Wednesday Oct 27 2010
Anonymous e-mail attacks board member
By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
With the election less than a week away, at least one e-mail has circulated, stirring up candidate controversy in the school board race. Five candidates are running for three seats on the board – Wendy Lang, Todd Lowell, Glenn Moeller, Steve Paul and Amanda Tingler. Sent to an unknown number of people, the e-mail is intended to sway Rocklin residents away from voting for Rocklin Unified Board of Trustees incumbent Paul. The e-mail blames Paul for the district’s deficit, including spending $500,000 in costs to open an “unneeded elementary school,” referring to Sunset Ranch Elementary. The school opened in the fall with more than 100 unanticipated students, raising Rocklin Unified enrollment and resulting in more district money. The e-mail subject simply says, “Steve Paul must go!” and encourages voters to cast their ballot for “someone new.” Although the e-mail is unsigned, it is sent from a “Rocklin Parents” account with an e-mail address of listmaster@stevepaul. info. The domain name of stevepaul.info can be traced back to Joseph Scharrer of Loomis, who has been linked to local political controversy in the past. In 2008, news stories reported that he purchased dozens of website domains in the names of local politicians he opposed to use the sites against the candidates. “It’s cowardly,” incumbent Lowell said. “Scharrer has done this for at least the last four years during an election. He hides behind anonymous e-mails that he thinks can’t be traced.” When asked about Scharrer’s name linked to the e-mail, Scharrer replied by e-mail that the e-mail was sent on behalf of “Rocklin Parents,” a group started four years ago. He did not comment on how his name was listed as the registrar of the domain for stevepaul.info. Scharrer’s name has also been linked to recent anonymous and controversial e-mails sent to Roseville residents regarding Roseville City Council candidates. Paul said fellow Trustee Greg Daley was targeted during Daley’s re-election four years ago through anonymous e-mails. “If it was the first time, I would be able to look forward,” Paul said. “It’s unfortunate that somebody has to do something like that under an anonymous e-mail. This is the pool I’ve decided to swim in by becoming an elected official, I understand that, but do it with your name signed.” Scharrer is also connected to the campaign websites of both Moeller and Tingler as the registrar. Scharrer is listed as the registrar of rocklinareachamber.com, which is the domain server to both candidate sites. Scharrer is also listed as the registrar of Rocklin City Council candidate Mark Klang’s domain name of markklang.com. Moeller initially said Scharrer was not connected to his campaign. But after being asked about Scharrer listed as the registrar for his campaign website, Moeller said Scharrer did design the website. Moeller provided all the content for his site, he said. Moeller and Tingler both said they did not know about and had not seen the e-mail regarding Paul. Tingler said she did know Scharrer through little league, but disassociated herself from him after an issue he had with the league. Tingler also said her husband designed her campaign website and wasn’t sure why Scharrer was listed as the registrar. Tingler said it’s not her style to run a negative campaign. “I’m not a dirty campaign type of person,” Tingler said. “My No. 1 concern is our children and our schools.” In an unrelated incident, Tingler said she was also the target of negative campaigning. Of approximately 30 campaign signs placed in private residence, half were missing from the yards last week. Tingler said the residents initially thought she moved them for better visibility, but Tingler said she doesn’t know who is responsible for the sign thefts. Paul said he also tries to run a positive campaign and hopes people focus on the education issues. “People see through it … through the negativity,” Paul said. “If citizens of Rocklin do get these e-mails, I have the utmost confidence for them to see past it. Negativity in Rocklin doesn’t play well.” Incumbent Lang could not be reached for comment by press time.