By Celia BURSTEIN
When Assemblyman Cameron Smyth came to Clark Magnet High School to speak to AP Government teacher Nick Doom’s students, senior Samantha Cismas was expecting to meet an evasive politician. What she realized is that Smyth is not sneaking for votes. “I think he was kind of real,” said Cismas. “He wasn’t trying to win us over.” Cismas says that Smyth was honest about the political world, not portraying it in false, but pretty terms.
“He was very plainspoken,” said Doom. “He didn’t speak in general terms. He talked about brass knuckles, hardball politics.” According to Doom, this honesty is a result of the 38th Assembly District, the swing district he represents, which is composed of an almost equal proportion of Democrats to Republicans.
During the speech, Smyth presented his positions on several controversial issues. Although Cismas says she doesn’t agree with all his views – she is pro-choice while he is pro-life – she said he never made her feel as if her opinions were flawed. “I might not agree with him,” Cismas said, “but I don’t hate him for it.”
For senior Andrea Aghaian, on the other hand, Smyth reassured her preference for Republicans. According to Aghaian, Smyth shares her anti-illegal immigration, pro-life, and pro-capital punishment views. “Probably the only think I don’t see eye to eye with him is that he doesn’t believe in gay marriage,” Aghaian said.
Aghaian added that Smyth presented himself as an approachable politician, using the word “wack” and calling Governor Schwarzenegger a hypocrite for fighting against global warming while flying in a private jet. “Even though I’m not going to be a politician, I’m planning on being an informed voter, and it was nice to hear it straight from him,” Aghaian said.