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Isn't democracy a grand thing?
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The perfect ingredients for political slaughter were concocted by trustees of the Ceres Unified School District board of trustees Teresa Guerrero and Edgar Romo.

Last week the voters took both trustees to the political woodshed for a thrashing. Incumbent trustee Betty Davis survived the Nov. 3 election but came out the other side with the smell of smoke.

While the winning candidates were probably aided by the backing of the teachers' union, the two were undoubtedly punished for coming up with the idea of naming the new junior high school after Cesar Chavez after violating the board's own policy.

Let's look at what happened, first by looking at Guerrero. She was elected to the Ceres School Board in 2005. She and Betty Davis took out Corinne Jones and Eileen Wyatt, two conservative Christian members of the board. Their election was assisted by the labor unions.

In the 2005 election, Davis was top vote-getter with 2,477 votes while Guerrero had 2,364 votes. At the time the district only had two trustee areas: One area guaranteed the Westport section of the district two board seats while five seats represented the rest of the district.

Guerrero and Romo should have been sitting comfortably. But an interesting thing happened last year. The threat of a lawsuit by a Latino group caused CUSD to break up the geographic district into trustee areas. The intent, said the San Francisco-based Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights, was to give Latinos a more level playing field in the campaign process. The nonprofit advocacy group asserted that the district's at-large method of election was racially polarizing and violated the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). Liberal hogwash, but anyway.

Guerrero was placed into Trustee 3, which essentially is the large agricultural belt surrounding the city limits. Also living in Trustee Area 3 was former teacher, Valli Wigt, a popular Westport area friend of farming. Wigt had to soley face Guerrero as an opponent.

Meanwhile earlier this year you-know-what hit the fan when the board, at Guerrero's prompting, decided to do something that was totally irreverent of Ceres' long agricultural past and violated board policy stating that schools shall be named for people in the community - not the state - who made a difference for schools. Consider that Ceres was founded as a wheat growing area in the 1860s and has always been known as a farming community. Many of the movers and shakers in Ceres still have roots in agriculture.

Guerrero committed political "hari kari" when she proposed naming the school after a well known person not from the Ceres community just to attach a Latino name to the school. And of all people to represent someone worthy of a school name, she chose Cesar Chavez, an antagonist of the farming community.

I realize that there's many who only know Chavez as selfless savior of the farm laborer. In some respects Chavez was to the Latin community what Martin Luther King was to the black community. But you must also understand that Chavez was also seen as a trouble maker who cost growners millions of dollars. He shut down grape growing operations and his followers incited riots up and down the Valley.

Picking the name of Cesar Chavez ignited outrage in the conservative segments of Ceres. They failed to see how new board members could skip over people like Wayne Salter, a board member back in the 1950s, or the Long and Moffet families, in favor of someone who had no vested interest in Ceres.

Last week it all came back to bite Guerrero. She lost to Wigt by a margin of 32.7 percent to 66.54 percent, the equivalent of a landslide loss.

Romo, who was an appointee on the board, also faced the wrath of voters. He was defeated by Latino candidate Lourdes Peres, insuring that no armchair quarterbacks could claim that voters are racist. Perez defeated Romo in Trustee Area 5 in another landslide loss: 66.96 percent, to 32.14 percent.

This is a day and age when voters have little tolerance for public officials not listening and doing the opposite of what they want. What you saw last week is a shadow of things to come as national leaders stray from the desires of the American public and plunge us into deeper debt and attempt to socialize private industry.

This is democracy at work and ain't it grand? I can't wait to see who gets taken to the woodshed next year.

How do you feel? Let Jeff know at