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A Jeep takes important role in parade

Myer's Musings

Posted: July 7, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 7, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Late on an unseasonably cool July 4 holiday, and after completing my 15th year announcing the annual Santa Clarita Fourth of July Parade through Newhall to the doorsteps of Valencia, I contemplated the parade and the items that occurred and how they mirror and relate to the current state of the body politic in the Santa Clarita Valley. In other words, does the parade reflect our general mood and feelings and the state of political affairs?

Around 90 different businesses and organizations entered the long march. The usual suspects brought their entries to the parade:  The Canyon Theatre Guild, the Y-Guides, KHTS Radio, Elks (with their ubiquitous flags) and Masons with their throwback costumes and grand titles.

But some things at least seemed different. Among them Buck McKeon making a somewhat rare appearance at the parade, with his recently defeated Assembly seeking spouse Patricia McKeon. Interestingly, the announcer script submitted by the Congressman contained nothing about his achievements or Congressional leadership positions but contained everything about the restored World War II jeep in which he rode.

It almost seemed that the somewhat politically bruised Congressman — concerned about boo-birds who might take issue with his lack of action on Cemex and allegations of nepotism and favorable mortgage transactions with Countrywide — wanted the people to cheer for the jeep’s obvious heroism in service to this nation rather than any alleged shortcomings of the Congressman himself.

I also noted the almost 100 percent participation of other elected office hopefuls in the parade. It seemed that everyone vying for office in the SCV in November, save the nominees from the Antelope Valley and Fran Pavley’s state senate opponent, made the effort to attend the parade to “wave at the people.”

State Senator Fran Pavley, former mayor of Agoura Hills who found a portion of the SCV drawn into her new district, decided not to make the same mistake as Hannah Beth-Jackson in 2008, who ignored the SCV and found herself losing a close election to Tony Strickland when he captured overwhelming percentages of the vote here.
I laud Senator Pavley’s effort for attending, but she did seem a bit puzzled looking and perplexed, leading me to believe this constitutes the first time life brought her to the “mean streets” of Newhall.

The parade also found Dr. Lee Rogers, opponent of incumbent Congressman Buck McKeon for the 25th District Congressional seat, and both winners of the jungle primary vying for Cameron Smyth’s soon to be vacated Assembly seat; Republican Scott Wilk and Democrat Edward Headington.

While Rogers will lose (somewhat narrowly) to Buck McKeon and Headington will lose (overwhelmingly) to Scott Wilk, their campaigns thus far include meeting with some quite flinty ideological local Republicans, who admit the Democrat primary winners seem appealing, intelligent and well meaning candidates with whom they just happen to disagree.

But in the “parade as politics” area one wonders about the city councilmembers, who made a rare 100-percent appearance in the parade. But the councilmembers did not present a unified front: Mayor Pro Tem Bob Kellar rode his own mighty steed, while Councilmembers Laurene Weste and Marsha McLean rode on the same float. New Councilmember TimBen Boydston drove a truck running in the parade, and Mayor Frank Ferry rode in an open convertible with his fiancé. Does this indicate a four-party “split” with the governing council?  Time will tell.

Tim Myers is a Valencia resident. ‘Myers’ Musings’ runs Saturdays in The Signal.


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