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Headington has the most plans for Assembly term

Posted: October 14, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 14, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Assemblyman Cameron Smyth has been termed out of the state Assembly and two challengers are vying for his open seat. Better known locally, Scott Wilk is a College of the Canyons trustee and a long-time local Republican political operative. He lives in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Democrat Edward Headington has worked for Democratic politicians and has a different, but equally impressive resume. He is not as well known in the Santa Clarita Valley, living in Granada Hills and working in the San Fernando Valley, but he has made many trips to the SCV in a bid to see and be seen.

Both men have owned their own businesses.

Neither has a tangible voting record that would indicate their effectiveness in the state Legislature.

The Signal Editorial Board invited both to post-primary interviews, aware that their platforms before the primary were nearly identical. We asked specific questions and assessed the benefits, practicality and genuineness of the candidates’ responses.

Wilk was very confident as to the outcome of this race, vague on his agenda outside of education, and focused more on Sacramento relationships than a vision for voters to embrace — or not.

He discussed consolidation of political power, not specific solutions to issues, rightly offered Whittaker Bermite as a primary local issue needing Sacramento attention, yet offered no specifics when asked what his first legislation would be, instead saying he would “shop ideas around.”

Wilk relished a discussion of the power committees he might serve on but offered few specifics on how to go about trimming state over-regulation or on his vision of a mission in Sacramento.

Headington was specific on his vision and agenda as a fiscal conservative and social moderate. He identified job creation, education and public safety as his three core causes and shaped most of his discussion around those goals, offering specifics for each, including changes to AB 109, the so-called prison realignment bill that has dumped state prisoners and parolees on counties, and specific ideas for job creation.

Asked about state over-regulation, Headington immediately cited CEQA, offered specifics on proposed changes and then called for more local representation on the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, which has set the level for chloride in Santa Clara River water.

He provided compelling testimony to a pointed line of questioning on how a Democrat can be an effective representative for a district that has historically been just to the right of center.

After our pre- and post-primary comprehensive interviews with both candidates, we believe Headington’s political needle is closer to the subjective political needle of this community than that of the more right-leaning Wilk.

We believe sending more moderates — whether they be moderate Republicans or moderate Democrats — to the state Capitol is the solution to breaking the logjam that has paralyzed the state for some 10 years. We join Headington in hoping the open primary will put more moderates in Sacramento in January.

In this endorsement we will repeat the admonishment we gave Mr. Headington during the primary election. “Your stay in the state Legislature will be a short one if your bills and votes are more influenced by caucus leadership than by the needs and voter orientation of your district.”



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