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Winner Winterer Routs Incumbents for Most Votes

How did the incumbents fare? Voters favor familiar politicians and those endorsed by Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights.

Voters returned two incumbents to the Santa Monica City Council Tuesday, but it was a Planning Commissioner, who after suffering a narrow defeat in 2010, returned to topple both as the top vote-getter.

The commissioner, Ted Winterer, glided to victory with 15.1 percent of the votes. He won the most votes, but the incumbents, Terry O'Day and Gleam Davis, did not fall in their fight to retain two of four open seats. They garnered 14.5 and 12.9 percent of the votes, respectively, according to results from all 54 precincts posted at 4:48 a.m. Wednesday.

Clinching the fourth and final open seat on the seven-member dais was former councilman Tony Vazquez. He squeezed in with 10.2 percent of the votes.

The winners comprise the slate endorsed by the community's most influential political group, Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights. Independently, the candidates financed their campaigns with personal loans and political contributions ranging between $13,466 and $49,919. SMRR spent $98,722 advocating for the four candidates' elections.

See also: Exit Polls Show Locals Uninterested in Local Races

An Ocean Park resident, Winterer was favored by many community leaders. In an election year focused heavily on development, many Winterer supporters touted him a a slow-growth candidate. They feared a roadblock to victory when a new Political Action Committee funded by a prominent housing developer began supporting him along with three other candidates they considered to be "pro-development."

Vazquez previously served on the council from 1990 to 1994. He currently runs an independent advocacy and consulting firm, according to his website.

In their first shots at a City Council race, Shari Davis, Richard McKinnonJohn C. Smith and Frank Gruber burst onto the scene with decent showings:

CANDIDATE VOTES % TED WINTERER   13,586 15.12 TERRY ODAY   13,057 14.53 GLEAM OLIVIA DAVIS   11,605 12.91 TONY VAZQUEZ   9,129 10.16 SHARI DAVIS   8,091 9 RICHARD MCKINNON   5,984 6.66 JOHN CYRUS SMITH   4,818 5.36 FRANK GRUBER   4,619 5.14 JONATHAN MANN   3,783 4.21 BOB SELDON   3,184 3.54 ARMEN MELKONIANS   2,886 3.21 TERENCE LATER   2,829 3.15 JERRY P RUBIN   2,313 2.57 ROBERTO GOMEZ   2,147 2.39 STEVE DURON   1,829 2.04

On Tuesday night, dense fog delayed vote counts in Santa Monica, leaving residents without any new results for most of the night. The weather grounded helicopters carrying ballots to county election headquarters in Norwalk, forcing officials to use slower-moving ground vehicles instead.

Some 19,000 absentee ballots were counted and reported shortly after the polls closed at 8 p.m., but the Santa Monica precincts didn't start reporting until after 2 a.m.

"Appreciate the patience & recognition of fog impacts, geographic distance and volume in L.A. County as we ensure secure ballot processing," Tweeted the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

Spokeswoman Elizabeth Kanox said results from Santa Monica and Torrance were particularly slow.

By midnight, only a couple handfuls of people people remained at an election night party hosted by Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights. Close to 200 had gathered earlier in the evening to watch President Barack Obama's reelection speech, organizers said.

"We've waited this long before," Nancy Greenstein, co-chair emeritus of SMRR, said of election results. "They start coming in around 11ish. By 1 a.m. you'll start getting a substantial amount of results."

Her prediction was off by about an hour.

Each of the winning candidates were endorsed by SMRR.

"So far, with the numbers we have, it looks like a tremendous win," said current City Councilman Kevin McKeown about 11:45 p.m. (McKeown was not up for reelection).

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Teresa November 07, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Aren't there places where city council members cannot accept campaign funding from developers whose projects they will be voting on? Or can't vote on proposals by developers who funded their campaign? Something along those lines? I can't believe that the majority of citizens support the development that has already destroyed the quality of life here. Traffic. Traffic. Traffic.
Brenda Barnes November 07, 2012 at 09:16 PM
The bad guys truly did win. There was no attempt to get a majority on the Council by those who claim to be for renters' rights, SMRR and the others supposedly on our side. Winterer voted yes on the Village Trailer Park development agreement, as did McKinnon. The proof of that pudding is in the eating. Since we also had far worse candidates to oppose, though--the two Davises and O'Day--with such a large field it was impossible to get behind four who could win. As soon as we rest a few days, we need to regroup on what to do next to stop the developers' onslaught. There are 23 development agreements now proposed. Many more will come now that the developers won their typical 5-2 majority, at least, even if Winterer does vote with McKeouwn. This is a sad game they play, taking turns being the third no vote so each of them can claim as they did in this election to have voted against some terrible projects. The truth is, though, that all the projects are approved. That is the game, and we residents are the losers. At least everyone opposed to the development tsunami should come on Nov 13 to oppose the Village Trailer Park development agreement, twice the 91 who spoke against it last time. We are homeowners who are also protected from eviction by special state laws and by rent control. If we can be evicted for developer profit, any homeowner is far more likely to be. They got all the rental housing through Ellis. Now they are coming for owned homes.
Brenda Barnes November 07, 2012 at 10:18 PM
There are two good quite trivial things about this election, and one really important thing. The trivial things are we will soon know we never have to see Bloom again, no matter what happens in his Assembly race (fingers crossed for 20,000 to 30,000 votes still to be counted to overcome his 218 vote lead), and we will never have to see Shari Davis looking down on us and hear her jargon-filled voice from the Council dais. She is so unlikable, the Romney of SM. The important thing is we found out how many people are opposed to overdevelopment. The winners had to lie about what they stand for in order to get any votes. Even SMRR, which supported all the developers' lapdogs, does not really stand for overdevelopment. Apparently it has lost its way in the thicket of favors done and promised by developers. The old "end justifies the means" strategy, which always results in at least chaos if not disaster. We need to find our way out of that thicket with a winning coalition for residents. The Winterer-McKinnon-O'Day problem is people who have some environmentalist credentials but vote for (or play the game of being the 4-3 losing no vote, which ends up the same as voting yes) on every development proposed. Worse, no one attacked Gleam Davis and O'Day for being on a Council that approved millions of square feet of development, when every EIR says the environmental impacts are significant and unavoidable. We have to find a straight message and a winning ticket.
Roberto Gomez November 08, 2012 at 10:25 AM
I am starting a Recall drive. If anyone would be interested in aiding me you can email me at RecallPamOconnorBobHolbrook@gmail.com We must start the drive now so we can get the nessary signatures to have a recall election as soon as January. This would be an opportunity to draw from the Candidates that did not make it this time. And after January when the "little piggy wiggies" get sworn we can start a recall drive on Gleam Davis and Terry O'Day 90 days after they take office. Then at this point we can again draw from the pool of Candidates that did not make it the first and second time. I will need help but if I have to do it myself I will try. Really hope to get help. What do you all say that feel dejected and pissed. Are you with me? Don't take too long. We need to act fast. The picture would be getting rid of 2 by January, or soon after. And by law 90 days after Davis and O'Day are sworn in. Does this sound like a plan? Email me and at least give me your thoughts on this. Let's get together and play a course of action as far as getting the Recall signatures, which after the initial 100 signatures, we will need 15 percent of the registered voters which would be roughly 7,500. I know it sounds like a lot but we can do it by being organized. Roberto Gomez
Roberto Gomez November 09, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I posted the above notice for a recall. I expected a few to respond. No one did. It is much easier to bitch then to stand up and do something.
Peter Altschuler November 09, 2012 at 02:39 AM
The only possible explanation for SMRR's endorsement of O'Day and Davis is that they want more rental housing... which is rising in anticipation of the Exposition Line (which is its own fiasco). That increased density, however, will add countless local car trips, make downtown even more impenetrable, and turn Santa Monica into "Manhattan by the Sea."
Dan Charney November 09, 2012 at 07:05 AM
Don't think so Peter- I think they want "new condos and apartments" with "some units for lower or restricted income " to replace the face of the city - get rid of the rent controlled units and replace them with CC and expensive stuff- they will slowly do that- they do not care- SM is gone - it's for the rich only now- Gleam and O'Day are the worst- let's hope Ted W rises to the occasion and stops the slaughter and removal of all SM as we know it- it's being made so enticing for cash buyers to build mutli- units- what is to stop it? What a shame to see what they have done already and now know it will get much worse. And that smile on Gleam's face in the pic- really hard to take. What a fraud.
Santa Monica Resident November 09, 2012 at 04:16 PM
To effect a recall, a council member must break a law. So far, there is no proof that Gleam Davis or Terry O'Day broke any laws, election or other. If they had, you can bet that the City Attorney or District Attorney would be on it. They did win the election...many of us may not like it...but they won. What we can do now is hold their feet to to the fire on every issue by attending City Council meetings. We can show Ted Winterer our support and let him know what issues need attention. We can organize and support our Neighborhood Groups. And it's our Neighborhood Groups that can keep Davis and O'Day in check on every vote that involves Big Development. Our Neighborhood Groups need to be united, no petty in-fighting. Take one issue at a time and make sure that any and all decisions by the City Council are for the good of Santa Monica Residents and not just for the pockets of Big Development. Then, in 2014, create Political Action Groups to support, financially and with volunteers, the campaigns of John Smith, Richard McKinnon and Frank Gruber. Those three Santa Monica heroes did more with far less money than the Davis Twins and O'Day did combined. We need John, Richard and Frank to help lead Santa Monica's future.
Santa Monica Resident November 09, 2012 at 04:18 PM
See the reply above.
Newcomer November 09, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Being a newcomer to Santa Monica, it is a relief to hear everyone's point of view. I thought Santa Monica would be more of a beach community: place to relax and enjoy the sun and the sea. I've discovered it is the noisiest place I have ever lived. Cars going recklessly fast down my street. Constant vehicle sounds roaring down SM Blvd. The air traffic is the biggest surprise. It never stops. Noise pollution that is out of control. This city feels like a place that took a wrong turn and never righted itself. It is staying on the same trajectory. I find it lacking in the beauty of old buildings that lend a soul to a place. Empty lots barricaded with fences waiting for some rich person or entity to claim it; too precious for anyone to even put a foot upon it. Limited open green space to help the spirit calm and wander. Cluttered from the bad choices leaders have made.
Dan Charney November 09, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Nice to see it through some fresh eyes- thanks "Newcomer"- it's only going to get worse I am afraid with the elections keep two of the worst of the abusers- nothing will stop it- I am not going to beat my head against city hall- time to go - if you think this is bad- just wait until these corrupted council members have another term to finish the mess they have made- Ted W- please stop them-
Dan Charney November 09, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Newcomer- By the way- don't feel that bad about it- it's been destroyed and being so for a while now- the last 15 years minimum- I was in the bay area for 7 years and returned in 2001- someone I know who is in the city government bluntly and openly told me "Oh you will love it now- it's so different- most of the 'old losers in rent controlled apartments are gone'- it reminds me of watching what happened to NYC- and the response of Jimmy Breslin when he was asked if he would rather have hookers or Disney in Times Square- his answer was clearly "Hookers"- we now have Disney and NBC Universal and have lost everything that made us a great little community- it will not stop and nothing will reverse it or slow it- money talks, controls and owns everyone- maybe Brenda and her husband have the energy and heart to fight this- I don't _ I know too well it's ugliness- I just want out
Stephen Molstad November 10, 2012 at 06:32 AM
I voted for these four also. Can someone please explain to me why SMRR would endorse a slate that, except for Ted, is pro-developer? I don't get it. Thanks.
Santa Monica Resident November 10, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Stephen Molstad: Because SMRR is no longer about Renters' Rights. SMRR is now all about power...and to get power you need money and money comes from Big Development. Big Development has promised more apartments, SMRR wants to jump on that. The last thing Santa Monica needs is more apartments and condos.
Brenda Barnes November 11, 2012 at 06:03 AM
How I wish more people would have actually noticed how bad things have gotten the way this newcomer did, and put two-and-two together. I think Ted W showed himself as wimpy when he presented a Planning Commission that for once was a NO decision to the Council. The developer had done hardly anything on conditions the PC required, but clearly the Council wanted to vote yes--as it always does. Even if he turned brave, Winterer andf McKeouwn are two votes. We've always had two votes, and they play a game of taking turns being the 3rd no vote so they can claim they are for only "responsible" development when election time comes. The majority always says yes. Therefore, the only hope I have is that people with a plan to run the City on something other than developers' fees and increased property taxes will get in in 2014. That is why I supported Merkelians so much. He has a real plan, to develop and sell renewable energy to make the City self-sufficient. We have to have an alternative to more and more and bigger and bigger developments. The City is too dense and crowded and noisy now, as this Newcomer discovered.
Brenda Barnes November 11, 2012 at 06:08 AM
I live, however, in the quietest place I have ever lived, and it is in SM. That is the Village Trailer Park. I work all night and sleep all day if I want to, and it is silent. That is why my husband and I have spent almost fulltime for three years to save the home we own here. That and the fact that the Council has violated 57 separate laws--and counting--in its totally determined approval to give another developer millions and take a cut for the City. That is so they can continue their profligate spending like $55 million on two parks in front of City Hall. Exit polls by the Patch showed people didn't care about local issues this time. That is why they followed their SMRR cherat sheets and elected the four they did. SMRR is too involved in incestuous favor-giving and -getting with the Council developer lapdogs and its developer friends. We have lost control of the City. It will never stop--23 development agreements in the pipeline and now a giant one started by the Holiday Inn downtown, and more and more gleams in developers' eyes. As long as they have their lapdogs on the Council, we have to fight each development legally, which is a lot of work.
Brenda Barnes November 11, 2012 at 06:14 AM
It seems to me that the work we have done on Village Trailer Park is largely transferable, Dan, even though we have a few unique arguments that will probably be the ones we rely on because they are the strongest. Nonetheless, the City does the same thing on every development, EIRs cut-and-pasted, no traffic analysis, development agreements approved at the float-up long before the EIR, a fatal violation of CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act. So if a few injunctions get entered, there will be a seachange. After that, if they keep doing the same thing, damages will be awarded in so many millions that it will bankrupt the City. It isn't so daunting as I think when I am tired. we can regroup and do this. Don't give up.
Brenda Barnes November 11, 2012 at 06:41 AM
Cin, the exit polls the Patch did showed people didn't care about local issues this time. That is why they followed their SMRR cheat sheets and the four SMRR candidates won, which is a travesty of epic proportions but still understandable given the focus on federal and state issues. I think our picketing in front of Village Trailer Park and the impact anti-development candidates with no developer money behind them had, both show when people do focus on SM, they want the overdevelopment to stop. A real campaign starting now will get rid of these developer lapdogs for another 20 years until people forget how bad it got and someone else will have to do the job again.
Brenda Barnes November 11, 2012 at 06:46 AM
It was the federal and state issues, plus the huge field of candidates, that caused us to lose. People do not want what is happening in SM to happen. When they focus on it things happen like 91 people came to Council last time to speak against destruction of Village Trailer Park. It's back up again this Tuesday, so if twice as many people came to speak against it again, people would know anti-development is here to stay, no matter how much developers buy SMRR. What they are doing is illegal. It can be fought legally. If we have to, we should organize to do that, too. What has happened already is far too much.
Brenda Barnes November 11, 2012 at 06:49 AM
John Smith, Jon Mann, Bob Seldon, and Armen Melkonians all committed to vote against destruction of Village Trailer Park, rescind moving the Senior Center from the Palisades Park so development can occur there, and not approve expansion of the Miramar. We need those four to work for two years to get an organization and a campaign chest. If we do lemonade stands every week, we'll have the money to fight the NMSs of the world next time.
Brenda Barnes November 11, 2012 at 06:55 AM
People in general honk by the hundreds when they go by our pickets every M-Th 4:30-5:30 (DST) in front of Village Trailer Park, 2930 Colorado. People in general do not want all these developments approved. SMRR put these developer lapdogs ("DLs") onto the Council. People were focused on federal and state issues and followed their SMRR cheat sheets, the Patch's exit polls showed. SMRR is responsible for that. The reason they did it is they all get favors like consulting jobs and appointments to high-paying Board jobs from their DL friends on the Council. We can stop this. We have to organize and fund educational campaigns. I disagree that neighborhood councils can do it, as someone said in one of these comments. Neighborhood councils have been opposed to all the developments that keep getting approved. We have to get a Council with a different plan for funding the City.
Brenda Barnes November 12, 2012 at 06:46 AM
I think Santa Monica Resident is right on the button that SMRR endorsed developer's candidates (and I include Winterer--I don't think it was a mistake--because he's Mr. Nice Guy, but he voted yes on the Planning Commission on destroying Village Trailer Park and putting in 400 luxury comdos and apts). All of them do this because "they are all now all about power...and to get power you need money and money comes from Big Development. Big Development has promised more apartments," The one thing I think all of us who are really analytical about this need to keep saying--as opposed to developers' lapdogs and SMRR, who are just taking the short-term easy way out--there are other ways to run a City besides having 1 employee for every 35 residents, spending money on things people don't want like $55 million for two parks in front of City Hall, and then always having to have your hand out for more money, so you take developers around on bus trips and INVITE them to develop the City some more.. Melkonians had a plan. Others may. I heard someone mention residents should be able to rent out parts of homes to tourists. After all, if we need tourist space so much we'll sell out the block in front of the Pier--ruin our priceless view, clog up that part some more, make it likely some day even those tourists we sold out the City for will say it's too crowded to come here--then why not let ordinary people profit from that need? The City can have a bed tax from us too.
Roberto Gomez November 12, 2012 at 09:18 AM
"Santa Monica Resident" According to law State law there it is not necessary to have a specific reason for a recall. Do research before making such a statement. Again, I have drawn up Intention to Recall pappers on Pam O'Connor and Bob Holbrook. I hear a lot of bitching but nothing concrete other than people typing. I see that Brenda Barnes is responding to other comments here but has failed to mention me or get in touch. I appreciate your work Brenda, but when you see someone like me trying to do something concrete other than flapping my mouth, you do not seem to appreciate my efforts enough to respond to me. I ran my former campaign platform with Village Trailer Park referenced at all times. But you do not apparently think that taking the time to explore what I suggested worth commenting on. So much for working together. So much for common respect for someone, who people may not agree with, but that is actually putting forth physical effort instead of using their fingers to bitch and do zero.
Roberto Gomez November 12, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Barnes, do you really want to wait 2 years to vote Pam O'Connor and Bob Holbrook out of office, then 2 more years to vote Gleam Davis and Terry O'Day out of office. Can you imagine the damage to the City that this will result in? Isn't it better to get 2 out as soon as possibly February and then wait 90 days after Davis and O'Day are sworn in to mount another recall effort. We can accomplish this by Mid 2012 instead of 2014 and 2016. It is good to get a war chest in the ready to elect the people you mention but it too far in the future. We have to move on it now! Regardless, I and my sign atop of my car, and my Recall papers will make the rounds. This is to the people who are flapping your gums and typing your thoughts and bitching on this blog: Shame on all of you that do not support this drive, either by not signing the papers, or not supporting this drive. Bitching and doing nothing will accomplish a ton. Instead, put some honest to goodness physical effort into it. Instead of sitting by the computer keyboards in your nice comfy home and typing away. Do we really have the time to vote these individuals out? And what guarantees we will be able to do so? Is it not best to try to recall them. The press surrounding the recall will be priceless. At that poin we get to explain why we are going after them. Wake up.
Brenda Barnes November 12, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Someday maybe you'll learn trashing people is not an effective tactic, Roberto. In the meantime, I am ignoring you because I have other things to do I feel are more important than respond. I always considered a recall an ill-founded idea but did not want to trash as you do other people's ideas and efforts, just because I didn't agree with it. We just had an election. You might notice we did not get even one of our candidates elected, so the vote against us is still 5-2. Recalling two if it worked would be great, but if it didn't work--a real possibility, since as I repeat, we just lost an election--would set us further behind. Maybe a recall is a good idea and I just don't see it. I do see far more work that has to be done before 2014 to keep us far too busy to do a recall. O'Connor and Holbrook will be running then, if they run.. A lot of organizing work will be necessary even for that election, and two years is not a lot of time to go from 7,000 to 20,000 votes on our side. Someone also told me it takes lots of money to do a recall. I have not seen an abundance of money on our side, so I prefer to put my efforts where I think working with what we have will be effective. Working together with you is clearly impossible, since it's your way or get trashed. Let me know when you change your style so anyone can work with you, which I have not seen happen yet. Sorry to say that outright, but you insisted on a response.
Dan Charney November 13, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Well said Brenda- any efforts I make I think will be focused on casting light on the hypocrisy of Community Core while letting the Section 8 Program go unfunded. A few vouchers that Ted W sees Step Up on Second and OPCC get is not going to cut it for the many low income seniors who do not earn over 1400 a month or have perfect credit and cannot afford over 800 dollars for studio in the new apartments and condos being built. The developers need to fund the Sec 8 Program for real- and retroactively - many low income seniors and disabled can afford the few hundred and then be able to eat- but cannot afford any other way of being here- where many have been for twenty years. SMRR and the Housing has a way of "cleansing the city of it's most 'unwanted' this way- it's wrong and not fair. That will be my focus.
Brenda Barnes November 13, 2012 at 01:50 AM
You're right, Dan, and thanks for understanding we all have a different part of this we have to focus on to use our time and skills wisely. The VTP Development Agreement is being discussed by the City Council Tuesday night at 6:30 at 1685 Main Street (4th Street exit off the 10, left at light, right at first street, park free in parking lot to the left--btw, the ugliest building in California, built by the City of SM). The more people who can come and state whatever their main point of view against this travesty is, the better. You can also e-mail comments to jing.yeo@smgov.net. Doing both would be very helpful. I also know that people who are in favor of tearing down old things of any type and building new, and of "cleaning out undesirable elements from the City" will also comment. I find their comments helpful in exposing the types of shallow, racist, young, white wannabes, for the most part, people who are in favor of this. No one over the age of 50 other than the developer and his friends has ever commented in favor of this development. We were here in 1965 and value what we had before the first demolition derby that led to rent control and now this one that will lead, we hope, to another uprising to set things right. A longer view is a large part of the value seniors can provide.
Dan Charney November 13, 2012 at 04:10 AM
I think this angle sheds light on the whole situation to be honest- while hopefully I can hold some hands to the fire- the mentally ill, felons, battered women and homeless drug addicts that all go through programs there and receive a voucher is fine- just extend it for the low income seniors and disabled. Do I have any belief that it will help? NO- but I would sure love to see those Section 8 books opened for the last years since 2007-
Brenda Barnes November 13, 2012 at 09:46 AM
I don't know anything about Sec 8. Who has been doing it since 2007?
Dan Charney November 13, 2012 at 08:23 PM
It seems that all the funny business and harassment of you, lack of transparency of that department - started in 2007. I am wondering what happened then? When and what triggered the increase of this cleansing and harassment?

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