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In Their Own Words: Independent Candidates

While they lack the backing of Santa Monica's business community or its powerful tenants' group, the four independent City Council candidates could have a looming impact on what will likely be a hotly contested race.

Incumbent Michael Feinstein, who failed to win the endorsement of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights, is going it alone, after counting on the group's support in his two previous council bids.

Feinstein would not be the first former SMRR mayor to win in an independent bid. A decade ago, Paul Rosenstein became a crucial swing vote on the seven-member council after winning without the group's backing.

Independent hopefuls Bill Bauer and David Cole -- who comprise the "Team for Change" -- acknowledge they likely won't win one of the four open council seats, but they relish playing the role of potential spoilers.

"The bottom line is that as much a we dislike the twenty years of SMRR," Cole said, "we dislike the chamber candidates equally. We've had enough of putting special interests first."

Jonathan Mann -- who made four unsuccessful council bids as Jon Stevens -- is once again making the importance of the Internet in local governance the center of his platform.

As expected, the four independent candidates - including the team of Cole and Bauer - hold widely varying views on key issues facing Santa Monica, a point illustrated by their answers to a series of questions devised by The Lookout to avoid pat answers.

The survey sent to all 12 council candidates includes short questions about likes and dislikes, as well as multiple choice questions geared to pin down a candidate's position on important, complex issues.

The Lookout also asked candidates how they would have voted on a series of key items the City Council took positions on over the past two years.

This third, and last, installment provides the answers from the four independent candidates.

Michael Feinstein David Cole
Bill Bauer Jonathan Mann





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