[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Crony Dumpster Diving | 04-05-2017
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
62°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 29
1978 - Original Colossus coaster opens at Magic Mountain [watch it being built]


Commentary by Richard Hood
| Wednesday, Apr 5, 2017

In addition to leftist (as opposed to liberal) ideology, do you know what else is destructive of American society? Crony capitalism.

It can begin when you run as a conservative to get elected in a conservative area, in an attempt to make a career out of holding public office. Next, we can have what appears to be collusion with business, to the enrichment of both, whether monetarily or politically via ongoing agreements and contributions. Voting “right,” as in conservative, and not having discernment to know how bad it looks to take contributions from concerns like the local landfill does not help conservatism or the country.

If politicians attend dinners where they are honored by business concerns that also contribute to their campaign funds, and then the politicians come out in support of that business, well, how does it make our politicians look? The landfill promised our community of Val Verde it would be closed by now, but instead it wants to double in size, becoming one of the nation’s largest.

Val Verde was simply lied to by both the county and the landfill. It was safe either to buy or stay in Val Verde, residents were told, as the landfill had to close down. It was in writing. But what good are written agreements if your own county government is in collusion with the side refusing to stand by such agreements? Were residents offered top dollar by the county or landfill for their properties? No, they were offered nothing.

Conservatively speaking, one of the government’s limited roles in society is to protect its citizens, but our county government has betrayed these residents and our valley, preferring the landfill. And for what possible reason? Our state and federal representatives support the landfill, too, rather than supporting the wishes of constituents who voted them in.

Val Verde is represented locally by the Castaic Town Council. At least on paper. The landfill offered that council money for Castaic, but only if the council and their family members agreed not to oppose the landfill publicly. Otherwise, the money would stop. The council agreed to these terms. Can you believe this? Do you think this supports our American system, or degrades and corrupts it?

Our new Supervisor Kathryn Barger told our local news in regard to this issue that she would make the right decision for the community. Was she talking about Val Verde, the community that voted unanimously to have the landfill and county keep their word and close down? If not, how dishonest and callous. If so, how condescending and patronizing – or out of touch with her own constituents’ opinion. The people have spoken, so why won’t our elected representatives listen? Could it be that these proud American politicians care more about what lobbyists and other puppet masters tell them rather than what we, their supposed bosses, tell them? Is it foolishness to take the type of campaign donations that cause moral bankruptcy, or is it the other way around?

Politicians, like others who swear an oath to defend our Constitution, acknowledge in doing so that “we the people” are in fact their bosses. When any politician’s actions are not in accord with that premise, one might wonder about the politician’s attitude regarding the Constitution itself, and oaths in general.

As a conservative, I don’t care how conservative Wilk or Barger or Knight say they are; I won’t vote for anyone again who won’t take the time to learn about local issues or don’t care about simple, basic, moral issues of right and wrong. Being business friendly is good, but being so to the detriment of their own constituent’s rights is both a political and personal failing.

It might take longer to do so than leftism, but crony capitalism also brings destruction to our country and is therefore just as poisonous as the actions of those who outright admit to hating our country.

We already have a “Michael D. Antonovich Open Space,” so maybe we can have a “Barger-Wilk-Knight Open For Business Space” soon. They have all taken landfill money as have, it turns out, most if not all of the Santa Clarita City Council. How bad does something have to look before otherwise decent people feel shame?

Crony capitalism makes me sick, but worse, it makes all of us, our entire nation, sick. Our Founders knew capitalism works better than anything else, but as John Adams and others pointed out concerning our Constitution, it too requires a moral and religious people. Otherwise, the Founders and framers thought it an inadequate document.

How moral and decent a people are we? Well, just look at those we’ve chosen to represent us. It’s not what you call yourself; it’s what you do. Would you want your kids to be like them when they grow up? What would make you prouder of your kids – voting “right” and taking the money, or simply supporting that which is morally right?

It’s been said the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and this would include vigilance against being seduced by lobbyists and led into temptation and rationalization. We are told for good reason to pray for our officials, but how many of us do so?

May our fellow residents in this valley be delivered from the evil of our expanding rogue landfill, its paid promoters, and its paid political protectors who are supposed to be the citizen’s protectors.

 

Richard Hood is a retired history teacher who lives in Valencia.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

8 Comments

  1. LMAO this guy is all over the place! Between scapegoating leftists, appealing to populism, and then without any irony defending capitalism as the system that works best and distinguishing it from “crony capitalism,” which he doesn’t even define, I’m not sure what I just read. :P

  2. Mark Cezon says:

    Well, Daniel, he sounds like a pretty reasonable person to me. Capitalism, ideally, is terrific. Unfortunately, what we have today is debtism, cronyism, and corporatism. There is no free market, and there is no level playing field. Seems like Mr. Hood got that right. Additionally, conservatives, and “constitutionalists”, should by definition be more concerned about the rights of individuals than the profits of large corporations. Clearly, that definition has been shifted, and perverted, over time. If that is seen by you as populist or leftist, then perhaps it is time to dispense with the labels and simply do what we believe is good and right. When legislators, elected and paid by their constituents, choose to ignore the people who put them in power, and instead choose to represent the interests of those who give them even more money, then the system is truly broken, and we have government of, by, and for, the rich and well-connected.
    Sounds like Mr. Hood is a rare breed, a thoughtful conservative who is questioning what conservatism means. I think he would have liked Barry Goldwater. Have a great day, Daniel.

  3. Tanya says:

    Great points. Thanks for the article. Having followed this issue for almost three years, it is clear that money has certainly clouded the judgment of our representatives and silenced those who should be protecting our communities.

  4. Steve says:

    Richard I agree, when the pockets are lined by those the county is supposed to keep in check rules/laws will be broken or down right ignored by the county.

  5. Susie Evans says:

    In the new FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT the deal lets the county off the hook (not legally liable) for any illegal actions by CCL, any violations by CCL and essentially lets the CCL do what they want and pay the county a ton of money. Also the City of Santa Clarita wants a cut of the $$ for their support of the expansion. The City of Santa Clarita fought Elsmere Canyon dumop, but wants the CCL to continue. Has anyone thought about what is in this place that went in before 1997 and there were EPA rules? That stuff I am sure is seeping through to our water and our dirt in addition to our air

  6. jim says:

    There comes a time in every adult’s life when they realize that there is a system in place that does things for a reason that may not make sense to them. It could be in their workplace, it could be their local, state, or federal government, it could be a social organization.

    That system, process, whatever you call it does not always do the morally right thing. It produces a result that seems to be free of, or counter to the concepts that that group claims to stand for.

    The landfill is a perfect example. Of course if you pay attention, almost everything else in business and government offers similar examples.

    Money and power (hard to separate those two) talk so much more loudly than facts or even documented proof that it is hard for people to make the choice. Barger and friends may even believe that they are making the right choice “for the greater good”.

    I guess it all comes down to how you define “good”, doesn’t it? That, and just exactly who gets the “good”.

    Thus we get to enjoy the process of learning which end of the stick is the short end, and which end is not.

    Buena Suerte Val Verde!

  7. Martha Hastert-Simmonds says:

    Well done! You made many truthful and valid points. When our city and county government are brought by the highest bidder what chance do we have as a community to be protected and feel safe. We have been lied to and our health and safety sold. When a government becomes this corrupt it leads to a true breakdown in our society.

  8. waterwatcher says:

    Its not just the council, you should look at the substantial donations given to the Castaic Lake Water Agency incumbents in the last water election. Why – the landfill needs a water hook up to continue watering all their mounds of trash, AND if you have the water agencies on your side, who will worry about leachate from the landfill getting into the Santa Clara River? Not the people that they helped get elected, surely.

    That is why it is so bad to have this water monopoly in Santa Clarita with Castaic Lake Water Agency in control of everything. PLEASE write an opposition letter NOW to
    Anton Favorini-Csorba, Staff
    Anton.Favorini-Csorba@sen.ca.gov
    Governance and Finance Committee
    State Capitol, Room 408
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: (916) 651-4119
    Fax: (916) 322-0298

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Sunday, Jun 25, 2017
The Antiquities Act does not give a president the authority to revoke a national monument from a previous administration, but a sitting president can change the boundaries of a national monument. Under congressional authority, Congress can also convert a national monument to a national park, which has been done on several occasions.
Thursday, Jun 22, 2017
Hooded orioles must be the most beautiful birds you can see in your backyard. They will be here until the third week of August, so catch a glimpse while you can.
Tuesday, Jun 20, 2017
Did you know the America’s Job Center of California at College of the Canyons is a FREE resource to help your business find the employees that it needs?
Monday, Jun 19, 2017
The Cadiz Project aims to provide a supplemental supply and storage opportunity in Southern California for local water agencies by conserving water presently lost to high-salinity and evaporation at dry lake playas that serve as the only outflow pf a 1.300-square-mile desert watershed.
Sunday, Jun 18, 2017
If you hope to live longer, you might consider a big move to Minnesota or Wisconsin, or you might choose an easier path to health by improving your odds where you live.
Friday, Jun 16, 2017
If you have Medicare as well as other insurance, always be sure to tell your doctor, hospital and pharmacy. This is important because it determines whether your medical bills are paid correctly and on time.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1978 - Original Colossus coaster opens at Magic Mountain [watch it being built]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, local government, law enforcement and fire leaders held a press conference and fireworks demonstration. Plus, The House of Natural Resources Committee passed the St. Francis Dam Memorial Act. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station detectives seek the public's help to identify a theft suspect who has committed multiple thefts in Saugus and Valencia.
SCV Detectives Seek Help to ID Theft Suspect
Four Summer Robotics Workshops for young people in grades 5 through 8 are set for NASA's AERO Institute in Palmdale in July.
NASA AERO Institute Sets Summer LEGO Robotics Workshops
Avery Romero homered in his first at-bat and reached base in all four of his plate appearances to help the Lancaster JetHawks defeat the Inland Empire 66ers, 7-1, on Wednesday afternoon at San Manuel Stadium.
Romero’s Big Wednesday Helps JetHawks’ Tinoco to Sixth Win
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and FBI officials are investigating a robbery at the Chase Bank branch on Lyons Avenue in Newhall on Tuesday afternoon.
Suspect in Newhall Bank Robbery Still at Large
Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, announces the Joint Legislative Audit Committee today agreed to his request for an audit of Los Angeles County Homeless Service spending.
Wilk’s Request to Audit LA County Homeless Services Approved
College of the Canyons has continued to meet accreditation standards since the college’s fall 2014 accreditation, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges' Western Association of Schools and Colleges has confirmed.
COC Continues to Meet Accreditation Standards
Santa Clarita Valley residents are looking forward to the city of Santa Clarita's annual Fourth of July Parade in Old Town Newhall Tuesday, July 4 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
July 4: Santa Clarita Fourth of July Parade
Independence Day Classic runners looking to re-fuel and pancake lovers alike can enjoy the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club's annual pancake breakfast on Tuesday, July 4 from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
July 4: Rotary Pancake Breakfast
Artist Randall Williams has completed painting a new 20-foot mural for the Domestic Violence Center’s Santa Clarita shelter, commissioned by Logix Federal Credit Union.
Artist Completes New Mural at Domestic Violence Center
Firefighters battle a fast-moving blaze that consumed 850 acres Sunday afternoon and destroyed structures on the Disney movie ranch in Placerita Canyon. Sparked by a car crash, the fire threatened homes on both sides of the 14 Freeway.
Updated: Placerita Fire at 760 Acres, 95 Percent Contained [Video]
The California state tax rate on tobacco products other than cigarettes will increase from the current rate of 27.3 to 65.08 percent of the wholesale cost on July 1.
July 1: Tax on Tobacco Products Spikes Per Prop 56
The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center Silvertone Singers under the direction of John Swinford will present their "Fifty Years on the Great Broad Way!" concert at the Senior Center on Thursday, June 29 from 2:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
June 29: ‘Fifty Years on the Great Broad Way’ Concert at Senior Center
Santa Clarita-based Pet Me Happy Treats, maker of Artisan Dog Treats with Oregon Blueberries, celebrates its official Grand Opening with a Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting hosted by Shelter Hope Pet Shop on Tuesday, July 11 at 5:30 p.m.
July 11: Pet Me Happy Treats Grand Opening
Get your Fourth of July off to a running start by taking part in the 35th Annual Independence Day Classic 5K and 10K Run/Walk at Newhall Memorial Park starting at 7 a.m.
July 4: Independence Day Classic 5K, 10K Run-Walk
Everyone from first-time racers and kids to professionals and enthusiasts are invited to take part in the Santa Clarita PedalFest Racing Series at Central Park, with the first race on Thursday, June 29 starting at 5:30 p.m.
June 29: First 2017 ‘PedalFest’ Race
"Aloha Broha," an exhibit of original art by Cyrus Howlett, will be on display at The MAIN in Newhall from Wednesday, July 5 through Friday, July 28.
July 5-28: ‘Aloha Broha’ Exhibits Art by Cyrus Howlett
The Lancaster JetHawks scored four runs in the top of the first but couldn’t hold off the Inland Empire 66ers in a 14-7 loss on Tuesday night at San Manuel Stadium.
JetHawks Squander Early Lead En Route to Rout Tuesday
1926 - Film director Mel Brooks born in Brooklyn; shot "Blazing Saddles" at Vasquez Rocks and "Robin Hood: Men In Tights" in Sand Canyon [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Chiquita Canyon's expansion is approved by the county. Plus, deputies arrest a man after a standoff in Stevenson Ranch. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, June 27, 2017
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the Chiquita Canyon Landfill expansion Tuesday afternoon with some amendments.
Supes OK Chiquita Expansion; Higher Fees for Non-SCV Trash
LA Summerfest presents the Leslie Berra Singers in a special performance at the Rivendale Park & Open Space on Saturday, July 15 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
July 15: Leslie Berra Singers at LA SummerFEST
The Small Business Development Center at College of the Canyons will host a Veteran Entrepreneurship Series Parts 1 and 2 workshop at the University Center at COC on Friday, June 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
June 30: SBDC Veteran Entrepreneurship Workshop
Princess Cruises®announced today that Golden Princess®, Crown Princess® and Ruby Princess® will be the next three ships to feature the Ocean Medallion™ wearable device.
Princess Cruises Adds 3 Ships to Interactive ‘Ocean Medallion’ Class
Visitors to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' website were not met with the usual homepage on Tuesday afternoon. Instead, they saw a black screen with text in the middle, displaying what appeared to be pro-ISIS propaganda.
County Supervisors’ Website is Latest Casualty of Hack
Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the Newhall Pass Open Space, located by the I-5 and 14 interchange.
City Briefs: More Open Space Dedicated
In honor of the Fourth of July, Six Flags Magic Mountain will be transformed into a four-day “All-American” weekend of patriotic festivities from July 1-4,
Six Flags Magic Mountain Hosts Coca-Cola July 4th Fest
Representatives Steve Knight (CA-25) and Julia Brownley's (CA-26) bill, H.R. 2156, the St. Francis Dam Memorial Act passed the House Natural Resources Committee with unanimous support Tuesday.
St. Francis Dam Memorial Act Unanimously Clears Committee
Julia Fulmer, a 16-year-old cancer survivor, is making her directorial debut by calling the shots on "Rachel's Pitch," a new original short film that began shooting in Santa Clarita on Monday.
Teen Cancer Survivor Makes Film Directorial Debut in SCV
Santa Clarita and Los Angeles County fire and law enforcement officials will hold a press conference in Valencia Wednesday to demonstrate the dangers of illegal fireworks.
Pyrotechnics Demonstration to Show Danger of Illegal Fireworks
The California Coastal Commission has reached a tentative settlement with sand mining company Cemex that would lead to the shuttering of a controversial sand-removal operation that residents say is eroding the coast of Monterey Bay.
Cemex to Quit Mining Near Monterey Coast
June 25–July 1 is National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, designed to educate the public about the significance of mosquitoes in their daily lives and the important service provided by mosquito control workers around the world.
June 25-July 1: Mosquito Control Awareness Week
The city of Santa Clarita’s Thursdays@Newhall series in Old Town Newhall, presented by Galpin Subaru, continues in July with a unique blend of music, performances, a beach-themed SENSES block party and much more.
Thursdays at Newhall Brings the Heat in July
Wes Rogers drove in four runs in the first two innings, and the Lancaster JetHawks held off a late Inland Empire 66ers rally in a 9-6 win on Monday night at San Manuel Stadium.
JetHawks Stave Off Sixers to End Skid Monday
A standoff between a man and deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at Valencia Marketplace this morning has ended peacefully, according to officials.
Updated: Valencia Marketplace Standoff Ends Peacefully