Santa Monica Lookout
|$135K Raised to Fight Santa Monica’s LUVE Initiative||
By Jonathan Friedman
August 3, 2016 -- Two separate campaign committees raised a combined $135,000 in the effort to defeat the LUVE initiative, which seeks to curb development in Santa Monica by placing a significant number of projects and other planning decisions on the ballot.
The vast majority of the money came from two developers with property interests in Santa Monica--NMS Properties with $100,000 and Century West Partners with $25,000--, according to the mid-year campaign statement submitted this week that covers fundraising and spending through June 30.
The developers gave their money to the campaign committee Housing and Opportunity for a Modern Economy (HOME), which announced its formation in May to oppose the measure that will appear on the November ballot (“Campaigns Against Santa Monica’s LUVE Initiative Form,” May 25, 2016).
HOME has several major Santa Monica names attached to it, including former mayor Nat Trives, school board member Ralph Mechur and former Santa Monica Police Department union head Jay Trisler.
The other anti-LUVE group Santa Monica Forward raised approximately $10,000 through June 30 to oppose the measure.
Forward received money from 114 people, including City Councilmember Gleam Davis, former mayor Judy Abdo, former mayor and current Assemblyman Richard Bloom and school board President Laurie Lieberman.
So far, LUVE opponents have far more cash available than supporters do.
Residocracy, the grassroots residents' group behind LUVE, has collected a little under $20,819 through July 8, according to a statement it submitted last month.
If the fundraising continues at this pace, comparisons could be made to 2008 when slow-growth activists last attempted to curb local development through a ballot initiative.
That year’s RIFT initiative was defeated, and some political observers looked to the opposition campaign’s larger war chest, mostly funded through development interests, as the major reason for the loss.
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