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Assembly candidates debate details of solutions

Democrat Headington, Republican Wilk for 38th District seat face off in Newhall, San Fernando Valley

Posted: October 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Both candidates for the 38th Assembly District, Democrat Edward Headington and Republican Scott Wilk, share the same three core platforms: education, public safety and job creation.

But, as both explained during a public forum taped Thursday at the SCVTV studios in Newhall, the devil is in the details.

Headington emphasized what he calls a “purple coalition” of Republicans and Democrats that he would work to build if elected. The Republicans and Democrats are popularly associated with colors red and blue respectively.

He also repeatedly stated that, though he agrees with Wilk on a number of issues, the key difference between the two is who could best address those issues.

“A lot of great ideas may come from the (Republican) side of the aisle,” Headington said of the state Legislature. “But unless you’re part of the majority party, it’s hard to get things done.”

Wilk said he would have no problem working with Democrats to find common ground and that he would form advisory committees on various topics to involve all stakeholders on an issue.

“Anything we do needs to be a collaborative process,” Wilk said.

While both candidates supported additional tax credits and incentives to fuel job creation, they differed widely on public education funding. Wilk said he thought a major reason schools are underfunded is because of irresponsible spending priorities by the current Legislature.

“I believe we have enough money; we’re just not spending it wisely,” Wilk said.

Wilk’s signing of a “no-tax pledge” provided a target for Headington, who said he thinks additional revenues may be necessary to provide schools sufficient funding.

“I want these schools fully funded,” Headington said, “and we can’t do that by saying we will never say ‘yes’ to a tax.”

Headington also took aim at Wilk’s background as a lobbyist.

“One thing I never hear when I’m out knocking (on doors) is, ‘Gee, Ed, if only we had more lobbyists up there things would be better,’” he said.

Wilk admitted he had worked as a lobbyist for some time but said it is his 22-year-long ties to the Santa Clarita Valley that will inform his opinions if he is elected.

“My wife and I, we are Santa Clarita Valley,” he said, referring to the couple’s involvement in community boards and events.

Headington, a Granada Hills resident, has been leveling accusations that Wilk is dodging head-to-head confrontations and during the candidates’ forum accused Wilk of running a “sleazy” and divisive primary campaign.

“If you can’t even get your own party on your side before you get (into office), how are you going to do it when you get into office?” Headington asked, referring to the strident three-way Republican bid for the Assembly seat in the primary.

Wilk rejected those claims and said he was “totally comfortable” with the campaign he has run to this point.

“Everything I did was issue-based,” he said.

The two faced off earlier Thursday during a forum in the San Fernando Valley.

The forum recorded at the Newhall SCVTV studios was hosted by The Signal, SCVTV and KHTS AM 1220 and will be posted on the websites of each local media outlet.



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