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Candidates 'Denounce' Developer PAC Endorsements

Gleam Davis, Shari Davis and Terry O'Day say they denounce independent political action committees that out-spend and misrepresent candidates. Candidates not supported by Santa Monicans United for a Responsible Future weigh in, too.

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."

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JohnCySmith.com October 12, 2012 at 08:43 AM
John C. Smith, City Council Candidate. I don't, and won't take money from developers, because it's wrong. Legal, but wrong. Principles, not Politics. That's what I stand for. When those slick ads start showing up in your mailbox, ask yourself, "Who paid for them?" And then ask, "What favors will be granted in return?" If a candidate is so dependent on developer money to win a seat on the City Council, perhaps that candidate shouldn't win a seat. Period.
Dan Charney October 12, 2012 at 07:28 PM
The actions of Gleam Davis and Terry O'Day should disqualify them from ever touching this city again.
Brenda Barnes October 14, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Saying you denounce the developer group sending out mailers to support you, as the article says the Davises and O'Day did, is the same kind of cynical pro-developer charade trick as saying you are against development while always voting for it. Both are to deflect attention from the fact that developers know these four people have ended up voting for every development that came before them while they were in office--or in the case of Shari Davis who isn't in office--aligned themselves with pro-development forces. Developers know who is for them, so that is who they support. You don't have to ask for their support or acknowledge you benefited from it if you're these four. Just always vote yes, as developers know you will. I therefore think now that the Daily Press has decided to have only the pro-development candidates at their debate on Monday the 15th, residents opposed to overdevelopment need to go with picket signs that say "Pro-Development Candidates This Way" and "Anti-More Traffic and Corruption Candidates This Way." Or how about "Developer Lapdog Candidates This Way" and "Pro-Resident Candidates This Way"? Or "Developers Fund the Candidates Inside--Ask the Daily Press Why They Promote More Development" and "Join Resident-Funded Candidates in Courtyard--and Support Less Development by Voting for Them."
Brenda Barnes October 14, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I also learned when I went to Occupy Wall Street in New York last September that free food is easy and cheap to make and gets people there. Beans and rice were the most popular foods and homemade lemonade in pitchers labeled Sweetened with Stevia the most popular drink we had. So we should make lots of beans and rice and homemade lemonade and get people into the courtyard to boycott those developer lapdogs and their press sponsor. BTW, in case you think all Occupy people are unwashed hippies, I am a 68-year-old retired SM real estate lawyer. I have worked full time for three years with my Cambridge-educated urban planner husband Peter Naughton against the proposed closing of Village Trailer Park. He has 31 years' experience on three continents working for responsible development, and I invested in a home here 26 years ago. We know exactly what we are talking about, and have seen these players up close and personal in action, voting for development while they claim to care about us. People who care about not having the whole City look in a few years like 6th Street between Colorado and Broadway looks now need to come out and defeat all pro-development candidates. These are experienced charaders who use confusing words to hide what they do. They are developer lapdogs. Some running who have not been in office and sound better would end up being the same. We need to be serious in finding out who has a real, specific plan to save us from the development steamroller.
Brenda Barnes October 15, 2012 at 03:28 AM
It looks like John C. Smith will be one of the invited candidates, since he raised over $9,000. So our signs will have to say "Developers' Lapdogs and John C. Smith This Way." John C. is not pro-development. The fact he will be the only one there who isn't should make him really stand out. Good luck, John C. I'll be in the courtyard with the Santa Monica 6.
Cin October 16, 2012 at 07:33 PM
I agree!
Brenda Barnes October 16, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Cin and Dan (and anyone else interested): A group has met every Sunday from 3-6 PM since February 26, over 100 hours, at the Village Trailer Park community room at 2930 Colorado Avenue, for potluck and to divide up work to insure these developer lapdogs do not succeed in closing the Park. We are now confident the Park will not close. However, in doing this work we have become interested in the whole subject of overdevelopment. Now we have widened our focus to getting the lapdogs off the Council so other people do not have to go through what we have. We also picket against Bloom for Assembly in front of the Park every M-Th 5:30-6:30 during rush hour, when due to all the past overdevelopment. traffic slows to be able to read our signs. People tell us we--along with news of the times showing banksters were willing to bankrupt the entire planet for their own profit--have raised awareness more than ever, of the connection between money and development decisions. We plan to pick a group of four candidates and run them as the People's Slate. We are going to stand wherever we decide every day during rush hour and get 20,000 Santa Monica voters to sign a pledge to vote for our slate, and if they are not elected, to recall whoever is and the two other members of the Council who voted for LUCE, a developer's dream to lead to double or more density on Colorado and other south and east avenues. We invite you to join us for as much time as you have.
Dan Charney October 16, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I can come this Sunday- where should I park? I cannot do the daily picketing but I do think I have some info in a few areas I would love to share- and hopefully we can target if you think it worthy. See you Sunday Brenda- 3 PM
Brenda Barnes October 17, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Hi Dan: Parking is easy on streets around except Yale, which has preferential resident parking signs up. Part of the Park is on Stanford S of Colorado, which is an industrial-commercial area deserted on Sunday after the Church on the corner finishes. Plenty of free parking, and we'll give you the tour. We are really open to other subjects related even tangentially to stopping overdevelopment. If you give an e-mail address (on Sun if you don't want the public to have it, or send it to me at brenda@flashbyte.us), I'll send you not only the summary we made of the candidates' responses at the Mirror candidates' night, but also a really good article about how to make money in green ways from homes in cities. Markelians made a great presentation about that at the forum my husband Peter Naughton went to earlier, put on by Mid-City Neighbors, which Peter said was so impressive, that alone sold him on Markelians. We can make a real difference once we stop allowing developers to buy the City. I think it's related also to how many great ideas we can use for alternative energy once we stop thinking the end justifies the means as far as destroying the environment for oil. We can do better, right here on a small scale in Santa Monica, and then we can export the knowledge to other places. We live in a famous City. We can use that for good. I'm really looking forward to meeting you and any others who are ready to work for these goals, in person. See you Sunday at 3.
peter betts October 19, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Which candidates are not going to approve overdevelopment?
Brenda Barnes October 19, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Peter, that is such a good question, and even after three years almost fulltime on this problem--with my urban planner husband helping me and my own expertise as a retired California (and even SM) real estate lawyer--it comes down to first narrowing the field, and then who you believe. Only six viable candidates (Gomez says he's in the race not to win but just for his heart) say they will not approve whatever development the staff report approves (which is all of them), and whatever fits in LUCE, the developers' dream General Plan elements they adopted designating the entire industrial area (and all of downtown) for tripling and quadrupling height and square footage, plus ground-floor retail and two levels of subterranean garages--and even hotels--in all kinds of residential and industrial neighborhoods. The excuse was that with light-rail coming we were going to become transit oriented. So why all the parking??? It just makes no planning sense, to say the least. It is also unlawful because all the development, even downtown because of the traffic, congestion, air pollution, and noise aspects, hits the poor and minority areas of the south and east parts of town far more than it does the richer, whiter areas. LUCE doesn't even put a bike path there, between 11th and 26th streets north of Montana.
Brenda Barnes October 19, 2012 at 10:34 PM
However, LUCE has a lot of contradictory goals, so the problem (and the solution) is whichever goals are chosen to be used in individual cases will determine what's done. That is why which candidates are elected makes all thew difference. People can decide however they want to, given the current framework (which is why it is unlawful, but we're trying to figure out who to vote for, not discuss legalities). So to finally get to the answer, John C. Smith, Armen Markelians, Bob Seldon, and Jon Mann all said they are not taking developer money and are against development that adversely affects residents. (I like that their last initials could also stand for Santa Monica for Santa Monicans!) Ted Winterer says he will not approve a project that causes new car trips (one of the LUCE goals). Richard McKinnon says he's for "deep green" environmental goals. The latter two are suspect to me because they both voted yes as members of the Planning Commission to send the Village Trailer Park development agreement to the City Council, but they both disavowed their votes afterward. That's the trouble with this. When you have people who have already been in office, you can see how they voted. That disqualifies Gleam Davis and Terry O'Day, plus Shari Davis who has aligned herself with them.
Brenda Barnes October 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM
However, even Richard Bloom--the developers' lapdog of all such creatures--said before he was elected that he was for "smart growth" only, and he actually filed a lawsuit against that three-block square Ralphs Market development from 20th to Cloverfield and Colorado to Olympic. So people say one thing, but when they get in they get "educated" by the staff and oldtimers on the Council that the only way to keep growing the City is with developers' fees and higher taxes from development.. So I think we have to specifically question these people who sound good about what their plans are to run the City without developers' money. I know Armen Markelians has a plan, about using our sun, wind, and waves to create energy and sell it so the City becomes self-sustaining. He's an environmental engineer and also has a method of evaluating development that tells whether it has adverse impacts and would approve only net zero impact developments. So he's far and away the best on the score of specific plans. Jon Mann has been running 20 years on stopping development, and Bob Seldon stopped development both in WLA and SM already. So I think those three plus John C. Smith, because he's such a leader on listening to the community and being grassroots, are the four (and I'm not saying that because of their initials). I wouldn't be crushed if Winterer and/or McKinnon got in instead of two of these four I prefer, since with McKeown, only three of the four new people make a majority.

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