Fundraising for candidates and issues in this year’s November election is off to a slow start with most campaigns reporting a few thousand dollars in donations for the first reporting period.

City Council challenger Ashely Powell was the exception, reporting more than $63,000 in donations in the first few months of the season, but most campaigns reported significantly less.

In the race for Rent Control Board, Incumbent Nicole Phillis was in first place with $5,700 in fundraising and no expenses. Her 58 donors included several current RCB Commissioners, School Board members, College Board candidates and SMRR officials. She also received a donation from Sonya Sultan, the mother of fellow candidate Naomi Sultan.

Challenger Lori Brown raised $5,128 and had no expenses. Her 21 donors included property management companies and several realtors.

Challenger Naomi Sultan raised $4,225 and spent $29. Her 20 donors include Denny Zane, Mary Marlow, Laurie Lieberman, Anastasia Foster

Incumbent Steve Duron reported $1,205 in donations and no expenses. His five donors were fellow RCB Commissioner Anastasia Foster, Mark Kreher, Mary Marlow, Denny Zane and Marcia Zimmer.

Challenger Jon Mann did not file paperwork related to fundraising.

Of the five candidates in the race for Santa Monica College Board, challenger Sion Roy raised the most with $13,541 in cash and a loan to himself of $600 against $5,632 in expenses. The majority of his donations came through an online fundraising platform, Democracy Engine.

Loans are a theme in the SMC race among the incumbents.

Nancy Greenstein received $1,000 in donations and loaned herself $6,700. She reported $4,703 in expenses. All of her spending went towards campaign mailing and literature.

Louise Jaffe has loaned herself $18,000 and raised $100. She has spent $4,748 on mailers.

Barry Snell received a single $1,000 donation. Combined with loans and residual money from past campaigns, he had an ending cash balance of $1,136 after spending $550.

The second challenger, Patrick Acosta II, did not report any fundraising.

Incumbent Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein raised $19,355, the most among the five candidates for Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Board. Combined with his preexisting cash and $6,123 in expenses, he ended the period with a cash balance of $16,660. He received several donations from a variety of labor unions and spent money on mailers or his website.

Craig Foster had an ending cash balance of $19,273 after raising $5,000 and lending himself $20,000. Foster spent $5,726.

Oscar de la Torre loaned himself $2,000 and raised $850 against $157 in payments.

Laurie Lieberman raised $14,442 and has spent $5,483. Combined with past fundraising, she had $12,772 in the bank at the end of the filing period.

Ann Thanawalla hadn’t gathered any donations but did spend $271 on her campaign website.

There are four measures on the November Ballot (Board and Commission eligibility requirements, maximum high limits on development, a school bond and term limits for City Council) but only two had fundraising activity.

The Committee for Safe & Modern Santa Monica Schools – Yes on SMS is working to support the school bond and raised $84,802. The campaign spent about $15,642.

Santa Monicans for Council Term Limits, Yes on Measure TL supports establishing term limits for City Council. The organization raised $11,529 and spent $10,632. With some preexisting cash factored in, the group has an ending cash balance of $3,758.

The Political Action Committee representing city employees raised $13,284 and spent $5,278. Their expenses were for press releases and marketing material in support of their endorsement of incumbents Kevin McKeown, Sue Himmelrich and Pam O’Connor.

A second PAC, ACT PAC sponsored by Action Apartments, spent $3,768 in support of Lori Brown’s campaign for the Rent

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...

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