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Santa Monica's New Developer-Backed Political Group Outraises SMRR


Frank Gruber for Santa Monica City Council

Ted Winterer for City Council 2012

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Re-elect Robert Kronovet for Rent Control Board

Pico Business Improvement District
7th Annual Pico Festival
Sunday, October 28th

Editor's note: This story contains the following correction. Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon has raised $15,355 not $4,610.85 as previously reporter.

By Jason Islas
Staff Writer

October 9, 2012 -- As candidates in the race to sit on Santa Monica's City Council struggle to raise money for their campaigns, a new developer-backed political group has rustled up $175,000 in less than one week.

Santa Monicans United for a Responsible Future (SMURF) -- an independent expenditure committee that has thrown its weight behind incumbents Terry O'Day and Gleam Davis as well as challengers Shari Davis and Ted Winterer -- managed to outraise Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights by $70,000.

Of the total, $100,000 was donated by companies affiliated with NMS Properties, Inc., currently Santa Monica's biggest housing developer.

The Chicago-based Century West Partners, LLC, which is building two residential projects, totaling 107 apartments in Downtown Santa Monica, donated $25,000.

Also donating $25,000 each were the Los Angeles-based Ideal Properties, LLC and Robert's Business Park.

As an IEC, SMURF was not authorized by any of the candidates nor do they have any say over how the group spends its money.

SMURF opted to back a slate of candidates almost identical to SMRR's slate. The only non-SMRR candidate SMURF endorsed is Shari Davis, who failed to win tenant group's endorsement in July.

SMURF, which was formed on September 24, began distributing flyers in support of their slate last Wednesday.

The logos of the Police and Firefighter's unions appear prominently on SMURF's flyers because the organization has endorsed the same slate as powerful public safety the unions.

According to the City Clerk's website, Santa Moncia's Police Officers' Association did not file a campaign finance disclosure form for the period of July 1 to September 30, but as of June 30, they had raised $76,199.85.

At the end of this filing period, the candidate leading the pack was O'Day, who, in a three-month period raised $40,680.00.

Only former Lookout columnist Frank Gruber surpassed O'Day with $58,196, but $21,000 of the total was a loan made by Gruber to the campaign.

Behind Gruber was Planning Commissioner Winterer, who raised $34,739, including a $500 loan to his campaign.

Education activist Shari Davis managed to raise $33,773.56, followed by incumbent Gleam Davis -- who loaned her campaign $3,500 -- with $28,109.

Former Council member Tony Vazquez has gathered $11,142, including a $4,000 loan. Behind him is John Smith with $6,854, the majority of which has come out of his own pocket.

Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon has raised $15,355. Of that amount $10,500 was in the form of a personal loan.

Steven Duron raised $2,615, followed by Bob Seldon with $1,050.

Bringing up the rear was Terrance Later, who raised nothing but still filed.

Jorge Casuso contributed to this report.

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