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Bruce McFarland: It’s difficult to support GOP agenda

Democratic Voices

Posted: January 24, 2011 10:00 p.m.
Updated: January 25, 2011 4:55 a.m.

I’m not anti-Republican. I believe most local Republicans have sincere concerns. I can’t believe many of those Republicans support what our local Republican leaders are trying to do in Santa Clarita.

The city should not be involved in partisan politics — that’s obvious, but tonight’s council meeting will feature a dog-and-pony show to honor California Board of Equalization member George Runner, alongside his wife, Sharon, who is in the middle of her 43-day campaign to fill her husband’s vacated 17th District state Senate seat.

Anyone who thinks this isn’t an attempt to garner support for, and perhaps sway the election toward Sharon Runner, is naive.

The four council members who are expected to execute this stunt are Republicans who have already endorsed Runner.

If they had any respect for the electorate, they would wait to honor George until after the Feb. 15 special election, but that isn’t the point. Some Republicans think they can get away with anything.

They got away with supporting Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, with banners all over the city, thanking him for stopping Cemex — a Mexican cement mining company — from opening a giant mine in Soledad Canyon. This is a bill McKeon has yet to get passed.

Another example of the City Council’s antics, from tonight’s agenda: “The City Council directed staff to place on the agenda ... an item to consider calling a special election on the question of reducing the existing library parcel tax that was approved by voters in 1997 by $8.84 a year for all properties.”

The problem with this is that there is still some question about who is allowed to collect the special library tax, the city or the county. Even state officials are uncertain whether the tax will revert to the city when the city library system goes online July 1.

And there’s an item about massage parlors, stating, “In recent years, the city has seen a significant increase in the number of massage parlors operating in the city, and along with such proliferation of establishments has come increased reports of illicit activity, particularly prostitution, at some of these locations.”

Wow! I made a big deal about crime at Santa Clarita massage parlors before the last City Council election, and the council failed to do anything significant in response.

Finally, what about Republican Joe Messina’s Jan. 17 radio interview with Darren W. Parker, the Democratic candidate for the 17th Senate District special election to be held on Feb. 15, and his Republican challenger, Sharon Runner?

Messina brought up his issues with Parker in a respectful way, and I think he was actually impressed by Parker’s responses.

Readers should watch or listen to the Jan. 17 show on Parker has an impressive resume and an incredible history of helping people throughout the state. Sharon Runner has a history, too.

I can’t blame Messina for falling all over Sharon, supporting her without question. After all, she’s his candidate.

It was a little revealing when, before Sharon had a chance to answer her first question, Messina said, “Just go vote for Sharon — end of discussion.”

Messina and Sharon addressed her life-threatening limited scleroderma, and her “miraculous” drug treatment that apparently has her off the heart/lung transplant list at UCLA.

I think Messina said it all, offering “Thank God you’re sitting here today.”

Messina’s first caller, Frank, asked Sharon if she believed, as he did, that every “illegal” and their children, should be sent back to their country of origin. She said, “People not here legally should be allowed to go through the process to become legal.”

I was impressed and surprised to see her humanity.

But after a commercial break, Messina and Sharon told listeners that what they heard wasn’t what she meant, and that illegals and their children should be sent away.

Sharon talked about voters refusing to call for the repeal of California’s clean air act, AB 32, saying “too many Democrats voted,” and that she would find other ways to defeat it.

Getting rid of clean air isn’t enough for Sharon. She said she wanted to “put a moratorium on all the regulations.” She even said regulators were too worried about lead in products.

I guess you know who I’m supporting.

Bruce McFarland is a Santa Clarita resident and represents the 17th state Senate District at the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Democratic Voices” runs Tuesday in the Signal and rotates among several SCV Democrats.


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