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Candidate Bio: James Corbett

James Corbett, a Democrat, is challenging Republican Diane Harkey for her seat in the state assembly.

NAME: James Corbett

AGE: 65

RACE: State Assembly District 73

TITLE: Dr. (Ph.D.)

FAMILY: Wife of over 34 years- Kathryn, a daughter Quinn, and a son Seamus

EDUCATION: Ph.D. Ohio State University

KEY ISSUES:  Equalization of state funds for CUSD.  Currently, CUSD gets far less per student in state funding than the average district in Orange County

WORDS TO LIVE BY: The lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.

KEY ENDORSEMENTS: None-I haven't asked

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: None, I'll be starting this Summer

CAMPAIGN FUNDS RAISED AND SPENT: (from county registrar, secretary of state site or feds) None

Here are some longer questions. Please limit your answers to 200 words:

  • Why are you running? I'm running because Diane Harkey simply hasn't served the people of South County. She spends her time working on state wide issues, high speed rail for example, while local issues go wanting. Just look at her website, there is nothing on it that relates to service of constituents. Perhaps more importantly, Ms. Harkey is a crony capitalist who has been the object of a recall while serving Dana Point and is currently defending herself from charges of elder abuse and fraud in relation to her position as an executive in a mortgage bank. There are over 80 plaintiffs in the case and plaintiffs' lawyers have taken the case on contingency which is a measure of their confidence Harkey and her husband converted money from their bank to maintain their lifestyle, including a $7,000,000 dollar house in Ritz Cove. Harkey is a poster girl for everything that is wrong with American Politics. As a conservative Democrat, I can work with both parties and I will.
  • What is the most important issue facing voters in your district, and where do you stand on that issue? The (Republican) leadership of S. County has failed to work for equalization of state funds for the CUSD. It is a crime that CUSD gets less money than Huntington Beach, Newport, Laguna Beach, Anaheim, et. al. and Harkey and her ilk have done nothing, perhaps because, for the most part, the children of our (Republican) representatives and senators send their children to private schools. The "I don't care" attitude is hurting our children and we need leadership on the issue. I will work to equalize funding, and as a (conservative) Democrat, I'm confident I can get help on the issue from the Democratic dominated legisture.
  • Do you offer any pledges or promises to voters? I promise honest representation and with a focus on my constituents. I pledge to keep an open door policy for all interests in the 73rd District including business, education, consumer, environmental, social and religious. 
  • Will you share with us a little-known fact about yourself, something that might surprise even your family or friends? I lived and worked in Beirut, Lebanon in the early 80s during the Lebanese Civil War. My area of scholarly interest is terrorism.
Jim Corbett June 06, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I'm sorry, you have a great deal of passion, but simply have no idea what went on in my classroom. If I were as you claim, don't you think other students would have joined in the suit? None did. 24 years and one complaint. Recommendations for students to BIOLA, Westmont, Cal Lutheran, Wheaton, et. al.. I even helped Sarah Palin's press secretary get involved in Republican politics. I won't respond to anything more you write. I will hold you responsible if you defame me. BTW stop YELLING!
Tom Bottorf June 06, 2012 at 04:01 PM
OK, Sir. Just one piece of advice... since you're running for public office, you may consider growing some thicker skin before the right wing kicks into overdrive this fall... Defame you? C'mon Sir.
LeAna Bui June 06, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Mr. Bottorf: Unless you have been in Mr. Corbett's classroom, you are way off base with your comments. Mr. Corbetts statements were found to be non actionable. I do not know you or Mr. Corbett, but your comments are only serving to discredit yourself from my "bystander" position.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I know LeAna, you weren't here earlier, and my comments were deleted. But I covered Dr. Corbett's case indepth. His comments weren't deemed inactionable (to coin a new word). The appellate court purposely did not discuss Dr. Corbett's statements. The judges said they didn't have to. The panel determined that no matter what he said, Dr. Corbett couldn't have known if they would constitutionally pass muster because there had never been a precedential case on the matter. So it was more of a legal Catch 22. And because the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear it (justices may decline on many reasons, so it's not fair to read too much into that), we don't have an answer on whether his statements violated the Establishment Clause or not. The appellate ruling stands as precedent in the 9th Circuit (only) until which time SCOTUS decides to take up a related case (usually when there are conflicting decisions among the circuits). Until then, teachers can't really be found guilty of violating the Establishment Clause because there are no laws or cases that define the rules. See the Catch 22?
Dan June 06, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Wow, all this thread had done for me is shed light on Dr. Corbett, who seems fair and balanced, and that the Bottorfs are not. If the Bottorfs can call into question Corbett's actions based on incomplete information does that mean I can base information on GetCollegeFunding.org based on the Bottorfs statements here in this thread?
Jim Corbett June 06, 2012 at 07:42 PM
I must admit, considering the ".org" appellation, GetCollegeFunding should be non-profit. I wonder how many employees they have and how much each is paid. From the website, they have an "Advisory Team," and may be nothing more than a husband and wife team. There are several "blogs" relating to financial aid, but none of them, save one, has a comment.
Yeparoo June 06, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Jim, are you campaigning to win an election or to agitate? Not sure how this helps win. I'd like you to consider a quote from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy: "Sometimes you don't know if you're Caesar about to cross the Rubicon or Captain Queeg cutting your own tow line." Maybe not a good idea to jump in the mud pit? Maybe time to work on explaining WHY YOU for Assembly?
Tom Bottorf June 06, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Yeparoo gets my vote! A person of wisdom indeed!
Jim Corbett June 06, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Mine as well.
Antoine van den Boogaard June 11, 2012 at 06:38 AM
I'm a confirmed Catholic, and I still maintain that Dr. Corbett was the most influential teacher I've had throughout my high school and college experiences. His discussion of current events in class brought to light the fact that history repeats itself even to this day; although people like myself would like to believe that religion provides a means of hope and moral guidance to our society, the fact stands that religious leaders have often used their power and influence for corrupt purposes (Crusades, modern Jihad, etc). His teachings were NEVER detrimental towards religion or followers of religion; they were meant to show us what happens when we forget to balance our beliefs with reason and fact. If I were still registered in Orange County I would definitely consider sending a vote his way. When considering the candidates in this election, please be a responsible and informed voter by overlooking this unjust and unsupported smudge on his record as one of the best teachers we have in the county. Instead, base your vote on what he can improve as a state senator.
Joseph Schwar June 20, 2012 at 02:29 AM
By being an adviser to a club does not even necessarily means he supports what they do or agrees with everything they say. Does the adviser to a Gay Club on campus need to be gay? Does the adviser for the Cooking Club need to be a cook? By being an adviser to a club (and I am a high school teacher in the same district) it basically just means you give the students a place to meet, sign your name on any money-related documents for their school fund if applicable, and help them out with getting announcements on the school loudspeaker or the school paper. It is logical that students would go to Dr. Corbett to be their adviser, as he is well-known on campus for being open to all ideas and being a safe haven for free speech.
Jim Corbett June 20, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Thanks Antoine, my best hope is that those who have had me in class step up and correct false impressions.
Monique October 22, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I am so glad Dr. Corbett is running! There are few people I would openly endorse for public office other than Dr. Corbett. I cannot thank him enough for the contribution he made at my school. (CVHS) I cannot think of anyone better to represent our district. He will definitely represent our schools.
ajlm November 01, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I'd just like to say that the anti-Corbett comments here and his reasonable, thoughtful responses here helped convince me that he deserves my vote. So, thanks to the illogical ranters for giving us this opportunity.
jelly car November 04, 2012 at 05:40 AM
I do not go to the polls to elect a religious leader, so whether or not Dr. Corbett believes in God, Jesus, Buddah, or a vast nothing, is really a moot point. Voters should be more concerned about which candidate will best serve their constituents, and leave the service of souls to each individual's religious/spiritual leaders, or not, as the case may be. Some of the above comments seem to indicate a basic misunderstanding of the term religious freedom. It does not mean freedom only to be Christian, but also freedom to be any other organized religion, or to have a lack of religion entirely. Whether the kids' clubs at school are Christian, Buddhist, Atheist or Free Thinking Agnostic is irrelevant. That said, the whole conversation is off topic as there is no religious requirement to run for office, period. I agree with ajlm above that some of the above comments say more about the person giving the comment than perhaps intended. I was hoping for more information and less emotional opinion but overall I read a lot between the lines here, thank you.
Jim Corbett November 04, 2012 at 07:15 AM
Amen
Charles November 04, 2012 at 02:15 PM
That's a good reason to vote for him.
Tom Bottorf November 04, 2012 at 03:46 PM
What does a "lack of religion" leader look like, jelly car? Any good examples you can site? With no "religion", what guides an individual's moral compass? Do you believe our nation was founded by such leaders?
Charles November 04, 2012 at 04:15 PM
"What does a "lack of religion" leader look like..?" Go to Google Images and type in these names: Sigmund Freud John Lennon Stephen Hawking Clarence Darrow Ted Williams Warren Buffett Thomas Edison Richard Branson Mark Twain Edgar Allan Poe Bill Nye "...what guides an individual's moral compass?" Usually their brains, objectivity, rationalism, reality, and humanism. Certainly not all the brainwashing kooks some people will be worshiping with this Sunday morning. Next question?
Jim Corbett November 04, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Let's add Einstein, always listed by theists as a believer, but, more than once, he said he was not. Let's also add Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine.
Tom Bottorf November 04, 2012 at 06:52 PM
bad answer Charles... "brains, objectivity, rationalism, reality, humanism"... are these a bit relative? Any "absolutes" you'd like to consider?
Jim Corbett November 04, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Absolutes? For example? Even God changes from culture to culture. Within Western Christianity, Jesus has been a judge, a Roman Emperor, a shepherd, a suffering human, I think it's important for us all to understand that, as Mark Twain said, "One man's religion is another man's superstition." Such understanding makes us all more sympathetic to the views of others. The "my way or the highway" notion of religion has caused much pain. I might add, that even within Christianity, there is much dispute over the nature of God. I doubt anything close to a majority accepts your views. I just wish you, and your ilk, would stop beating the rest of us over the head with your certainty. I would love to be as certain as you are. It makes life so uncomplicated, simple even.
Tom Bottorf November 04, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Your level of "certainty", Sir, is much higher than you're apparently aware of or at least willing to openly admit. Confidence and "certainty" don't appear to be lacking in your character. As far as "beating you over the head", I would plead "not guilty". I have NO concern what you do or what you believe or DON'T believe... as long as YOU and YOUR ilk don't trespass upon MY rights (as well as the rights of my "ilk")... Sadly, your track record at CVHS of such unwelcomed "trespassing" has been abundant.
Shripathi Kamath November 04, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Yes, reality is relative. Ironic though that one demanding absolutes is the one questioning this.
Shripathi Kamath November 04, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Please cite these instances of unwelcome trespassing of your rights or that of your "ilk", as those that can be found in the Constitution.
Patrick G November 06, 2012 at 10:00 AM
I just want to say that James Corbett was the best teacher I have ever had, even now in my last year at college. When I found out earlier today that my ballot would not arrive on time if I mailed it, I drove 7 hours to make sure that I can cast my vote for Dr. Corbett.
Tom Bottorf November 07, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Thank heavens his campaign went down in flames.
Jim Corbett November 07, 2012 at 06:54 AM
Heaven has less to do with it than a 2-1 Republican majority. Good luck to Ms. Harkey and the other victors.
Rachel-Lynn November 07, 2012 at 08:45 PM
The Christian students and students of other faiths are in that club to represent their beliefs for others to consider. If they are there, they wish to participate in some way, not be cornered and ridiculed by non beleivers! They wish to participate in the overall discussion!
Rachel-Lynn November 07, 2012 at 08:55 PM
You are a leader Dr. Corbett. I still reflect upon what I was taught in your classes. I felt proud to have personally known the individual I was voting for state senate on Tuesday afternoon. You have many grand ideas that will soon be recognized by our fellow Americans. Even Mr. Bottorf may feel included someday...

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