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Scott Wilk: Even an imperfect man ought to know the truth

Posted: February 19, 2010 5:32 p.m.
Updated: February 21, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
I wasn't feeling the love Valentine's Day morning when I read City Council candidate David Gauny's column ("An imperfect man vs. a well-oiled machine," Feb. 14). Gauny, in his mea culpa for his past indiscretions, made several factually incorrect statements about me, City Councilwoman Laurie Ender and City Councilman Frank Ferry.

I appreciate The Signal's quick response in printing a correction regarding Gauny's claims about me and for providing me this forum to set the record straight. Below is a more robust correction to Gauny's column. I have also provided a third-party source for every item so anyone can independently verify the information.

Gauny stated: "Wilk, along with his wife, controls two of the six votes needed for our local Republican Party to rubber-stamp their endorsement."

Truth: The 38th Assembly District Republican Central Committee board has 11 members. Seven of those members are elected by Republican voters every two years, and four serve as ex officio appointments by our GOP officials.

I have the honor of being an elected member, and my wife, Vanessa, serves as an ex officio for state Sen. Tony Strickland. As an ex officio, Vanessa votes at the direction of Strickland and therefore, I do not "control" her vote.

Vanessa and I, as did the majority of the committee, voted to support our three Republican incumbents - Mayor Laurene Weste, Councilwoman Marsha McLean and Councilman Frank Ferry.

Our vote to endorse the three incumbents is the same position taken by Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon, Sen. George Runner, Strickland and Assemblyman Cameron Smyth. (Source: www.lagop.org)

Gauny stated: "Wilk is a registered lobbyist in our city, which means he represents controversial projects before a city council ..."

Truth: I am not a registered lobbyist in our city. In 2007 and 2008 I did public-affairs work in support of expansion of Westfield Valencia Town Center (i.e., the new Patios wing) and Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, which will allow our nonprofit community hospital to effectively respond to rising community needs, and build a new helipad so it can remain a trauma center.

Both of these projects add to the quality of life of every resident of the Santa Clarita Valley; that Gauny would find them "controversial" ought to give pause to any person committed to economic growth and public health.

I have also done my share of pro bono work in our community, such as assisting the residents of Belcaro in their effort to try to prevent massive utility towers from being erected in our community. (Source: www.santa-clarita.com, go to Quick Links and click on Lobbyist Registration)

Gauny stated: "Wilk's company represented Spierer's opponent, Laurie Ender."

Truth: I served as lead consultant to City Councilman Bob Kellar's re-election campaign. I was not involved with any other campaign. (Source: Kellar Campaign Committee Statement - check issued on April 8, 2008 to Scott Wilk. The document is available in the City Clerk's Office at City Hall)

Gauny stated: "Massive funding from outside interests allows people like Wilk to outspend and ruin challengers. ... This is exactly what happened to a candidate named Bob Spierer."

Truth: Again, I was only involved in Bob Kellar's campaign and Kellar endorsed Spierer. I think Spierer is a good man and would have made a fine City Council member. In fact, our company made a $125 contribution to his campaign. (Source: Spierer Campaign Committee Statement - contribution from Liaison Communications listed on March 3, 2008. The document is available in the City Clerk's Office at City Hall)

Supposedly, the intention of Gauny's column was to express regret for his past indiscretions. Instead of expressing true contrition, he went on the attack in an attempt to diminish his past failures. As the old saying goes, "A good defense is a good offense."

Most troubling is Gauny's willingness to be reckless with the truth to try to create a political advantage.

The Signal's editorial that morning was titled "Being responsible is our agenda." That standard should apply to candidates for public office as well.

Scott Thomas Wilk is a member of the California Republican Party and elected member to the Los Angeles County Republican Party. He is president of Liaison Communications, a public affairs firm. He can be reached at scott@liaison-communications.com. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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