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It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Right Here, Right Now

Posted: September 7, 2008 9:30 p.m.
Updated: November 9, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The countdown is on. T-minus 14 days until my favorite season of the year begins.

Fall is a magical time in my house; we thankfully say goodbye to triple-digit temperatures, bring out the blue jeans, and spend our Saturday afternoons watching college football.

September means back to school, October sees our annual visit to Lombardi's Ranch, while November is the beginning of the holiday season.

Adding to my excitement for fall this year is the hype of a monumental election cycle. My wife, kids and I (okay, maybe not the kids) are looking forward to packing up the stroller, walking the precincts, meeting our neighbors, and spreading the word about the Republican candidates and causes.

From the top of the ticket down, this is a year that both Republicans and Democrats alike can find something or someone to get excited about. Our historic presidential election will (hopefully) result in a war hero becoming our next commander-in-chief serving with the first female vice president in the country's history.

While the opposition is also on the precipice of history, American voters are beginning to realize that we need a leader with experience and an ability to build a consensus, rather than someone who talks a good game without any real substance to his message.

Beyond our decision on the next leader of the free world, there are a number of other incredibly important issues and decisions that local voters will be making this November.

On a statewide level, ballot initiatives ranging from parental notification for teen pregnancy, to renewable energy creation, to protection of marriage, to redistricting will be decided by the voters. Many of these propositions are extremely politically charged, with millions of dollars being poured into the campaigns on both sides of each issue.

Here in the Santa Clarita Valley, we will be a part of the hottest Senate seat contest in the entire state, which may become the most expensive Senate race in the state's history.

In that race, Republican Tony Strickland, a three-term Assemblyman, is looking to replace Republican Tom McClintock, who has termed out.

Strickland, a no-nonsense, fiscally responsible candidate with conservative credentials, is important not only to the SCV, but to the entire state.

If Strickland isn't successful in his campaign for the Senate, it is possible that Democrats in the state Legislature may assume a two-thirds majority in both houses, which would then provide them with the ability to override the governor's veto.

This would give Democrats free reign to pass bills that would otherwise be blocked, including a number of job killer bills, as well as legislation that would increase taxes, government spending and social welfare programs.

Most of our other local offices are relatively secure for Republican incumbents. Congressman McKeon is poised to run away with the election for California's 25th Congressional District, while local son Cameron Smyth appears to have a relatively smooth road to re-election for the California Assembly's 38th District.
The country and the state of California are at an interesting political crossroads, which makes this an exciting time for political junkies and for the general public. The decisions we make this November will have lasting impact on us financially, socially and globally for years to come.

Regardless of your political affiliation or beliefs, this is an incredible time in this country's history. American citizens are provided one of the most amazing rights in the world, the right to vote, and becoming an educated, well-informed voter is a responsibility that each of us should take very seriously.

My hope is that every voter in the Santa Clarita Valley makes a concerted effort to read, listen and talk about our candidates, ballot initiatives and what their votes will mean before visiting the voting booth this November.

Fall always goes by way too quickly, and with so much to decide between now and Election Day 2008, this year will be no different!

Brian Koegle is a local attorney. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily that of The Signal.


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