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

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 22
1898 - Birth of Mary S. Ruiz, eldest child of Enrique & Rosaria Ruiz of San Francisquito Canyon; all died in 1928 dam disaster [cemetery census]

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.


  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
    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...
Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017
It was 10 years ago this fall semester that we opened the Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway. We are celebrating a decade of academic excellence and community impact. What a difference a decade makes.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
We are quickly approaching the culmination of the year-long celebration of our city’s 30th anniversary. It is truly a time to celebrate all the hard work, dedication, perseverance and passion that took our City from being a tiny portion of Los Angeles County to the thriving third largest city in the county.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
This month marks an exciting milestone for the premier arts and entertainment district in Santa Clarita.
Friday, Sep 29, 2017
Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities.
Thursday, Sep 28, 2017
Despite its close proximity to the city of Barstow, Rainbow Basin remains virtually undiscovered. It is well worth a visit. Visitors to the area can find scenic opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, camping, photography, sightseeing and horseback riding.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Bobbi Jean and her husband Jim Bell, whose OutWest clothing store and popular TV concert series celebrated all things Western and equestrian and helped revitalize Old Town Newhall over the past decade, will soon ride east into the sunrise: They’re moving to New Mexico.
OutWest Owners Jim and Bobbi Jean Bell Ride East Into the Sunrise
1898 - Birth of Mary S. Ruiz, eldest child of Enrique & Rosaria Ruiz of San Francisquito Canyon; all died in 1928 dam disaster [cemetery census]
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,000 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a sexual assault suspect was arrested Thursday night. Plus, some great weekend events. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, October 20, 2017
Forever Fit SCV, a Santa Clarita sports and personal fitness training company, will host a "Pumpkin Workout" at its Centre Pointe location on Saturday, October 28, starting at 9 a.m.
Oct. 25: Pumpkin Workout Benefits American Cancer Society
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: Hart School District Governing Board Meeting
The LA County Public Defender has won the Silver Eagle Award for its Public Defender Jail Liaison Program during the 31st Annual Productivity and Quality Awards Ceremony on Oct. 18 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
LA County Public Defender Soars with Silver Eagle Award
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a heat alert as high temperatures have been forecast for the Los Angeles Basin on Monday, October 23 through Tuesday, October 24.
Heat Alert for SCV, L.A. County on Monday, Tuesday
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has received three major gifts toward the creation of the museum in Los Angeles, bringing fundraising to more than $300M, nearly 80 percent of its $388M campaign goal.
Motion Picture Museum Nears $388M Campaign Goal
Caltrans added nearly 1,200 lane miles of pavement repair and 66 bridges to its growing list of projects to be delivered sooner than planned, thanks to the imminent influx of revenue from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1), the transportation funding and reform package passed in April.
Nearly $3.4 Billion in Transportation Projects to Be Accelerated
The city of Santa Clarita and SCV Veterans Memorial, Inc. invite the public to attend a special ceremony unveiling the new Fallen Warriors Monument at Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall on Wednesday, November 8 starting at 10 a.m.
Nov. 8: City Unveils Fallen Warriors Monument in Newhall
Crime Prevention deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station along with Los Angeles County Probation Department officers conducted probation compliance searches Friday throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Deputies Check Probationers, Aid in Domestic Violence Call
Here is the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's public safety report for Canyon Country (West), aka Zone 7, for October 2 through October 8, 2017
Crime Blotter: Robbery, Grand Theft in Canyon Country West
A suspect has been arrested in the investigation of an alleged sexual assault, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station officials.
Suspect Arrested in Alleged Sexual Assault
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States and a concern the California Highway Patrol addresses with its "Start Smart" program.
CHP Helps New Drivers with ‘Start Smart’ Classes
The California High-Speed Rail Authority punted one of the most important decisions during its monthly meeting Thursday, stoking concerns the entity is not moving quickly enough on the $64 billion project.
California’s Bullet Train Board Delays Award of Key Contract
An extensive investigation by the county of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs in conjunction with the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has resulted in a lawsuit announced today by the Attorney General against retailer Curacao.
AG Sues Retailer Curacao for Allegedly Preying on Consumers
1873 - Santa Barbara lawyers Charles Fernald and J.T. Richards purchase Rancho San Francisco for $33,000 (75 cents an acre) in a sheriff's sale [story]
CHESTERFIELD, MO — NewGround, a St. Louis-based experiential design-build firm, recently teamed up with Logix Federal Credit Union to work on a large scale facility project, a new corporate headquarters building for the full-service credit union in the Burbank, California area.
Valencia Will Soon be Home to Logix Federal Credit Union Headquarters
The CSUN women's volleyball team (10-9, 4-3 Big West) opens the second half of the Big West season this week as the Matadors head up the coast this week for road tests at No. 23 Cal Poly (17-2, 7-0 Big West) and UC Santa Barbara (4-15, 3-4 Big West). CSUN, coming off a tough five-set loss to Hawai'i at home, is 3-4 in seven road matches this season but has won two of three Big West road contests.
Matadors Volleyball Testing Their Skills on the Road
No. 5 College of the Canyons defeated L.A. Mission College 3-0 on Wednesday to earn its eighth consecutive match and fifth straight sweep. Set scores were 25-15, 25-11, and 25-20.
Cougars Volleyball Earns Fifth Straight Sweep
CSUN Women's Soccer (7-4-5, 3-1-1 BWC) looks to move up in the Big West standings this week as it hosts UC Irvine on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Matadors Get Ready for Big West Matchups
Behind Julio Rubio's goal in the 11th minute CSUN defeated UC Riverside 1-0 in Big West Conference men's soccer action Wednesday night.
Matadors’ Lone Goal Enough to Hold Off UC Riverside
Northridge, CA – CSUN Athletics officially opened its new satellite athletic training facility on Thursday at an event featuring Athletic Director Dr. Brandon Martin, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Steven Grech, student-athletes, coaches, staff and campus partners.
Matadors Student-Athletes Welcome New Training Facility
Want unique gifts and a shopping experience unlike any other?
Nov. 18-19: City’s Annual Two-Day Fine Craft Show
City officials gathered Wednesday for the Grand Opening of "Three Oaks," the first 100 percent affordable family development in Santa Clarita.
Affordable Housing Comes to Santa Clarita
The Gibbon Conservation Center will celebrate Halloween for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 28: Gibbon Conservation Center Celebrates First Halloween
California State University, Northridge is partnering with the California State University Entertainment Alliance to host a morning of workshops designed to offer students and members of the public advice on building successful careers in the entertainment industry.
Oct. 23: CSUN Workshop; Succeeding in Entertainment Industry
Spotlight Arts Center, a local non-profit that provides free performing and visual arts classes to children in the Santa Clarita Valley, will hold its Fall Festival, Sunday, Oct. 22 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Oct. 22: Fall Festival Spotlight Arts Center
The College of the Canyons Athletics department is inviting all players, coaches and cheerleaders associated with a Santa Clarita Valley youth sports league or cheer organization to attend Saturday's Cougar football game free of charge.
Oct. 21: SCV Youth Teams Invited to Free COC Football Game
College of the Canyons freshmen Joanna Roecker and Cassandra Lee both turned in scores of 79 to lead the Cougars to a second place team finish at the Western State Conference (WSC) event hosted by Glendale College at Brookside Golf Course on Monday.
COC Falls Short at WSC Glendale
Beginning Monday, October 23, 2017, the city of Santa Clarita will increase the frequency of street sweeping throughout all areas of the City.
Oct. 23: City Begins Increased Street Sweeping Frequency
In a battle for Western State Conference, East Division supremacy, it was College of the Canyons that came out on top Tuesday night, as the Cougars scored two second half goals to secure a 2-0 win against visiting Antelope Valley College. Justine Hoeft and Jennifer Roney collected goals for the Cougars (11-2, 2-0).
COC Secures Win Against AVC With Two Second-Half Goals
The upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Buckweed Fires offers Santa Clarita residents a reminder of the ever-present fire danger in Los Angeles County, as blazes ravage the northern half of the state, as well.
Officials Reflect on 10-Year Anniversary of Buckweed Fires
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, with help from a Smartphone GPS system, were able to locate a lost hiker Wednesday night at Towsley Canyon.
Smartphone GPS Locates Lost Towsley Canyon Hiker