November ballot measures piling up

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

Before I start into my column, I first want to add my voice to the chorus of support and thanks to the countless number of firefighters, police officers, USFS officials and other first-responders who once again put their lives on the line to save numerous lives and more than 10,000 homes and structures that fell in the direct path of the Sand fire. It is also reassuring to see hundreds of Santa Clarita Valley residents once again step into the void and take care of their neighbors who were forced out of their homes for several days. I realize our nation is struggling with numerous issues, but it’s great to see the Santa Clarita Valley set an example in our support for first-responders and one …

The Talk of Santa Clarita: Episode 41 Cameron Smyth

Cameron Smyth Commentary

Cameron Smyth is well known throughout Santa Clarita as a former member of the City Council and more recently as a member of the California State Assembly. After serving several years as an Assemblyperson, he has decided to make an attempt at returning to local government and is a candidate for city council for the election in November. I had never met Cameron before doing this interview but he has a demeanor about him that makes you immediately feel welcome when speaking with him. He was enthusiastic about doing the interview and even expressed that it was “fun” after we finished. He was open, honest and frank about his beliefs on the issues that are affecting Santa Clarita. He strikes me as optimistic and hopeful …

What’s going to happen now that Trump is expected to be the nominee

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

Well, its official . . . Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for President. By dominating Indiana on Tuesday, he gave both Ted Cruz and John Kasich no other choice other than to bow out and bring the primary process to an end. While selfishly I had hoped for a Cruz victory, ensuring California would remain in play like the Bernie Sanders win did for the Democrats, it was time to stop the infighting and begin to heal the divisions that the last year has brought on the party. I am finding it difficult to put his victory into perspective or historical terms. If you are a soccer fan, Leicester City just won the English Premiere League after starting the season a 5,000 – 1 …

California activity

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

In previous columns I wrote about how 2016 was going to be an election year like no other and unlike my presidential prognostications, my predictions of 2016 continue to ring true. Locally, we had a significant shake-up with Senator Runner’s last-minute decision to not seek re-election. Fortunately Assemblyman Scott Wilk chose to step into the void and his candidacy ensures that the seat remains in Republicans’ hands. In fact, Mr. Wilk will be the first Santa Clarita resident to hold a state Senate seat in decades, which means pending on the outcome of the race to fill the 38th Assembly District, Santa Clarita residents could occupy both a Senate and Assembly seat giving our community significant representation in Sacramento. Wilk’s decision to jump into the …

Key Supreme Court Cases Could End in 4-4 Tie

Cameron Smyth Commentary

If the upcoming Presidential election wasn’t important enough, the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has put a spotlight on one of the most critical functions of the President and the Senate – the appointment and confirmation of the members of the Supreme Court. This appointment is even more critical as the Court was viewed as a “center-right” body by a slim 5-4 margin with Scalia. The loss of the most conservative member now puts the court at 4-4 with several key decisions pending before it. What happens in the case of a tie vote?? The lower court’s ruling stands and in the current session that can mead heart ache for both Liberals and Conservatives. Here are a few of the cases court …

Busy election season on all levels

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

Well, so far the 2016 political season is living up to the hype. Let’s just hope the Super Bowl does the same! The Iowa caucus delivered on both sides with the Democrat and Republican front-runners each ending up as the losers of the night. Trump’s decision to skip the most recent debate ended up being a mistake as a large number of voters who made up their minds in the last week went with Rubio, who was clearly the Republican “winner.” Although Hillary may have technically won the most delegates, under no circumstance can she claim victory. Especially troubling for her is she is headed to certain defeat in New Hampshire — and the video of Sanders supporters chanting “She’s a liar” when her speech …

Santa Clarita 2016

Cameron Smyth Commentary

In many ways Santa Clarita will be ground zero in Los Angeles County (and to some degree California) politics. Come November, we will see contested elections for Congress, State Senate, State Assembly, Board of Supervisors and the City Council. As someone involved in Santa Clarita politics for 20 years, I have never seen an election season like 2016. Much of the activity and attention is centered around the Board of Supervisors (BOS), where for the first time since 1980 Mike Antonovich will not be a candidate for the board as voter-approved term limits now force supervisors out after three terms. Because many consider the BOS one of the best jobs in politics, we have an array of candidates including L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander, State …

Bidding a Fond Farewell to ‘The Harte of Santa Clarita’

Cameron Smyth Commentary

In a fitting tribute complete with Harley Davidsons and military flyovers, the Santa Clarita Valley said goodbye Dec. 5 to Duane Harte, the man many have referred to as the heart of Santa Clarita. Looking at the sheer breadth of attendees at his services, it truly crystalizes the number of organizations impacted by Duane and the number of people it will take to fill the void he left. What I admired and will remember most is that Duane threw himself into this community for no other reason than his love for the valley, its history and its people. Godspeed Duane! When I first started writing for the Reader, I talked about the Republican presidential race and the odds for each candidate… Well, I never expected …

Republican candidates sorting themselves out

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

Last Saturday was a tough day for Santa Clarita. In a fitting tribute complete with Harley Davidsons and military fly-overs, we said goodbye to Duane Harte, the man many have referred to as the heart of Santa Clarita. Looking at the sheer breadth of attendees at his services truly crystallizes the number of organizations impacted by Duane and the number of people it will take to fill the void he left. What I admired and will remember most is that Duane threw himself into this community for no other reason than his love for Santa Clarita. He had no agenda other than to ensure our city always remained a premiere community where families felt safe, businesses could thrive, parks were built and veterans honored. But …

Thanksgiving history, from Plymouth to the Brady Bunch

Cameron Smyth Commentary

Happy Thanksgiving, Santa Clarita! Like many of you, I plan to have the cliché Thanksgiving Day: overeating, napping and watching football. Of course, I will also take some time to give thanks that despite all the challenges faced over the past year, we are fortunate to live in this county, in this community, at this time. While I was also inclined to follow another cliché by composing my own list of reasons to be thankful, I thought it would be more fun to take a look at the history of this holiday and how we’ve ended up celebrating the way we do now. I came to this inspiration after watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” as well as the “Thanksgiving episode” of “The Brady Bunch” (yes, …