You’ve more than likely seen them popping up around town. Blue and hot orange Buck McKeon for Congress signs and reverse hot orange and blue Patricia McKeon for Assembly signs.
The signs are visible, but the candidates themselves were both no-shows for Monday’s tape-delayed candidates forum hosted by SCVTV, The Signal newspaper and KHTS AM-1220.
Bob Haueter, Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Buck McKeon, reacted with surprise upon hearing there had been a candidates forum Monday. He said he’d told the “woman” from SCVTV who’d organized the forum weeks ago that McKeon was already booked. McKeon’s office had requested another date.
“No one ever got back to us,” said Haueter.
SCVTV invited all congressional candidates to the forum by e-mail April 5. After several phone calls, a reply from McKeon’s office on April 19 said, “We are still trying to work out Congressman McKeon’s schedule to try and make him available.” The next day, April 20, an e-mail message from McKeon’s office said, “Congressman McKeon is unfortunately not able to participate due to the fact that his schedule is already full.” The e-mail expressed “regrets” and did not request a different date.
All other candidates had already confirmed and the forum was scheduled.
Haueter said he does not handle Patricia McKeon’s appearances and could not comment on it. The Signal handled arrangements for the Assembly forum; Patricia McKeon told The Signal she would not be attending.
The three 25th Congressional district candidates who did show up, (photo above left, right and center) Republicans Dante Acosta and Cathie Wright, and Democrat Dr. Lee Rogers, were given an opportunity to deliver a message to the absentee McKeon:
“Number one, start listening to your constituents. Be actively engaged. Be informed on the local issues, and stop listening to just the party and most importantly the corporate lobbyists, the military industrial complex,” said Acosta.
“I’m going to enter the CEMEX bill, I don’t care what my party says about I’m entering it and I’m going to fight for it,” said Rogers.
“I happen to agree with Lee on the nepotism and having family members working for their campaigns. I think that’s wrong. That’s something my mom would never done, oh my God. That’s just so corrupt,” said Wright.
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Meanwhile 38th Assembly District Candidates (photo left to right) Democrat Edward Headington, and Republicans Paul Strickland and Scott Wilk each lamented the absence of Patricia McKeon but focused on which party would be most effective in Sacramento.
Headington said Strickland and Wilk would not work with the Democratic majority in the state legislature.
“The question is how effective will they be? They are much further to the right of Cameron Smyth, much further to the right of his predecessor Keith Richman. And I just don’t think they’re going to have much relevance up there,” said Headington.
Strickland doesn’t believe Headington’s logic saying he has the reputation of getting people working together.
“Witness that fact that I have the California Teachers Association, I have their endorsement. I don’t think that’s a little farther right than Keith Richman or Cameron Smyth,” said Strickland.
Wilk also disagrees with Headington and forsees changes in the 2/3rds control by the Democratic party.
“What’s important right now, Cameron Smyth’s up there with 27 members. Because of redistricting that is going to move to probably going to 34 members, and with the open primary system I’m hopeful that we’re going to get pro-business, some pro business Democrats elected so we can start making the changes to foster a better economic climate here in California,” said Wilk.
To watch both the 38th Assembly District and 25th Congressional district candidates forums in their entirety, watch them on SCVTV, or on www.hometownstation.com or www.the-signal.com.
The following is the TV schedule:
SCVTV = Time Warner Channel 20 | AT&T U-verse Channel 99 | Live Stream www.SCVTV.com
38th District Assembly
Sat. 5/5 @ 12p
Sunday 5/6 @ 6p
25th District Congressional
Sat. 5/5 @ 6p
Sunday 5/6 @ 9am
Additional showtimes will be listed online www.scvtv.com/schedule