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Be grateful for Cameron Smyth

Right Here, Right Now

Posted: October 19, 2008 7:20 p.m.
Updated: December 21, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 
In the budget-bickering, bananas world of Sacramento politics, be grateful for Cameron Smyth.
He has aptly applied his successes as Santa Clarita’s mayor/city councilman to his new position as a California Assemblyman and smoothly moved up the ranks of the Legislature.

Freshman Assemblyman Smyth has established himself as one of the most effective California legislators in spite of the fact that, as a Republican, he is a member of the minority party.

It is extremely difficult for a Republican to even get a bill on the Assembly floor, let alone a first-term Republican. Cameron Smyth has done just that.

Let’s examine some of his work:

n California AB 534, commonly referred to as the Surrogate Stalker Act, began as a grassroots movement by parents outraged by the blatant behavior of convicted pedophile Jack McClellan, who cruised the streets of California communities, including Santa Clarita.

This bill was drafted early in 2007, and it ran the political gamut through both legislative houses before being signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. It becomes law on Jan. 1, 2009.

n AB 1278 cracks down on human trafficking. It prohibits contracts that siphon future wages in exchange for the cost of transporting people to the United States.

The legislation allows district attorneys to target and dismantle organized cells of human traffickers. This modern-day system of indentured servitude has become a big problem in California.

n AB 1892 prohibits Homeowners Associations from barring individual homeowners who install solar energy and solar water heating systems.

According to Smyth, the passage of this bill, and it’s signing by the governor, not only allows people to reduce energy costs, but also protects the environment.

Cameron Smyth joined with Assembly colleague Lois Wolk, Democrat from Davis, in backing a “job creator” bill that increases public access for individuals with disabilities while reducing unwarranted litigation.

The governor signed SB 1698, the Disability Access Reform act, on Oct. 8. This bicameral, bipartisan legislation took two years to accomplish, and much care was given at crafting an important agreement between business leaders and disability-rights groups.

What makes Smyth’s accomplishments even more impressive is the fact that all of his sponsored bills were passed with bipartisan support and co-authorship with Democrats.

The effort to bring all parties together to forge an agreement is something Santa Clarita voters have learned to expect from Cameron Smyth. It is nice to see that the sometimes-poisonous environs of Sacramento have not changed him.

To that end, I seem to recall an article Gary Horton wrote a while back giving then Santa Clarita City Councilman Cameron Smyth praise for personally working with Horton on improving the intersection of McBean and Arroyo Park.

It was, therefore, a bit surprising to read in a recent local commentary column entitled “Meet Carole Lutness” that Horton claimed he did not know much about Smyth.

Using his bipartisan legislative leadership ability, Cameron has also begun to a make a name for himself as a proponent of sustainable energy policies that balance the needs of the environment without further driving business away from California.

As co-chair of the Assembly E-3 (Energy, Economy, and Environment) Committee, Smyth has taken advantage of his experience working for Shell Oil’s alternative fuels division by promoting renewable sources of energy along with the “green-collar jobs” that are subsequently created for Californians.

In these times of high unemployment in the private sector, it is refreshing to find a California politician who combines a concern for the environment with a way to create jobs, yet proposes to spend little or none of taxpayers’ money in so doing.

Democrat Lutness, Smyth’s opponent in the November election, claims that she has a strong record on environmental issues.

Talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words. There is only one candidate in the 38th Assembly District race who drives a hybrid vehicle, and it is Republican Assemblyman Cameron Smyth.

While a certain amount of bipartisanship is necessary in order to keep Sacramento functioning efficiently, it is important to point out distinguishing party differences. Democrats are very good at proposing nanny-like, idealistic legislation that is usually unproven and costly to taxpayers when put into action.

History shows that once a law is enacted, it is not only difficult to remove, but expensive to keep refining.
Republicans, on the other hand, stress accountability and the elimination of expensive and duplicitous laws. In fact, elected state Republicans have become taxpayers’ watchdogs.

When you go to the polls or fill in your absentee ballots this November, please remember Republican Assemblyman Cameron Smyth. You and I know him. He is one of us.

We trust him. We know that he will do the right thing ... right here, right now!

Paul B. Strickland Sr. is a resident of Santa Clarita. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. “Right Here, Right Now” runs Mondays in The Signal and rotates among several local Republican writers.

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