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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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Letters to the EditorSchool Board Candidate Kong's response letter: "The attacks against me, my character,...

School Board Candidate Kong’s response letter: “The attacks against me, my character, and even my family have been relentless”

Dear Editor:

While I focus on leading a positive campaign for Milpitas schools and families, the attacks against me, my character, and even my family have been relentless. Even my home was recently broken into. All of these attacks have come from supporters of my opponent, a terminated school board appointee who is backed by many outside special interests, such as developers, consultants, and garbage companies, as clearly shown on campaign finance records.

I believe that our tax money should first go to our schools and to our children, and not to private companies or special interests. That is why I am independent from them, supported by local residents, and I stand 100% for Milpitas families. Period.

In this political climate, I am appalled by the latest smear campaign tactic employed against me by my opponent’s supporter, Diana Orlando. Just like many other Milpitas families, I trust and have trusted the Milpitas school teachers and staff with the education of my two children for 11 years. That’s 10 years more than my opponent, a newcomer to our district. Yet, Diana Orlando wants you to believe that after all the time I have spent working with and trusting our school district with my children, suddenly I would attack MUSD teachers and staff? It just doesn’t make any sense. On the contrary, my campaign is about finding more resources for our schools so we can give our teachers and students the means to be successful. 

Diana Orlando is clearly defaming me when she implied that I have somehow gotten MUSD staff and teachers contact info through illicit means, when they are publicly available on the district and school websites. That is how many parents communicate with our teachers and staff. That is how I have reached out to some of them when I heard that they were worried that their personal info had been leaked to my campaign. As I was never involved in the recent MUSD data breach issue, I assured teachers and staff of my full support and recognized the hard work they do every day.

Instead, my opponent’s supporters have been exploiting the data breach incident, 100% caused by the school district’s own error, into a politically-motivated call of action to all teachers to campaign in this election. Milpitas families deserve better than this constant mudslinging coming from supporters of the terminated appointee. 

I want to hear from Milpitas families so that I can better serve you. I reached out to many of you using phone numbers and email addresses that are released to candidates by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. Apparently, some MUSD employees shared their contact information with the Registrar of Voters. Here again, I am shocked that I am being singled out and defamed for using basic voter information, which all political candidates including my opponents also accesses and uses.

My communications are compliant with campaign rules. Even when voters share their information through the Registrar of Voters, they can freely and easily unsubscribe from my communication at any time. That Diana Orlando here again insinuated that I have violated the Education Code is outright false and deceitful. On the contrary, several teachers and parents had complained to me about the abuse of school resources by other teachers who are supporting my opponent, the terminated school board appointee. I even received calls from families, concerned that both teachers and students were actively recruited into campaigning. If so, this is illegal as political activity by public employees is restricted by the Education Code. Milpitas families deserve better.

It is shocking that Diana Orlando would make the assertion that a simple public records request is a waste of resources and legal costs. The right to freely access public records is a constitutional right that fosters transparency and good governance. Similarly, petitions and elections are constitutional rights that enable public participation in our democracy. It was through public records that we learned that the latest school board appointment had been derailed by a late process change without proper 72 hours public notification, falsification of board rank votes across 5 candidates, and scorecard manipulation to influence the outcome. We still haven’t had the transparent investigation that had been promised by the then school board president. We only had multiple rewritings of the facts by several school board members. So it is disingenuous to keep deflecting blame on third parties and covering up for the mistakes made by restricting information from the public.

We teach our students to follow rules, be responsible, and be open minded. I hope Diana Orlando can take a moment to reflect on her unfounded accusations and of the example of sheer disrespect for others’ opinions that some adults are setting for the children during this election. What has happened to basic human decency and honest dialogue with one another? This election clearly shows that we as a community can and must do better for our children, our future. That’s what Milpitas families deserve. And Milpitas families are the people I will serve when I join the school board.

 

Ling Kong

 

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4 COMMENTS

    • Dear Dan. You’re in Texas. Your postings on school matters show your corruption and level of worthless input while you were on our board.

  1. Dear Editor,
    As a Milpitas teacher, Milpitas Teachers Association (MTA) member, and friend of Diana Orlando, I would like to respond to Ling Kong’s letter.
    First, I am sorry that she feels that she and her family have been attacked. However, as teachers, many of us feel like we have been attacked. This letter and the email many teachers received implies that teachers were somehow responsible for the break in at her home. I was deeply insulted by this. In addition, I have heard Ms. Kong say that she would help “fix” Milpitas schools. That statement also is an attack on teachers.
    Second, there was a definite reason that MTA chose to endorse Minh Ngo and not Ling Kong. Both candidates were given the opportunity to attend and MTA meeting and answer questions. Many of Ms. Kong’s answers contradicted things she had said previously when meeting with other groups. Other responses didn’t answer the question but instead went in circles. Some answers were untrue. She spoke of her involvement at Marshall Pomeroy Elementary during her sons’ time there. I have been a teacher at Pomeroy for over 20 years. I remember her sons and her husband, but I have no memory of Ms. Kong. Many of the other Pomeroy teachers I spoke to have the same response.
    Finally, she attacks Diana Orlando and her character. I have known and worked with Diana for many years. Diana has and will always be an advocate for our students and our teachers. She goes above and beyond to make sure that our students and teachers feel valued and supported. Even when I have not agreed with Diana on something, I was always able to see how much she cared and truly wanted the best for everyone. As MTA president, she has kept us informed of the issues during this election, and she has also reminded us about the rules we must follow regarding the election. Diana Orlando wants what is best for our students.
    Victoria Ramirez

  2. Ling opens her editorial with a comment that “Even her house was broken into”. It seems that Ling is asserting that her house was broken into by someone supporting one of her two opponents that were running for the interim school board seat. Are there any facts to this statement or the loose connection Ling is attempting to make regarding her home being broken into and one of her two opponents?

    Much like her posing of a Certificate of Achievement issued by the State of California on her campaign site that made it appear that she was issued the certificate. It was not until you read the very small font text below the picture of the certificate that you would learn it was given to one of her children. Her message seems to boarder on a very thin line of the truth and what she wants those she is speaking towards to hear.

    A week before the campaign I had requested a post to both Ling and Minh’s FB campaign page asking both candidates what was their position on Prop 13 2020. Minh replied within a day and allowed my post to be published on his campaign FB page. I have yet to hear back from Ling.

    After Ling had published the donor listing for Mihn, I had asked Ling to provide her donor listing for her campaign and for her to post it in the same manner Ling posted the donor information regarding Minh. As of today (Mar 5), Ling has not provided her donor information.

    Ling talks of transparency, yet it appears that she only wants transparency from others and not related to herself.

    Then there were the campaign emails and phone calls to the teachers within the MUSD from Ling Kong’s campaign. The teachers emails, phone numbers and contact information are to be used by parents to discuss their children’s work assignments, make appointments to meet with the teacher, etc.

    Through Ling Kong’s to the editor piece, she has shown us many reasons why she is not a good fit to serve on the MUSD school board.

    So now the special election for this open MUSD Board Seat is over. The district spent $113,000 to get the result from the voters of Milpitas that the MUSD did through the MUSD appointment interview process in September/October 2019. There will be another election during the General Election in November this year, 2020, to fill this same position again, as this position is an interim position to fill a vacancy that was created in 2019. I am sure the same two primary candidates will be running again. ;o(

    I am a parent of a teacher within MSUD and also a grandparent of a student attending within the MUSD.

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