Fabian Lewkowicz
Fabian Lewkowicz
Fabian Lewkowicz

There were some prizes and surprises resulting from last Tuesday’s primary.

The big race was for Los Angeles County Supervisor, Third District. Zev Yaroslavsky has been termed out. Eight candidates lined up to replace him. The two front-runners were Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver.

With approximately 13 percent of the electorate voting (20 percent in Santa Monica), Kuehl received 36 percent of the vote and Shriver pulled in 28.8 percent.

In the days leading to the primary, I had criticized Kuehl for repeatedly lying to Santa Monica voters about failed 2008 ballot Measure T that would have temporarily capped new commercial development in the city.

Kuehl was featured on a number of anti-T mailers. It “encourages landlords to demolish affordable apartments and displace renters” and it will put seniors and working families at risk and jeopardize our already diminishing supply of affordable housing, she claimed.

Measure T addressed only commercial development and had nothing to do with renters.

It provided no incentives for landlords to demolish apartments.

Last week, Kuehl was up to her old tricks, again. It seems the 72-year-old, former State Senator/State Assemblywoman just can’t help herself. This time it was two flyers mailed to voters immediately before the primary. “What does the Los Angeles Times say about Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver?” one of the mailers asked.

Kuehl’s mailers highlighted quotes from a May 15 Los Angeles Times editorial that actually endorsed their competitor John Duran. Kuehl’s glossy mailer highlighted statements from the Times editorial that were favorable to Kuehl along with comments less favorable to Shriver. Duran wasn’t even mentioned in her mailers.

This so irked a member of the L.A. Times editorial board, that he wrote a scathing response (published May 30) to Kuehl’s latest foray into campaign fiction. He called it “misleading” and gave the impression the Times endorsed Kuehl.

You can bet your Prius that there’ll be a lot more dirty tricks, misleading mailers and outright fabrications coming from the Kuehl camp between now and Nov. 4, especially with master trickster Parke Skelton running her campaign.

Another closely watched race was for the 33rd Congressional District. 17 candidates ran. Leading the pre-primary pack were State Senator Ted Lieu, businesswoman Wendy Gruel, new-age author Marianne Williamson and public radio host Matt Miller.

When the votes were counted, Republican and criminal gang prosecutor Elan Carr was the top vote-getter with 21.49 percent. Lieu came in second with 19.05 percent. Gruel placed third with 16.77 percent which doesn’t bode well for her future runs for office.

Carr has his work cut out for him because the sprawling 33rd is heavily Democratic and Lieu has been endorsed by the retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Santa Monica). It seems that Carr benefited in the primary from the Democratic vote being split between 10 candidates.

The other race that attracted a lot of local interest was for Lieu’s 26th District State Senate seat. Eight candidates were in the race. Front-runners included Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education member Ben Allen, social justice attorney Sandra Fluke and former Assembly member Betsy Butler, who ran unsuccessfully for reelection against Richard Bloom for Assembly in 2012.

When the dust cleared, Allen was “numero uno” with 21.82 percent of the vote. Fluke came in second with 19.7 percent. She gained national fame two years ago when wacky, conservative radio, talk show host, Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” because she advocated that health insurance cover birth control at a Washington, DC political meeting.

Attorney and Independent Seth Stodder, the only non-Democrat in the race, placed third with 17.47 percent. Butler finished fourth with 16.67 percent of the vote. Speaking of dirty tricks, Butler was the subject of negative mailers paid for by pro-medical independent expenditure organizations. These were the same medical interests that supported surgeon Vito Imbasciani who came in sixth proving that sometimes karma comes back to bite you.

In the race for 50th District of the State Assembly, former Santa Monica Councilman Richard Bloom is seeking re-election. He’ll face environmental attorney Bradley Torgan in the general election. Bloom and Torgan were the only candidates in the primary.

Although a Republican, Torgan has already caught my attention. He has fought overdevelopment in Hollywood and recently won a court battle to block the city of Los Angeles’ development-heavy Hollywood Community Plan update.

Pro-development Bloom recently sent an official Assembly letter to City Council expressing his disappointment with their decision to rescind the development agreement for the proposed 770,000-square-foot Hines Bergamot Transit Village that almost everyone (except Bloom) feels is just way too big, too traffic-generating and too ugly.


Council to review big development


There’s a couple of interesting things on the agenda for tomorrow night’s City Council meeting. One item is a review of the proposal for a massive, 12-floor (148 feet), mixed-use development on city-owned property bounded by Fourth and Fifth streets and Arizona Avenue — where the winter ice rink sets up.

The proposal exceeds the 84-foot height limit (and the current 76-foot zoning code height limit) that most residents would like to see as a maximum height for new projects Downtown. It’s totally out of scale with the Downtown and will likely alienate most residents even more. Residocracy.org anyone?

The other item is the second reading of an ordinance to reduce speed limits on many of Santa Monica’s major commercial streets. Of course, this will add to the city’s traffic problems, but since when does anyone in City Hall care about reducing traffic congestion?


Bill can be reached at mr.bilbau@gmail.com.

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