CITY POWER PLAYERS EMPLOY SAME OLD FORMULA
The lead story in Surf Santa Monica this morning reports that “a new developer-backed political group has rustled up $175,000 in less than one week
“Santa Monicans United for a Responsible Future (SMURF) — an independent expenditure committee that has thrown its weight behind incumbents Terry O’Day and Gleam Davis as well as challengers Shari Davis and Ted Winterer — managed to outraise Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights by $70,000.
“Of the total, $100,000 was donated by companies affiliated with NMS Properties, Inc., currently Santa Monica’s biggest housing developer….
“SMURF opted to back a slate of candidates almost identical to SMRR’s slate. The only non-SMRR candidate SMURF endorsed is Shari Davis, who failed to win the tenant group’s endorsement in July…
“At the end of this filing period, the candidate leading the pack was O’Day, who, in a three-month period raised $40,680.00.”
And so it is that Santa Monicans United for a Responsible Future (not to be confused with Santa Monicans for Responsible Growth) are distributing flyers paid for by NMS, a developer (not to be confused with Hines, Trammell Crowe, the Miramar or any of the other developers now closing in on Santa Monica), in support of Council incumbents Gleam Davis and Terry O’Day, school activist Shari Davis (not to be confused with incumbent Gleam Davis) and Planning Commissioner Ted Winterer. The same candidates have been endorsed by the Committee for Excellent Public Schools and the Police and Firefighters unions. In other words this is the “official” slate
of the City’s self-anointed shapers and movers.
The law firm Bell, McAndrews &Hiltachk, LLP is monitoring SMURF’s finances. Thomas W. Hiltachk was counsel to Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger and is one of the architects of Proposition 32, which liberals have condemned. Colleen McAndrews was treasurer of Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign, and worked on Councilman Bobby Shriver’s campaign as well as the City’s measures Y and YY
SMURF’S issues, based on its flyers, are Davis and O’Day’s alleged support of affordable housing, creating jobs, and backing “public safety employees.” Reducing traffic and funding schools are cited as priorities for the new Council.
Thus, what passes for the establishment — City Hall, the Chamber and developers — is using the same formula it used to win the last two elections: the City’s power, the Chamber’s influence, the developers’ money, and the school community’s voters.The key is to make the voters an offer they can’t refuse.In 2008, it was saving the schools from the madness of prop T. In 2010, it was saving the schools from bankruptcy by passing props Y and YY. This year, it’s saving the schools from the madness of the
The stakes are higher than ever this year. Residents are very angry at the wave of major new insults to the townscape that are in the works. For the first time in years, there are four open seats on the Council. If residents can win all four seats, they can take City Hall back and restore the of, for and by the people principle that has been dormant for a decade…can