Santa Monica Lookout
Santa Monica Rent Board, School Board Candidates Raise Funds Down the Home Stretch
By Jason Islas
October 30, 2012 -- With little more than a week left before the November 6 election, candidates in Santa Monica's School Board and Rent Control Board races are drumming up support -- and funds -- to take them into the home stretch.
In each race, the candidates are raising money to make sure to get their messages out and, in some cases, the races promise to be close ones.
“I'm working hard. I know how formidable my opponents are,” said incumbent Rent Control Board member Robert Kronovet.
Kronovet, who took his seat in 2008, is the only realtor who sits on the Rent Control Board.
“I represent the supply side,” he said, adding that he provides balance on the board.
Kronovet was the first Rent Contorl Board member elected without the backing of Santa Monicans' for Renters' Rights (SMRR).
This year SMRR is backing attorney Christopher Walton and incumbent Ilse Rosenstein for two seats, one of which Kronovet currently occupies.
Walton, who has raised almost $700 according to campaign finance forms, said “I'm not very good at asking people for money,” adding that all his money comes from people in his building.
All his money, that is, except $50, which came from a friend, he said.
Rosenstein has raised nothing to date.
As SMRR candidates, both benefit from the group's war chest, which totals about $117,000. SMRR uses that money to campaign on behalf of all the candidates the group has endorsed.
Walton said that he saw his picture on a SMRR mailer that came Monday. “I'll definitely benefit from that,” he said.
“Bob Kronovet has all the money in the world,” he said.
To date, Kronovet -- who describes himself as a Rockefeller Republican -- has raised just over $13,000 for his race. He has also received the endorsement of Santa Monica's Police and Firefighters' unions.
Both Rosentstein and Walton have secured the endorsement of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.
In the race for School Board, with three seats at stake, the Malibu Slate has drummed up about $30,500 between the three of them.
Craig Foster, Karen Farrer and Seth Jacobsen -- who are running on a platform of reform -- have each loaned the slate campaign $10,000, according to campaign finance forms. They've also received $500 in donations.
The three have not shied away from the fact that they believe that ultimately, separating Santa Monica and Malibu into two districts would be best for both cities.
The three incumbents -- Jose Escarce, Maria Leon-Vazquez and Ben Allen -- have raised $11,792.44; $3,835.00 and $18,107.95 respectively.
But they can also count on SMRR's $117,000 war chest.
Susan Aminoff, Robert Rader and Margaret Quinones-Perez are unopposed in the race for college board.
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