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 …

Sacrifices of our forefathers

Cameron Smyth Right Here Right Now

I must be living right. For the second year my column falls right before the Fourth of July, which happens to be my favorite holiday — especially how it’s celebrated in the Santa Clarita Valley. As I grew up in Newhall my street was filled with nearly a dozen kids, all within a few years of each other. Our Independence Days started with a trip to the pancake breakfast, followed by the parade. The rest was spent swimming, playing football in the street and finally closing it out with food, our own fireworks (which were legal back then) and then finding the best spot to watch the community show. What I now love about Santa Clarita is that I am doing many of the same …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Big night for GOP

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

As much as the mainstream media will try to ignore the election results from Tuesday, it is undeniable that Republicans scored big, and in some cases historic, victories across the country. In Kentucky, Matt Bevin’s 53 percent to 44 percent victory marks only the second time in 48 years that Republicans have won the Kentucky governor’s race. If that wasn’t historic enough, Bevin’s lieutenant governor running mate, Jenean Hampton, is now the first African-American ever elected to statewide office in Kentucky. Both Bevin and Hampton have never held elective office. Also riding the conservative wave, Republicans picked up four of the six additional statewide offices despite only holding one office going into Election Day. A key result included defeating the state auditor, who was thought …

Jerry, veto these laws

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

With the Legislature adjourned for the year, we can now focus our attention to Gov. Jerry Brown and the roughly 1,000 bills sitting on his desk. Like any year, many good bills should be signed, as was Santa Clarita Valley Assemblyman Scott Wilk’s Assembly Bill 951, requiring the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District to hold its board meetings within the boundaries of the district when policy decisions are being made relating to Total Maximum Daily Loads. However, many more deserve a veto. Thanks to my friends in the Legislature and at the Chamber of Commerce, here are my “Top 10” — or should I say “Bottom 10” — bills needing to be vetoed: AB 1288 – Expanding the California Air Resources Board Assembly Bill 1288 …

Another ‘done deal’ bites the dust

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

Cemex. When will they ever learn? With the Bureau of Land Management’s action to cancel the contract of Cemex — effectively bringing to an end our decade-long fight against one of the largest proposed sand and gravel mines in the nation — it brings to mind a similar fight from 20 years ago: Elsmere Canyon. Much like Cemex, Santa Clarita was told the placement of a huge dump right along our border was a “done deal” and we should just accept it. It was during this fight that I, as a young political staffer, saw first-hand what my father had meant when he talked of the spirit of our community and how Santa Clarita was different. Many will remember the overflow crowd at Valencia High …

Will Hillary Hold On?

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

While Republicans gear up for a long, intense primary season filled with numerous debates and excellent candidates, Democrats — who thought they could just sit back and enjoy the show while Hillary Clinton locks up her party’s nomination — now find themselves wondering if she can even survive and make it to the General Election. The Clinton campaign will tell you this is a natural summer slump and ultimately once voters start paying attention, she will rebound. That may very well be the case; however, recent trends in multiple polls seem to indicate the problems voters have with Hillary are more than any Clinton PR person or political consultant wants to admit (at least publicly). The latest Quinnipiac University poll in several swing states released …