The following statement was released Wednesday by three of four City Council candidates—Gleam Davis, Shari Davis and Terry O'Day—whose campaigns are being advocated for by a new, independent Political Action Committee funded by housing developers:
We are concerned about the impact of newly formed PAC and Independent Expenditure Committees that use names suggesting they have a broad local membership.
There are many legitimate membership groups that have a history of activism and political engagement in Santa Monica during both on- and off-election cycles. They play a valuable role in educating voters. Given the ability of some PACs and Independent Expenditures to reach a scale that dwarfs individual candidates own campaigns and misrepresents them, these "pop-up" groups that claim to be community-based but don't have community credentials can have a deleterious impact on our elections and we denounce them.
The full name of the committee is Santa Monicans United for a responsible Future—G. Davis, O'Day, Winterer and S. Davis for City Council. It has so far raised $175,000 to spend on the election.
Five of 15 City Council candidates were randomly selected to answer as question about developer contributions at a forum hosted by the Santa Monica Mirror on Wednesday night.
The question was whether they accept donations from developers, and if so, would they refrain from voting on the companies' projects if elected:
Shari Davis: "The candidates did not have anything to do with the $175,000... we don't see that money, it's beyond our control.... fundraising is a neccessity... my contributions come from a very broad base of donors from small to the maximum of $325. I don't feel that is an amount that can make me beholden to anyone."
Steven Duron: "I have not seen any donations from developers and I don't want to be beholden to anyone."
Bob Seldon: "Definitely not... I would recuse myself... [you] can't take money from people without bending their way"
Jonathan Mann: "I obviously do not accept any donations or endorsements from devleopers ... I am the most radical person up here; I have been running for over 20 years because I want a moratorium on development that is not apprvoed by the residents. Right now we have a majority fo 5-2 of people who voted for [Land Use Circulation Element], I suggest everyone in the city vote these people out of office."