart shows the flow of money to the campaign committees of the Sweetwater School Board members during the 1998, 2000, and 2002 election cycles. An explanation follows.
Gold Blocks-Are the names of the board members. The amounts shown are the amount of money each member received from each of the other four entities during their last election.
Green Block-(Developers and Business Interests), include contributions from
various contracting, architectural, engineering and consulting firms.
Black Block-(Bahia del Sur Group) Is a political action committee whose treasurer is Cynthia Griego, wife of Board Member Bob Griego and whose address is the same as that of the Martinez and Cutri Corporation, an architectural firm that does extensive business with the district.
Red Block-(Sweetwater District Administrators) Include over 40 Sweetwater District administrators, principals, and assistant principals.
Blue Block-(South Bay Committee) Lists as its treasurer Jorge Covarrubias, who is a psychologist with the District. Its official address is Covarrubias residence. The Bahia del Sur Group and the South Bay Committee were at one time one and the same but were split when it was found that they could funnel more money to the Board members as two separate committees. It is an open secret in the district that in order to become an administrator and rise through the ranks, you must join and contribute money to the South Bay Committee.
The information in this chart was gathered from California Form 490 for Candidate Reelection Committees and Form 420 for Political Action Committees. They are public records kept by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters. The data bases below were compiled from information contained on the 420 and 490 Forms. They only requires donations over $100 to be disclosed so the actual amounts flowing to each board member is almost certainly higher.
The chart suggests a structure similar to the big city machines that dominated most large American cities in the late 19th and early 20th century. Because of the large amounts of money flowing from Developers and Business Interests, contracts are awarded by the Board not to the lowest bidders but to the ones that contribute to Board members campaigns. Likewise, due to the large amounts of money flowing from the South Bay Committee and Principals and Administrators, they are chosen and promoted not because of their talents and abilities but because of their membership in the South Bay Committee.
PAC Donor Data Base 1998, 2000