CITYWIDE – Two City Council candidates have dropped big personal loans into their campaigns in this season’s last days.
Planning Commissioner Sue Himmelrich added $40,000 from her own pocket on Oct. 22, bringing the total she’s spent on her own campaign to $130,000.
Former Mayor Michael Feinstein added $30,000 of his own money to his war chest on Monday, bringing the amount he’s spent on himself to $74,495.
Challengers lead Ed Board cash race
Malibu schools advocate Craig Foster has raised nearly $80,000 in race for one of the four contested seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education.
Foster has loaned himself $10,000 and spent $46,500, according to the most recent campaign disclosure statements.
Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights co-Chair Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein takes silver in the cash race with more than $48,000 raised.
Incumbent Laurie Lieberman is a close third with $45,500 raised.
Incumbent Oscar de la Torre is in the back of the fundraising pack but he did get a $1,000 contribution from supermodel Cindy Crawford, who has been asking for more to be done to address the environmental issues at Malibu schools.
Felcor jumps into hotel PAC
Felcor, which is looking to replace the eight-story Wyndham on Ocean Avenue with three new buildings ranging from five to 15 stories tall, added $25,000 to a political action committee supporting Mayor Pam O’Connor and former Planning Commissioner Frank Gruber for council.
Responsible Leadership for a Better Santa Monica, which is headed by Mayor Pro Tempore Terry O’Day, has raised nearly $160,000.
Ocean Avenue LCC, which wants to rebuild the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, replacing the current 10-story edifice with – according to the most recently released designs – a 21-story tower, 280 hotel rooms, 120 luxury condominiums, and 40 affordable housing units, also gave $25,000.
The Edward Thomas Management Company, which owns Shutters on the Beach Hotel and Hotel Casa del Mar, gave $40,000 to the group. In 2012, City Council approved the sale of the City Hall-owned vacant beach lot at 1920 Ocean Way to the Edward Thomas Management Company for $13 million.
Residocracy files independent expenditure form
Residocracy, the city’s newest political organization, has been relatively silent since it endorsed City Council candidates Phil Brock, Kevin McKeown, and Sue Himmelrich.
The group’s co-founder Armen Melkonians told the Daily Press that they would be open to accepting contributions, which could be used to back their slate of candidates through advertisements.
On Monday, a week before the election, Melkonians filed a form allowing Residocracy to accept contributions.
No other forms were filed.
Realtor Kate Bransfield, a member of the Residocracy Advisory Board, has run numerous advertisements in the Daily Press this month with a side-bar that promotes the Residocracy slate. Prior to that, throughout September, her ads promoted Residocracy more generally. According to a post Bransfield made on Facebook, she’s also printed flyers to promote the Residocracy slate.
Residocracy has not yet filed disclosure statements acknowledging that money was spent on behalf of its committee.
Bransfield, it should be noted in the interested of full disclosure, is one of the Daily Press’ biggest advertisers.