Santa Monica Lookout
Santa Monica Council Candidates Disclose Fundraising Sources
By Jason Islas
February 5, 2013 -- Of the four candidates elected to Santa Monica's City Council in November, Ted Winterer not only won the most votes, but he also raised the most money, according to campaign finance disclosure statements released last week.
Winterer raised nearly $64,000 in contributions of no more than $325, the new limit under an increased cap approved by the Council last year.
Of the four winners, Winterer was the only candidate who received financial support from the Huntley Hotel, whose representatives contributed a total of $2,500 to his campaign between October 21 and December 31.
The Huntley also helped bankroll an anti-development coaltion as part of its campaign against the comprehensive redevelopment of the neighboring Miramar Hotel.
Winterer also received $100 from a “Shamanic Healer,” according to documents.
Incumbent Council member Terry O'Day raised $50,795, including $975 from donors associated with Hines, the Texas-based developer behind the proposed Bergamot Transit Village project.
O'Day also received a $325 donation from Los Angeles mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti.
Incumbent Council member Gleam Davis pulled in $49,308 in donations. Both Davis and O'Day were backed by Unite Here Local 11 -- the local hospitality workers' union -- Santa Monica Police and Firefighters' unions and the restaurant Chez Jay, which successfully protested City plans to tear down its 53-year-old building.
Winterer, O'Day and Davis were all backed by Santa Monicans United for a Responsible Future (SMURF), a developer-backed political action committee (PAC) that raised $497,400. The PAC also backed Shari Davis who finished fifth in the Council race.
Vazquez raised the least among the winners -- $18,516 -- though he spent $40,750, according to documents.
All four of the winning candidates were backed by the powerful Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR) which spent $165,965 campaigning for its candidates, including those the group backed for School Board and the Rent Control Board.
Of the candidates who didn't muster the votes to take one of the four seats on the Council, Shari Davis raised the most, $61,995.
Former Lookout columnist Frank Gruber raised $54,457 but nearly doubled his war chest with a $41,000 loan to his campaign, making him the only candidate who spent nearly $100,000. Gruber finished in eighth place among 15 candidates.
Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon, who finished sixth, raised $35,200, while John C. Smith, who finished seventh, raised $2,680. Smith added to his war chest with a loan of $9,206.
Steve Duron, who finished last, raised $2,865.
Perennial candidates Jerry Rubin and Jon Mann, as well as Terrence Later, who was making his third Council bid, did not file for the reporting period.
Neither did candidates Armen Melkonians, Bob Seldon and Roberto Gomez.
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