Board Challenger Leads Fundraising Race
By Jorge Casuso
October 17 – Challenger Chris Bley has raised
more than the three other School Board candidates combined, but
his opponents can count on the backing of Santa Monican’s
powerful tenants group, according to an analysis of the latest
campaign finance disclosure statements.
Bley had raised $19,591 by October 1, far more than the combined
$12,771 raised by incumbents Jose Escarce and Maria Leon Vazquez
and challenger Ben Allen, according to the statements filed with
the City Clerk last week.
But Bley’s three opponents can count on some of the $90,592
raised by Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR), as
well as the support of the three College Board incumbents, who
face little competition in the race for three College Board seats.
Bley, who raised $15,891 between July 1 and September 30, had
spent $13,205 by October 1; of that $5,338 was used to hire a
political strategist. The challenger, who is targeting Malibu
voters, had $9,464 left in his coffers, including $3,078 in unpaid
Nine contributors, including family members, accounted for more
than half of the money Bley had raised, including two contributions
of $2,750 each.
Unlike the $250 limit imposed on individuals who contribute to
City Council candidates, there are no limits to how much an individual
can contribute to a candidate for School Board.
According to the latest filings, Vazquez followed Bley, having
raised $5,016 by October 1, including an $898 loan. She had spent
$1,675, leaving $3,341 in her campaign warchest.
Allen had raised $4,700, including a $700 loan, and had spent
$1,893, leaving his campaign with $2,807 in hand.
Escarce had raised $3,055, including a $700 loan. He had spent
$1,618, leaving him with $1,437.
In the race for College Board, the three incumbents -- who are
all backed by SMRR -- had raised a combined total of nearly $20,000,
most of it in the form of loans. The only challenger, Heidi Hoeck,
has not reported any contributions and failed to show up for the
Of the incumbents, Margaret Quiñones-Perez had raised
$13,475 by October 1, including an $11,050 loan. She had spent
$3,960, leaving her with $9,614.
Rob Rader, the board’s chair, had raised $3,743 and had
$3,613 left in his coffers.While Susan Aminoff had raised $2,500,
all of it in the form of a loan. She had spent $1,175, leaving
her campaign with $1,325.
While the three incumbents can count on SMRR’s support,
the amount raised by the 30-year-old tenants group has been dwindling
over that past four years – from $113,000 for the same period
in 2004, to $103,107 in 2006, to $90,592 this year.
SMRR had spent $70,671 by October 1, leaving the group with $73,008,
thanks to fundraising efforts dating back to last year, according
SMRR organizer Michael Tarbet has been paid $7,350, while $3,678
was paid for canvassers who went door to door between July 1 and