This and that; Shenkman strikes again and thanking our veterans

Like Temecula Unified School District, and all the surrounding communities’ city councils, Murrieta Valley Unified School District is now facing a lawsuit regarding the way trustees are elected to the school board.

You read that correctly, the law firm of Shenkman and Hughes is now going after MVUSD, sending a letter in late September on behalf of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. The letter claimed the district’s use of an at-large election system “dilutes the ability of Latinos to elect candidates of their choice,” along with disenfranchising voters.

Murrieta Valley Unified School District held a public hearing, Oct. 26, to discuss switching their election system from at-large to by-district. In accordance to the switch, the special board of education met for their first California Voting Rights Act presentation. The district now has until Feb. 1 to respond or they will face a lawsuit.

Most readers know that I am in favor of voting by district, but I really dislike when a shady lawyer, such as Kevin Shenkman, gets involved and forces the issue, not allowing voters within a city to make the decision they feel is best for them.

Back in July, Valley News intern Will Fritz actually sat down and interviewed Shenkman, who happened to drive a Tesla to the meeting. He said he would continue with the lawsuits until, “there are no more violations of this law.”

Let’s talk about Shenkman for a moment. He admitted posting a picture of a $4 million check in an award he won fighting against the city of Palmdale to Facebook with the caption “Picture me rollin,’ bitches,” even though the money wasn’t all his. He said the posting was “probably juvenile” but that those he fights against need to “understand what the consequences of fighting against the voting rights of the minority constituents are.”

This is the guy that also said, “If there’s a city that we have to go to court over, I would really like it to be Murrieta. One, because of the stark racially polarized voting in Murrieta. And two, because Murrieta is a racist, racist place.”

Let that sink in for a moment. To me, Shenkman appears to be a greedy, greedy guy with an ax to grind against the city that I call home. And that, folks, just ruffles my feathers.

Bottom line though, MVUSD must protect itself from a costly lawsuit and will probably end up making the move to by-district elections, like all the other cities Shenkman has set his sights on. You can read Stephanie Lai’s story in our education section in this edition of Valley News, and if you happen to be interested in what Shenkman had to say for himself when he sat with Fritz, you can do so online at

Thank a veteran

In the story, “Veterans Day events in southwest Riverside County,” writer Tony Ault reminds us, “It is only fitting every American should take Saturday, Nov. 11, to reflect upon the sacrifices soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have given and are giving to preserve freedom.”

Thousands of southwestern Riverside County residents have served in various branches in the military, and Veterans Day events throughout the area give us all the opportunity to thank a veteran and their families for their service.

A wide variety of special observances are scheduled in our coverage area, so I highly recommend you read Ault’s story and be sure to attend a Veterans Day event near you, taking the time to thank a veteran for their service.

These veterans and their families have sacrificed much for our country. From long deployments to fighting on the front lines, their selflessness has served to ensure the freedoms we enjoy today. Coming from a military family, I can tell you that a small gesture of appreciation is something that will cost you nothing but shows our veterans how much their sacrifices truly mean to those of us who remained on the home front while they served our country. So be sure to thank a veteran for their service when you see them out and about, not just on Veterans Day, but every day.

But hey, it’s only my opinion.

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