The spouse of the well-respected Sunnyside Unified School District Governing Board member Buck Crouch is speaking out against an anonymous attack mailer sent to District residents by supporters of Board members Louie Gonzales and Bobby Garcia. Ballots went out last week in the recall election of Gonzales and Garcia.
As a result, envelopes without a return address were received by reportedly hundreds of District residents in an apparent effort by supporters of Gonzales and Garcia to smear their opponents and fellow Board members.
On Sunday night, Ada Adams, wife of Buck Crouch sent out an email in response to the “letter written with hate in the heart.”
That hate-filled letter makes bizarre claims about Adams, Crouch, fellow Board member Daniel Hernandez, State representative Linda Lopez, and the three residents who stepped up to challenge Gonzales and Garcia in the election; Mike Polak, Beki Quintero and Eric Giffin.
In an effort to scare area residents, the letter makes a unsubstantiated claims about the dangers of the Brush Wellman plant nearby. The letters reads in part, “Giffin and Beki are running for the Sunnyside School Board to ensure more pencil, papers, and toxic fumes are at our schools.”
The anonymous letter writer does not state how the plant is related to the District or Board members, or what Board members might be able to do about the plant. The letter simply implies the plant should be a subject of concern for the Board.
What has been a concern to the minority Board members Crouch and Hernandez and the three candidates running to replace Gonzales and Garcia is the culture of corruption that has grown under the current Board and the District’s Superintendent Manuel Isquierdo.
For years, under Gonzales and Isquierdo, the students of the District have struggled with a high dropout rate and the teachers have struggled with constant threats of layoffs. All the while Isquierdo and the Board go on lavish trips and spend District funds on an unproven lap top give-away-program which is operated by Isquierdo’s private company.
In her email response, Adams takes exception to the letter writer’s false claim that she works for a program funded by the District. She writes, “I have now been mentioned in 4 mailings of a libelous letter to people who live in the District and unfortunately to a few who don’t. I have not said anything about the comments until now but I want to clear a few things up. I have been married to Buck for 15 years and have known him since we met in the first grade at Sunnyside Elementary in 1954. I do not now work for the district nor have I ever worked for the District. I have never even applied for a position at the district. The law says that I as a wife of a board member can’t work for the district. I volunteer with an organization called the Sunnyside Literacy Zone Council. I donate my time, and money to help bring all types of literacy programs into the Sunnyside District boundaries. The Council works with literacy organizations such as Literacy Connects, Make Way for Books, the Pima County Public Library, Pima Community College Adult Education, Sunnyside School District, University of Arizona and Pima County Health Department. It is so important to my husband and me, that our community receives the best; we have placed a Lending Library next to our bus stop so that we could get more books out to the community. You are welcome to stop by any time and get a book. The books are given to us by many people both from the area and outside the area that also care. I also worked this winter for H&R Block and now am in the process of learning to sell insurance to business. So as you can see, I don’t have time to get another “gig”, nor do I want it.”
Adams writes, “Unlike the person who wrote this letter, I will gladly put my name below.” Crouch offered a post script: “The people behind this anonymous attack are cowards. The Friends of Bobby and Louie have hidden behind these cowards by sending it out to voters in the Sunnyside community, paid for by extorted funds from school administrators that feel threatened for their jobs if the don’t “donate”. Attacking me or Daniel is one thing.. My wife is not a public official, nor a public employee. COWARDS.”
The stakes are high in this little school district election. Should Gonzales and Garcia lose, and Crouch and Hernandez be joined on the Board by anyone of the three reform candidates, Isquierdo will likely lose his job, and years of graft and corruption exposed. There are too many people, who for too many years, benefited from nepotism and cronyism under Gonzales reign. In light of that fact, it is not surprising that his supporters are going to such lengths to protect his majority.
According to sources, the letter will be turned over to the authorities as it is clearly an independent expenditure in violation of Arizona election laws, which require that committees in support of a candidate or ballot measure identify themselves on campaign materials. Because the letter was received via U.S. mail, concerned area residents are considering taking the matter to the Inspector General.
Richard Hernandez, a life-long resident of the area, and public school advocate said, “This is just another attempt from Louie & Bobby and Superintendent Isquierdo to intimidate the community. The recall committee and over 4000 people who signed recall petition are not will not be intimidated. “