Santa Monica Lookout
B e s t   l o c a l   s o u r c e   f o r   n e w s   a n d   i n f o r m a t i o n


Council Candidates Disgruntled Over Santa Monica Paper Forum


Frank Gruber for 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

By Jason Islas
Staff Writer

October 15, 2012 -- Six Santa Monica City Council candidates were not invited to participate in a debate sponsored by The Daily Press Monday night, and they've been rallying support to pressure the paper to include them.

Perennial Candidates Jon Mann, who is mounting a record-setting 11th bid and Jerry Rubin, who is running for Council for the fifth time, are spearheading the protest against new criteria that excludes them and four others from the debate.

The candidates -- who are calling themselves the Santa Monica Six -- also include new-comers Bob Seldon, Roberto Gomez, Armen Melkonians as well as third-time candidate Terence Later.

To be invited, candidates had to complete a questionnaire, raise at least $1,000 and have been endorsed by a “legitimate Santa Monica organization.” Candidates who have run in the past were required to receive at least 5 percent of the vote in one of their past bids.

“I don't think the criteria is good,” said Rubin. “I made a decision that I wasn't going to seek funding or donations.”

“I have been posting on Facebook, sending out letters, Op Eds, press releases and e-mails about this travesty,” Mann wrote Friday in an e-mail. “This is a blatant attempt to weed out candidates who aren't endorsed by special interests, or are wealthy enough to contribute to their own campaign coffers.”

“I absolutely understand that this is a change. I totally get that the first time people see this, people are surprised. I'm not surprised that the candidates that didn't qualify are upset,” said Ross Furukawa, The Daily Press' publisher.

“We made our criteria simple, non-arbitrary, non-partisan, easily measurable and easily reachable,” he said.

“The threshold for wealth is $1,000,” said Furukawa. “A thousand dollars.”

“In Santa Monica elections, if you want to win a City Council seat, you have to raise money. That's not me saying that. That's just history,” he said.

Incumbents Gleam Davis and Terry O'Day along with candidate Shari Davis -- all of whom will participate Monday -- wrote an e-mail Thursday, requesting the paper open up its forum to The Santa Monica Six.

Candidates Richard McKinnon and Ted Winterer joined the chorus.

Wilmont Chair Valerie Griffin wrote an e-mail requesting money that the neighborhood group had donated to the event be refunded. Wilmont donated $175.

Rubin, who has tied himself to a tree to prevent it from being cut down and often goes on hunger strikes, said that he wasn't sure if there would be a protest Monday, but if there were, it would be peaceful.

Lookout Logo footer image copyrightCopyright 1999-2012 All Rights Reserved. EMAIL