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Machine politics here to stay in Santa Clarita

Posted: May 12, 2008 2:44 a.m.
Updated: July 12, 2008 5:04 a.m.
 
To The Editor:

In case you didn't notice during our last City Council election, we entered a new era of political growth. Machine politics, with all its warts, has entered our fair city.

As usual, the underlying reason is profit at the expense of the average citizen. With our city manager's stated objective to make our city an "urban center," the developers, their land-use attorneys and lobbyists want their influence to fall on receptive City Council ears.

The plan was to replace inquisitive and outspoken TimBen Boydston with someone more accommodating to the city manager and developers' common vision. Laurie Ender fit the bill, so it became a full court press to get her elected.

The key to machine politics is the organization of effort by seemingly separate entities, high flow of money, illegal behavior, unethical behavior by elected officials, and negative and misleading campaign ads. Money flowed into Laurie's campaign as the development players rallied support.

Laurie played it smart by opposing the proposed site for the materials recycling facility which had little chance of approval. But she gave away her hand by supporting HMNMH and G&L Realty's 15-year plan to construct office buildings and parking structures without guaranteeing hospital expansion.

Don't be surprised if G&L thinks about going back to its original 25-year master plan, with even more office buildings, now that Laurie is on the council.

Councilman Frank Ferry's misdeeds are well documented. Most notable is his illegal use of his campaign funds to fund a flier on behalf of his protégé, Laurie Ender. Add to that his campaign speech during a City Council meeting in which he stated Laurie's opposition to the MRF in front of a packed house of like-minded potential voters.

How did Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon come to endorse relatively unknown Laurie Ender? Unfortunately the key players involved in this important move may never be revealed to the public.

Finally, we saw the entrance of Laurie's negative fliers about another candidate likely to give her a run for her money. She claimed that Bob Spierer was playing politics with the so-called hospital expansion as though he didn't care, when in fact he had been in contact with involved parties trying reach some agreement and was looking forward to the yet-to-be finalized revised environmental impact report. Laurie's handlers seem to confuse responsible civic behavior with lack of concern.

Bottom line, we may not be an urban center yet but our city manager's vision has certainly brought out the smell of urban political tactics.

Unfortunately, with success will come repetition.

One last thought for Laurie, TimBen was appointed to the council to not rock the boat. Instead he carefully read every paragraph, questioned everything and tried to make sure the public interest was served. You have the same opportunity.

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