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Santa Monica Anti-Airport Group Cries Foul on Election Ads

Phil Brock For Council 2014

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Michael Feinstein for Santa Monica City Council 2014

Frank Gruber for Santa Monica City CouncilHarding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau

By Daniel Larios
Staff Writer

October 1, 2014 – Opponents of a measure that would require voter approval on changes made to Santa Monica Airport claim that the Measure D campaign is illegally using names from its petition in campaign ads.

Four Santa Monica residents whose names appear on a “Yes on D” campaign ad have said that they do not support the measure or gave permission for their names to be used, according  to leaders of rival Measure LC.

Pam Lincoln Young-Wolffs and Jeanne Claire Bland, two of the Santa Monica voters listed as supporters in the ad, told the Lookout Tuesday that they in fact oppose the pro-airport measure.

“The only paper I signed was at the Pico Farmers Market where a woman stopped me to explain the two measures,” Young-Wolffs told the Lookout Tuesday. “I was in a hurry and I do not remember whether I signed in support for D or LC.

“I do clearly remember that she said the opposition was outspending them and had a huge budget, and they were a grassroots group and needed support,” she added.

“So either she was trying to trick me into thinking D was the measure residents in Santa Monica wanted everyone to vote for, or I actually did sign for LC and have no idea how the D people got our names.”

Bland says she never signed any petition or gave any organization permission to use her name for any purpose.

“I don’t know if it’s a joke,” Bland told the Lookout. “I really resent it that they got my name.  I was shocked.  It’s me, because they used my middle name.”

Bland, who says she is very knowledgeable about the airport issue and keeps up with airport policy, is perplexed as to how the Measure D campaign got her name.

“I think it’s despicable,” Bland said, who says she vehemently opposes Measure D.  “I’m going to get to the bottom of it.  I’m going to confront them.  It’s wrong to randomly take my name. It’s akin to identity theft.”

The ad in question has the tag line “Over 700 Santa Monicans Join Voters Decide Campaign” along with a list of 700 Santa Monica residents who are said to support the “Yes on D” campaign.

“These people are coming out of the wood work -- and it is obvious the YES on D people are taking names from the petitions and using them as 'support' in their news ads,” said Sharon Gilpin, who is a consultant on the Measure LC campaign.

Stacey Falcioni, campaign manager for Measure D, said that all four individuals in question signed off on their endorsement.

"We have received only one request from a resident to withdraw her endorsement, which we happily did,” Falcioni told the Lookout.  “We have signed authorization from each resident supporter that was listed.

“Hundreds of resident voters have contacted the Santa Monica Voters Decide Measure D Campaign in support,” she added. “I think the real question is, are our supporters now being targeted and harassed by the opposition?"

Leaders from Measure LC, which would keep many airport decisions in the hands of City officials, claim that the names in the ads were culled from  the 9,800 signatures collected to qualify Measure D for the ballot, which is illegal under the State Elections Code.

The Statewide Initiative Guide on the California Secretary of State website states, “It should be noted that the petition or list of signatures may be used for no purpose other than the qualification of the initiative measure.

“This requirement prohibits using the names and addresses on petition sections for a mailing list for fundraising or other purposes.”

The claims mark an escalating and heated battle for the fate of the 227-acre Santa Monica Airport, which supporters tout as an important regional lifeline and economic generator, and opponents view as a safety and health hazard.

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