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ELB School Board Race: Choura Campaign Flier Questioned

(May 30, 2002) -- A campaign mailing sent to voters by ELB School Board candidate Jim Choura's campaign has Jeannine McManigal-Ball calling "foul" and Choura's campaign responding "fair."

The one page, double-sided mailing includes a "candidates' report card" in which Choura's campaign gives Choura all "A"s and Ms. McManigal-Ball all "F"s on issues including magnet schools (Choura says he supports, she opposes) and a 1999 school bond measure (Choura says he supported, she opposed).

Magnet schools traditionally seek to attract students (like a magnet) by offering desirable educational programs. Ms. McManigal-Ball told LBReport.com she supports the educational opportunities offered in magnet schools but wants those programs offered in all schools. "That way, students can remain in their neighborhood schools instead of having to go elsewhere," she said.

Mr. Choura says his campaign flier is accurate because what Ms. McManigal-Ball favors wouldn't be a "magnet" program, since having the magnet programs in all schools couldn't attract students to one school over another.

The Choura campaign mailer also says Mr. Choura supported Measure A, a March, 1999 LBUSD school bond measure. Choura's flier charges "the other candidate actively opposed 71% of voters and 90% of parents who supported Measure A school bonds."

So was Mr. Choura among the 71% of those voting for Prop A?

The LB City Clerk's office has told LBReport.com that it has no record of Mr. Choura having voted in the March, 1999 election.

In response to LBReport.com's request for comment, Mr. Choura said he did vote in the March '99 election and a possible bureaucratic mix-up or confusion with his son's name may account for this not being properly recorded. "And I definitely supported the Prop. A," Mr. Choura added.

Ms. McManigal-Ball, a teacher and ELB grassroots activist. finished first in the March ELB School Board primary. Mr. Choura, a businessman, finished second.

Ms. Florence Wilson, a retired LBUSD teacher who finished third, has endorsed McManigal-Ball as has LB School Board member Suja Lowenthal.

Mr. Choura is supported by other LB School Board incumbents and by much of LB's establishment and the Press-Telegram. LBReport.com has endorsed McManigal-Ball.

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