Madison’s Unproven Claims Disqualify Him



All candidates for city council should be commended for undertaking the arduous process of a campaign, where they are relentlessly questioned about every detail of their platform and qualifications. All for the dubious reward of yet more and harsher criticism for their decisions as council members. But they knew this going in.

So public scrutiny of Jon Madison’s credentials is not an “ambush.” If anything, he has been consistently acclaimed as a successful business man, generous philanthropist, and all-around good guy. But he has to play by the rules, and it would be a hugely unfair advantage to claim an Ivy League Ph.D., a professorship, and a UCLA law degree, none of which his rivals have, none of which he can prove. It’s not a fair election.

Cornell and UCLA Law School registrars have repeatedly stated that there are no records of his attendance, much less awarding of any degrees. His claim that he earned a BS, MS, and Ph.D. in five years is not credible.

A picture of his final diploma from Cornell does not appear authentic. The signatures are not those of any deans or presidents to have held those offices. The graduation date doesn’t match the historical record. The “Ph.D. in Horticulture” assumes there was a Department of Horticulture in 1979, which there wasn’t. Finally, a Google Image search of diplomas demonstrates that college diplomas never abbreviate the words Associate, Bachelor, Master, or Doctor of Philosophy. It would be bad grammar, and cheapen the appearance of a hard-won, formal, legal document.

This isn’t playing junior detective, just using common sense. With barely a week left to decide, voters have to go beyond giving Madison the benefit of the doubt and consider the facts at hand.

Residents of Laguna Beach live in a uniquely beautiful world-class city. Our climate, geography, culture, schools and businesses are all excellent. We have a long history of electing and entrusting worthy council members to maintain it.

Madison’s unproven claims disqualify him, and raise doubts about the integrity of the election. Of the remaining six candidates, five have the credentials and experience to inspire confidence that they would be competent and ethical council members. Pick any three.

Joel Harrison, Laguna Beach

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