Final Results: Bloom Beats Butler

Final numbers released on Tuesday confirm Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom as the winner in the 50th District assembly race.

The Los Angeles County Clerk's office confirmed that Richard Bloom beat Betsy Butler in the race for the 50th Assembly District seat by 1,705 votes, according to the final tally released Tuesday.

“I look forward to working on the issues that matter to my constituents,” Bloom said on his website. “Education, jobs, the economy and protecting the environment.”

Bloom, who is currently the mayor of Santa Monica, previously held a lead of 888 votes on Nov. 26. On election night, he was ahead by 218 votes, and his lead widened with every vote tally update except for the Nov. 20 results. 

This closely-contested race was unique as it is the only one in the 28 contested state legislative and congressional districts in California to have candidates from the same party—both are Democrats.

Incumbent Betsy Butler raised more than $1 million in campaign funds, about twice as much as Bloom.

District 50 encompasses Santa Monica, Malibu, Brentwood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Carthay Square, West Hollywood, much of Hollywood, Hancock Park, Miracle Mile, as well as Pacific Palisades, Topanga, part of the Santa Monica Mountains and Agoura Hills.

scott ferguson November 21, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I hope Steve Martin (who wrote a McCarthy-ite attack on Bloom in WeHoPatch repeating the lies the agribusiness PAC spread) reads the comments here. In his attempt to bring his personal invective into the race (WeHo council members supported her, thus he went the other direction) he allied himself with the sort of major pro-development forces he despises in West Hollywood. And if the margin is as small as it is and Bloom loses, he can take discredit for her loss. There is no credit the smear worked. But that people who think they are progressives helped spread it is a new low. Shameful, but what we are used to here in West Hollywood from him.
Carol Landsberg November 21, 2012 at 07:08 PM
As far as I know, not one Santa Monica group endorsed Bloom for Assembly. They have watched him support the developers for too long. And, I agree, O'Day will take his place- O'Day who ran one of the groups against Prop T!
Brenda Barnes November 21, 2012 at 08:27 PM
I can tell from the context you mean Martin attacked Butler. If he is against overdevelopment, Martin will not believe Bloom when he really sees him in action. He cannot hide his disdain for the public, although he makes a big show of being respectful and requiring decorum and civility. Amazing, though, that he never asks a question to let anyone finish a thought when their time to speak is up unless it's pro-development. The public speaks 70-1 against the obviously paid shills of developers, but still Bloom and his developer lapdogs pack--O'Connor, Holbrook, and O'Day plus usually Davis--always vote 4-3 or 5-2 for the development, no matter how obscene or even dangerous. My husband Peter Naughton, who has a masters in Land Use Planning from Cambridge and 31 years' experience in development on two continents, found another criminal thing the Bloom regime did in Santa Monica. Now we'll find out when someone gets immunity and testifies against the rest, who authorized putting an interactive map for developers on the City website taking ALL the liquefaction danger zones off the city. That will go with the other criminal actions we're turning over to the US Attorney General's office--stealing tenants' money to buy a mobilehome park for the City, and then spending 10 years of concerted effort to convert that into non-mobilehome park use so residents lose all their rights under rent control and state law and the City can get rid of low-income tenants forever.
Brenda Barnes November 21, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Yes, Carol, it's down the rabbit hole--speak as though you are for "responsible" development, and you really care about "preserving existing neighborhoods," but then vote for anything a developer who will give the City general fund a cut proposes. Bloom and his developer lapdog pack have wiped out the neighborhood from Wilshire to Colorado and Lincoln to Ocean. Now they're spreading the cancer of 5-story buildings hiding the sky and blocking the breeze, with two-level subterranean parking so no one realizes how much money went to deal with all the increased traffic they authorized. Then the City spends obscene amounts like $55 million on two parks in front of City Hall to provide open space for the developments without any they approved next door. No telling how much putting a drainage system in will cost for the east side of the City--which has no gutters for the 5 times as much density they're approving. Hiding the true financial costs of development is part of their crime against the citizens. This is to say nothing of the cost of destroying residents' quality of lives and in our case approving bulldozing 109 homes we and our neighbors have owned for up to 37 years, covered by rent control and state law protecting us from eviction. For now nothing but litigation will stop them. Let's hope Bloom loses and people really learn the truth, so sleazy campaign ads paid for by in SM's case $345,000 of developer money, will not fool the voters next time.
Dan Charney November 21, 2012 at 08:57 PM
A pox upon them all I say - sick of these types in real life or my family -much less running our cities into the ground- how we can do it I have no idea- but let's figure it out and get responsible, creative city planners and people in there-
Brenda Barnes November 21, 2012 at 09:34 PM
This "modern" zoning by development agreements is a problem throughout the world. It moves real decision-making out of the public's control, with no safeguards like zoning ordinances having to be followed. We can change it here now. Litigation takes a lot of work, but with the 10,000 hours we at Village Trailer Park have put into preparing the case, it won't be as expensive as usual. We are following their play book, so like the Lincoln Place tenants who litigated seven years--with free rent because when they try to evict you they can't collect rent while it's pending--an $8 million settlement and being able to all move back in at the end, we are in for a long haul but success at the end. Besides, just that, plus organizing, will change things for the whole City. When developers know it is not easy pickings anymore in SM, they'll go sniff for obscene profits elsewhere. David Martin the Planning Director woos them in bus trips he takes them on around the City showing areas that have been developed and ones that haven't. Afterwards he assures them he meets monthly to try to "streamline" development, with the Chamber of Commerce, with which the City has a development partnership! When we started working on this, it wasn't far beneath the surface, how the City was already bought and paid for. SMRR went for power long ago, as by its incestuous interlocking Board memberships in Community Corp. All the dirty laundry is going to be out there soon.
scott ferguson November 21, 2012 at 11:26 PM
I take it a lot of non-WeHoans are part of this thread. Steve Martin is a local activist, the only city council member in our brief history (only incorporated in 1984) to be defeated, He posts blogs in WeHo Patch on a regular basis. He seems to judge everything through the lens of his personal animus to the current council. Leading among his concerns (beyond the personal stuff, which is deep) is his concern (completely legitimate to air) that businesses and developers have too much influence here. (I don't totally share this, but his is a reasonable position). Because the local Dem organization - which is close to the current council - endorsed Butler, he had it in for her. He posted at least two blogs here pretty much repeating the lies from the agribusiness folks, denouncing Bloom for being part of Sacramento Dem leadership (I have no idea what he has again Speaker Nunez, a major progressive) and otherwise calling on those who follow him (a loud minority in WeHo) to follow his lead. I asked several times for those who were going to vote for Bloom to pay attention to what their anti-development allies in SM felt, and that it was rank hypocricy for him to support Bloom. He never bothered to respond. If Bloom loses by this margin, he will in part be to blame. Meantime, those pushing for term limits here accepted the aid of CA for Term Limits, a right-wing group that also opposed Prop 8. These folks are dangerous to West Hollywood.
Brenda Barnes November 22, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Very interesting. Besides if other people mixed up Bloom and Butler and voted for Bloom when they meant to vote for Butler, repeating sleazy ads by homophobic and anti-worker organizations is something Bloom thrived on here, too. This is besides huge amounts of money put into elections by developers compared to everyone else, since by definition, especially after they are paid off by the likes of Bloom, they have money. It's sad that this is all taking the easier and softer way out, but in the long run (and sometimes almost immediately), a very harmful way for a city to go. It's easier to get money from developers and then use that to get matching funds from other levels of government and foundations, than to figure out another way to fund running a city. It's also easier to have one employee for every 35 residents than it is to run a city so people actually work for the amount of money they get. I was a middle manager for the SM Rent Control Board. The first year I did not hire anyone when people left, put in work quotas and wrote form paragraphs for the hearing examiner attorneys I supervised to use in writing about repeated issues, started a bank of summaries of cases where the Board decided certain issues a certain way so discussion of those did not need to be repeated, put in a computer system and had everyone trained to use it--this was the early 80s--and through all of that saved $800,000 of my $2,400,000 budget. I almost got fired for that.
Brenda Barnes November 22, 2012 at 12:19 AM
My boss the administrator explained to me that I would have to increase my budget for the next year to 3% more than it had been the prior year, figure out how to hire more people, and continue to increase the budget every year. He actually told me straight out that his standing in the City depended on how many people and how big a budget he supervised, so he needed me to do my part, period. So so much for all their studies comparing city work to private industry work and determining what comparable jobs pay in private industry. That is all BS. The reason it is good for the people doing it, politicians as well as managers, is there are many people dependent on you, so you can be sure they will vote for the incumbents when the time comes. As for "negotiating" employee union contracts, they will be sure to do whatever you say because everyone understands without anyone saying so, that one hand washes the other and if you want a future, you will play the game. We had an employee union president who would not play the game, who really wanted protection from managers in the contract. This same administrator figured a way to under the existing contract promote this guy to higher and higher jobs until he was in one he literally could not do, and then the contract allowed terminating him for cause. This was an unintended consequence the employees had not figured out before that happened. So anyway, management of the City is in my experience a total BS job, a sinecure.
Brenda Barnes November 22, 2012 at 12:36 AM
It got to be so I couldn't stand it any more. with such hypocrisy and so little to do. So I left and started my own law office, a good choice for me. The reason that kind of "management" is disastrous for a city--other than wasting money, having too many employees with nothing to do so they do lots of mischief, and on and on--is it requires lots of money. Therefore, being dependent on developers and the grants that follow taking their money and increased property taxes, seems an almost necessary way out. Therefore, the way things are under someone like Bloom is a pattern we have to undo. You can't just look for people who don't like the way it is. We need real concrete ideas for how to do things differently. That's why I liked Armen Melkonians and Jon Mann for City Council in the last election (and we support them with Bob Seldon and John C. Smith for Council in 2014). Armen has a plan for selling renewable energy, from our abundant sun--unless we keep building 5-story buildings shadowing their neighbors--ocean wind, and waves, to say nothing of biodiesel that can be made from what is called waste, anywhere, with technology now available. (Google "The Plant" in Chicago, an awesome concept now real, where I visited on my way to Occupy Wall Street in September 2011.) Jon has a virtual town hall plan that would eliminate the need for a lot of outreach from City Hall meant to supposedly communicate with the public, which as cities now do it is a charade anyway.
Roberto Gomez November 23, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Claudia Schafer November 25, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Probably the first issue commentary in which the comments posted are (for the most part) cogent, compelling, intelligent, and written by people who know what they're talking about. Dan - I too loved your comment in reply the nutty remark about "liberals". I find it interesting (and not in a good way) that Corporate Greed supporters/enablers of both the Rep and Dem variety have co-opted the word "progressive", then use it to support policies that are anything but. Citizens of Santa Monica - Samuel Jackson said it best "Wake The F Up!" Samuel Jackson said - Wake The F Up!
Brenda Barnes November 25, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Thanks, Claudia, for my part of what you might have meant. My husband Peter Naughton and I have spent 10,000 hours preparing a legal case against destruction of Village Trailer Park to build 377 luxury condos and apartments plus 25,000 square feet of retail and two levels of subterranean parking. This is on 4 acres where 109 separate people own their own homes. And where the land has the highest danger of liquefaction, and there is a major earthquake fault less than two miles away. We had to learn what we were talking about because it was clear in 2007 that the City had decided to close the Park using the land speculator. The law requires we raise every issue we might want to use in court, so now we have 73 separate legal issues we have raised--and counting, since every time anyone at the City speaks about this, another cause of action appears, or two or three. Bloom is the leader of the pack of developer lapdogs who have sold out the City, and he is a Democrat. How embarrassing and insulting.
Brenda Barnes November 25, 2012 at 08:15 PM
In Santa Monica, many people call themselves liberal or progressive, but then vote to sell out both our environment and the civil and life rights of the residents, particularly seniors, poor, and minorities. That insults the term "progressive." My son said on Thanksgiving--hearing me talk about how this "progressive" majority-Democrat and SMRR-supported Council has acted so corruptly and like sold-out dirtbags of the lowest order--that the party of Lincoln was progressive. Parties change, so those Republicans became the right-wing whackos willing now to turn back the clock 200 years on women and minorities. So the Democrats will--or have--become the Republicans of 1865, and the Green Party or some other combination of true progressives for this time will become the true liberal party of the future. That's after we take to the streets and throw them all out and start over, the way Iceland did.
Dan Charney November 25, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Thanks Claudia, But I think Samuel Jackson was quoting the Bard ;;))
R. Daniels November 26, 2012 at 04:05 PM
They both represent the Party of more government, higher taxes, more burdensome regulations: Brown, Feinstein, Boxer, Waxman, Pelosi, Waters, Butler and Bloom! California needs more Libertarians and Conservatives in leadership positions. But we deserve who we get!!
jimmy palmieri November 26, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Just out of curiosity, does anyone think that Anderson Coopers report on Betsy Butler hurt her? It didn't seem well researched, but he does have a powerful voice. Anyone?
WonderBoy November 26, 2012 at 05:29 PM
I couldn't care less. I need a job. I would be more than happy to represent Brenda's agenda if I could get steady assemblyman work and some money. Brenda, you help me get elected next time, and I'll work pretty hard to keep parks clean or natural or whatever's best. And, if condos aren't good, I'm with you. And, I'll give u my cell number if other stuff comes up. Can I count on your support? I'm pretty good at public speaking.
Brian Hamilton November 26, 2012 at 08:16 PM
At the time of Anderson Cooper's report, I was already leaning toward voting for Bloom. Butler's smug, dismissive manner, captured on camera when the CNN reporter requested an interview on the floor of the assembly, completely turned me against voting for her. She evidently felt beyond reproach, with no obligation to explain her abstention. With an almost clear cut 50-50 popular vote, obviously half of the public is going to have to accept that their candidate lost. Let's all grow up and try to work with whomever is the victor.
jimmy palmieri November 26, 2012 at 08:21 PM
@brian.....i guess you are right. sometimes the attitude you take when you are "off" camera, can harm you. i hope the best candidate wins.....whomever it is.
Lynn Russell November 27, 2012 at 06:42 AM
Anderson Cooper's report and reporting plays largely to the folks that are not interested in facts but are destined to join the swarm of wild parrots. To exert yet an ounce of energy, to do one's own research and weigh in with an ounce of common sense would surely break their wings.
Brian Hamilton November 27, 2012 at 07:50 AM
An obscure analogy about wild parrots thinly disguises ad hominem and an absence of facts. Try again, Lynn Russell.
jimmy palmieri November 27, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Hey Lynn Russel, You must have misread what I asked......I said Anderson Cooper. NOT FOX NEWS MAKE-BELIEVE.
Lynn Russell November 27, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Thanks, but I don't believe I misread what you posted. It appears that he galvanized an issue rather than seeking to illuminate the real story as I understand it to be. Parroted information is everywhere whether it comes from an individual or a news organization.
Barry Brucker November 27, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Richard Bloom is a solid advocate for the region. I have had the great fortune of working with Richard on several regional issues and Measures. As former Mayor of Beverly Hills while Richard served in the same capacity in Santa Monica we formed an alliance to support needed transportation and other issues affecting the region. Although Richard didn't get the Perez (Sacto) endorsement nor most of the local Dem Club support or "big" name endorsements... He did get the rank and file citizens who want access to their local elected. Richard Bloom is solid as a rock and will make this Assembly District proud as he leads us up in Sacto.
Brenda Barnes November 28, 2012 at 03:10 AM
What in the world did I say to attract WB to my "agenda"? Wish I'd known how to attract Wonder Boys when I was a wonder girl.
Brenda Barnes November 28, 2012 at 03:14 AM
This is really sad. Slimebucket misleading campaign mailers and developers' money--what a combination Bloom is. Butler wasn't great, too conservative for me--and I heard she just sent assistants to things and didn't help people--but Bloom is just the worst no-ethics sell-out, so ,much worse than someone marginal.
Brenda Barnes November 28, 2012 at 05:24 AM
There is no Reply button under Barry Brucker's comment, so especially since Sharon also thought Bloom was good, I'll put my reply here. Bloom may have seemed "solid as a rock" and "good on the region." to a fellow politician. Frankly, I don't know what those platitudes mean, and I can't believe anyone who looked around would think this region got better in the last 20 years anyway, so I doubt that you and I share many values. I do know neither you nor Bloom nor anyone else has done any good at all on transportation (Expo is the worst boondoggle ever, a time bomb of more influx of people to a City that just can't take any more), so if that is the claim to fame of the two of you, forget it. Specifically, Bloom led the pack that approved absolutely every development anyone proposed. They played the game of cutting it down 8% and making the top stories set back so supposedly people on the sidewalk could still see the sky (or was that the street we were supposed to stand in to be able to see past the awnings of the "ground-floor retail" of all those five-story mixed use creative office and retail buildings with two levels of subterranean parking each?). In short, I know specifically what Richard Bloom did. He sold Santa Monica to any developer who would give the City a cut. If he's the same in the Assembly, I just hope he's ineffectual and voted out next time when people have seen some of what he really does.
Marie Cunningham November 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM
@Brenda There is no reply button under that comment because it's a reply as well. Best, Marie
Dan Charney December 02, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Bad news for the state of California- we should ask for a recount or another vote - to see this man, void of ethics go on to do what he has done to Santa Monica on a larger scale - is truly depressing. The monster, now fed, will rage uncontrolled


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