DOWNTOWN — The group Santa Monicans for Quality Government, which last week irked Santa Monica’s cops and firefighters by sending out what the public safety unions said was a misleading campaign mailer, has come up with a new flier that is drawing criticism from the organization Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS).
The new mailer, which arrived in some Santa Monica mailboxes on Friday, asks potential voters, “Who does CEPS trust?” and features some — but not all — of the candidates the group endorsed.
The candidates included on the mailer are incumbents Bob Holbrook, Pam O’Connor, Gleam Davis and Terry O’Day. Left off the flier are CEPS endorsees Ted Winterer and Kevin McKeown.
“I’m not happy about it all,” said Rebecca Kennerly, CEPS’ chair. “If they’re going to use our name, they need to use our [complete] endorsements, and they should, out of common courtesy, ask our permission.”
While all the candidates listed on the flier were endorsed by CEPS, Kennerly said the flier could still confuse voters.
“It isn’t that these are huge misrepresentations, but I don’t appreciate the way they’re not using the full picture.”
The group behind the mailer employed a similar tactic in its earlier “public safety slate mailer,” which made unauthorized use of the police and firefighters associations’ logos and featured four of the groups’ endorsees, but not McKeown, who also earned the endorsement of cops and firefighters.
It was still unclear on Friday who was financially supporting the group. The group has registered as a slate mailer organization with the Secretary of State’s Office, but no financial disclosure documents were available by deadline Friday.
The group’s president, Fred Huebscher, on Friday again declined to provide information about the groups’ donors but insisted the organization had obeyed campaign disclosure laws.
A professional political consultant, Huebscher is managing the campaigns of Pam O’Connor and Gleam Davis.
A complaint about the group’s financial disclosure practices filed by the group the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City this week was referred to the California Fair Political Practices Commission, according to City Hall.
The FPPC did not provide an update on the status of the complaint by deadline Friday.