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ANAHEIM : ‘Hunter’s Brigade’ Found Too Political

Mayor Fred Hunter’s anti-drug campaign has been booted out of another local school district by officials who say his one-hour rallies are too controversial.

Glenview Elementary School in the Placentia Unified School District has joined the Anaheim City School District in banning the assemblies, dubbed “Hunter’s Brigade.” Officials said the program could be seen as a political maneuver by Hunter, who is running for mayor again in November.

“It was considered controversial because of the political involvement--because he is up for reelection, and his name is prominently displayed,” said Judy Glick, principal of Glenview. “I think the program had gotten caught up in the timing of the election.”

Glick said Glenview was the only school in that district scheduled to hold one of Hunter’s rallies.

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Michael J. Snapp, organizer of the mayor’s rallies, said he was told by district officials that the program was not welcome because of its political overtones. District officials could not be reached for comment.

Hunter has made the anti-drug effort a centerpiece of his campaign. “Hunter’s Brigade,” which features the mayor amid various professional sports stars and cheerleaders, was scheduled to begin earlier this month.

The program first ran into problems about two weeks ago, when the Anaheim City School District, the city’s largest school district, found it too political and decided against holding the program in its 21 schools.

At the same time, the kickoff rally scheduled at Mattie Lou Maxwell Elementary School in the Magnolia District was canceled because professional sports stars who were supposed to attend the rally could not show up.

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The rally scheduled today at Glenview has been moved to Mattie Lou Maxwell school.

Despite the rocky start, Snapp says he remains optimistic that the program will gain support in other school districts.


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