Recently Scott called upon his opponents to join him in a series of debates for the 38th District Assembly Seat. This idea was meet with wide spread agreement from the residents of the district. As of yet we have not heard from all of the candidates about whether or not they will participate in the debates, but the community has spoken out in agreement that these debates are a welcome and necessary part of the electoral process. Scott looks forward to the chance to talk about the issues facing California and the 38th with the other candidates.
In response to Scotts call, local news columist Dave Bossert of the West Ranch Beacon posted the following commentary.
Tuseday, December 6th 2011 (Via http://westranchbeacon.com)
There is a real horse race in place for the 38th District State Assembly seat which will be vacated by Cameron Smyth in 2012 when he terms out of office. There are currently four candidates that have indicated that they will be running to fill that seat; Republicans Patricia McKeon, Scott Wilk, Paul Strickland, and Democrat Edward Headington.
Last week, Scott Wilk sent an email inviting Patricia McKeon to a series of debates. As Mr. Wilk states; “Given the challenges the state faces, I think you’d agree voters deserve every opportunity to hear from all of the candidates in this race.”
I could not agree more! The election may be less than a year away but now is the time to start vetting these candidates. Now is the time to start to understand what each of these candidates will bring to the table in representing the Santa Clarita Valley. And it’s not just what they can do for our local community but also what they will do for our great State of California.
The response from Patricia McKeon was disappointing in that she evaded the invitation to engage the electorate and diminished the importance of the debate process. She stated in an email response to the Wilk invitation that; “As you and I know, the election is nearly a year away and the only people paying attention to this race are you, me, our supporters, and those you carboned on your note to me.”
We have all seen and read about the dysfunctional in Washington D.C.; the gridlock in Sacramento and the constant partisan bickering going on across the political spectrum. It’s disgusting, deplorable and despicable and we, the average working stiffs, are all ultimately on the losing end it of this political mayhem.
It is high time that the voters start doing there homework and getting educated on where the candidates stand on different issues. That is a process that requires time and not just a passing glance a few days before an election or a mindless directive from some political machine.
The next person that gets elected to represent us in this 38th District needs to be a person of integrity; a person that has a plan to reach across the aisle and find the common ground to get things accomplished, not someone who will continue with the unproductive rhetoric blaming the other side with constant finger pointing. We’re all shell-shocked and sick of that crap!
I’d like to see all of the candidates that are running for 38th District State Assembly seat on a stage answering the same questions. They should be standing on their own two feet at a podium articulating their thoughts to a series of questions without any aides whispering in their ear; without any political double-talk in which they don’t give an answer and without interrupting one another.
Here are some of the questions I would like to have the candidates answer:
We all desire to know that the candidates are serious about this undertaking and are going to make the commitment to the responsibilities that come with holding office. This is not a whimsical pursuit or something that someone thinks they deserve just because!
3. Are you committed to 100% representation and attendance for the nine (months) a year that the Assembly is in session? Again a commitment to the responsibilities that come with holding office.
4. The State of California now has a 4 to 6 Billion dollar budget shortfall. What is your plan to balance the State budget?
There needs to be some kind of thoughtful plan or framework to deal with this mess. If a candidate doesn’t have any intelligent thoughts on this topic than they should not be running for this office as our State is in a fiscal crisis.
5. What are your most important personal qualities to be a leader in the California State Assembly? An important question as it will show what is important to the candidate and to the voter.
6. What does CEQA represent and what problems, if any, are there with and the solutions for CEQA? This is a question that has direct implications for the overly complex, confusing and redundant regulation.
7. Since 2007 more than 2,700 businesses have relocated to other states. What is your solution for business retention in California?
8. The State of California is governed by a Democrat majority. How would you be an influence on the legislative process sitting on the back bench?
These are just a few job interviewing questions I’d like to ask, and, as a voter, that is exactly what we need to be doing in the coming months: interviewing these candidates that want to represent us. Voters need to see the candidates at open forums, in debates, at community meetings and answering questions.
We must ask pointed questions and we must get straight answers. It is only in doing so that we will be able to make an intelligent choice in choosing the right individual, regardless of party affiliation, to represent our interests.
Running for the Sate Assembly, like any other elected office, can not be taken lightly or be looked at as a seat for the taking just because a person wants it. It is a commitment to a job that requires a level of experience and competence that must be taken seriously. It must be a qualified individual who can process complex information and make decisions and judgments that are in the best interests of our State and not just party affiliation.
I would like to see the local media outlets cohost a series of candidate debates at an appropriate local venue so that we, as a community, can have an opportunity to ask these tough questions and more of all the candidates. Several of the candidates have already indicated that they would welcome the chance to speak about their experience and discuss their platform, those candidates that don’t wish to participate should not be running for office.
Dave Bossert- Commentary
Dave Bossert is a community volunteer who serves on a number of boards and councils. His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of the West Ranch Beacon.
Do you agree? Does the 38th need a series of debates?