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Another conservative ideologue?

Democratic Voices

Posted: October 27, 2008 4:52 p.m.
Updated: December 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Elections provide choices. When voters have accurate information about the candidates, their choices are easier. This election offers an exceptionally clear choice within the competitive 19th Senate District that represents a significant part of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Two former members of the California Assembly are running - Hanna-Beth Jackson, an attorney and former prosecutor, and Tony Strickland, who has spent his career either running for or holding public office (you may recognize Tony from his 2006 failed bid for State Controller).

But there is no doubt about it: A vote for Tony Strickland is a vote to strain, emasculate and pretty much destroy your state government. At a time when we have major traffic issues in our state and a huge need for mass transit, Tony Strickland's "drown government in a bathtub" extreme conservative ideology is the wrong prescription for California's ills.

You see, Tony Strickland was the founding president of the California branch of the Club for Growth, an extreme right-wing political campaign group that seeks to get people like Strickland into public office - and defeat moderate Republicans in primary elections.

The Club for Growth's values are nothing short of a narrow ideological view of how our world should be: suffocate funding for public education and to subsidize private schools; deflate funding for rebuilding California's infrastructure, like roads and mass transit, and the complete deregulation of our economy.

On Oct. 13, 2008, the Los Angeles Times called Strickland "...a reliably conservative vote, favoring big business, anti-tax initiatives and a limited role for government. The 6-foot-5 former college basketball player founded California's Club for Growth, a right-wing group that pledged to target for defeat any Republican who voted for a tax increase" (see,0,7068752.story) The Times endorsed Jackson on Oct. 24.

With President Bush at the driver's seat for the past eight years, and Republicans like Strickland completely controlling Washington for the first six of them, American taxpayers were forced to pony up $700 billion of our taxpayer dollars to save a few Wall Street. megabanks (i.e. financial socialism).

This is one of the worst financial predicaments our country will ever endure, and the greed of a few Wall St. CEOs made the slogan "privatize your profits, socialize your losses" hit so close to home.

Tony Strickland, as president of the Club For Growth, is this type of Republican. He's the one who wants to see absolutely no rules or regulations in place that make sure the extreme greed of a few does not derail capitalism as we know it.

We just had the longest budget stalemate in California's history, and seniors and students in Santa Clarita will have to pay for it one way or another because extreme conservatives like Assemblyman Cameron
Smyth and Senator George Runner would rather see people suffer than have us all pay an extra penny for each dollar we spend at the store. We don't need another politician putting his narrow ideology ahead of our local schools.

Folks, this race has gotten nasty; I mean real nasty. Strickland surrogates are hitting you with the same nonsense Republicans do every year: liberal this; higher taxes that, she supports child molesters - complete nonsense. It's as though they think we're dumb.

It's all a bunch of nonsense because in this election, the Dick Cheney ideas that Tony Strickland embraces are going down the drain, but everything including the kitchen sink will be thrown at you in the Republicans' pathetic, non-stop negative campaigning.

Hanna-Beth Jackson's vision for California is one where the state is competent and efficient, where our environment is protected, our air and water are clean, our public education system is top-notch and our infrastructure matches our population growth.

The Club For Growth/Tony Strickland/Dick Cheney agenda leaves all of that for dead. If Strickland had his way, dollars would be sucked out of the classroom, funding for fixing our debilitated roads would be slashed and the thought of bringing an efficient and competent mass transit system would be just that.

Contrary to what Tony Strickland thinks, we want our children, and the kids down the block, to receive the best education our local school districts can provide, and we're willing to pay for that. We're tired of the traffic that we face every morning as we drive down Interstate 5 to work. We expect the state of California to do something about that, and we're willing to pay for that. We want to be able to go to a state park up in the mountains and go camping with our friends and families from time to time, and we're all willing to pay for that, too.

Tony Strickland would love nothing more than to make California state government as incompetent as possible and outsource everything to corporations, with no accountability to the taxpayer. Let's rid Sacramento of this type of nonsense.

Todd Hoover is a resident of Santa Clarita. "Democratic Voices" appears Tuesdays in The Signal. His column represents his own opinion and not necessarily that of The Signal.


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