CITY HALL ‚Äî The economy may not be great, but you wouldn‚Äôt know it by the way political campaigns are spending money in Santa Monica.
The City Clerk‚Äôs Office posted a deluge of last-minute filings by independent expenditure and political action committees that show almost $173,000 spent on mailers, ads, canvassers and other pricey items for the City Council race since Oct. 26.
The vast majority of the cash came from developer-backed group Santa Monicans United for a Responsible Future. The organization put $127,971 behind its slate of candidates, including incumbents Gleam Davis and Terry O‚ÄôDay, education activist Shari Davis and Planning Commissioner Ted Winterer.
That group has been derided for its development ties, and accused of endorsing slow-growth candidate Winterer simply to besmirch his name.
Although a major expenditure, the group almost offset it with two new contributions from Ocean Avenue LLC, which is connected to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, and Hines 26th Street LLC, the developer behind the Bergamot Transit Village.
Each gave $50,001, compared to the initial $49,999 they gave at the beginning of the race.
The same slate also received $1,500 each in support from the Santa Monica Firefighters Political Activities for advertisements.
Winterer and fellow Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon both got support from Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC) and Santa Monicans for Responsible Government (SMRG).
SMCLC pitched in $5,768 for mail for each of its candidates, where SMRG aimed higher with $13,543.68 behind each.
SMRG also managed to recoup much of its payout with a $10,000 contribution from a pilates company in Encino, Calif.