'Secretive' Political Committee Could Influence Elections

A steering committee—whose members go unidentified—for Santa Monicans' for Renters Rights might have the final say on who to endorse in the Nov. 6 City Council election.

Santa Monica's powerful tenants group will vote this weekend to back candidates in the November race for City Council.

The endorsements from Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights will likely be determined by the group's 13-member steering committee, and could ultimately shape the outcome of the election, the Santa Monica LookOut reports.

The online news source, however, was unable to confirm the identities of the steering committee's members.

Reporter Jason Islas got the run-around from the leaders of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights, known as SMRR:

Asked to provide the names of the members, Co-Chair Patricia Hoffman said she didn’t have a list readily available. When asked if she could e-mail one, she said, “I’m not a touch typist.”

A call to Co-Chair Jennifer Kennedy, who sits on the City’s Planning Commission, went unanswered.

Asked who was on the committee, one long-time political observer did not know.

“It’s secretive,” the observer said. “Don’t quote me.”

As of Friday morning, the field of candidates was already packed tightly with 16 candidates, including two incumbents, who are vying for four seats on the dais, according to the City Clerk’s office.


The candidates who will be seeking the SMRR endorsement on Sunday are incumbents Gleam Davis and Terry O'Day, Planning Commissioner Ted Winterer, former Lookout columnist Frank Gruber, former Council member Tony Vazquez, and education activist Shari Davis, according to the Lookout.


The general election will be held Nov. 6, 2012.

For the full story on Sunday's vote, click over to surfsantamonica.com.

Al Loren Stone July 20, 2012 at 05:54 PM
I tend to vote with the SMRR endorsements, but their lack of transparency is unacceptable by a long-shot. This needs to change.
John Deere July 21, 2012 at 01:43 PM
This is no surprise: SMRR has lacked transparency for years. But, who is on the Steering Committee is irrelevant because Denny Zane runs the "organization" with an iron fist. The other irony is that the small cadre of "leaders" are no longer renters -- and haven't been for years!
tom berg July 21, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Al, you can always vote against them. It took Mexicans 70 years to vote out PRI. Wll we take as long?


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