After the election?

I’m going to start writing about all the good things that go on in our fair city, all the good things our City staff does, all the good that comes from our elected officials. There’s plenty of it. And won’t that be uplifting? And a lot nicer for me?

However —

I can’t in good conscience do that until those people stop doing way more harm than good. I know they don’t see themselves that way, but many of us do, and that’s something they really should pay attention to. But they don’t.

We feel dismissed, unheard, even reviled, for loving Santa Monica as much as they do but differing, drastically, on vision. We feel we are without a voice in the direction our city is being pushed, which is over the Palisades cliff.

Our city. The one we chose and cherish and have lived in for years or decades or even generations. Whose city is it, if not ours? We want our children to be able to live in a Santa Monica they too will still cherish. Doesn’t look good for that right now. And not having a say, sucks.


In so many ways. The buck stops with the current Santa Monica for Renters’ Rights (SMRR)-anointed, Forward-backed, Union 11-aided civic leaders, and ultimately with our City Council. And since many of them have had years if not decades to change their evil ways — Term Limits, anyone? — it would appear voting them out may be the only way to stop the degradation and pain.

Sounds simple enough. But if you’re even half-informed, you know things have changed in the voting booth. The Republican party has pushed through voter suppression in 23 of 50 states since the Supreme Court ridiculously decided there was no longer any need to monitor the ways states conduct elections. The very next day the GOP in some states began their attack on our most precious right, the right to vote.


Every once in a while I get a good laugh when someone rises up indignantly in a local social media thread and declares, well, if you don’t like an elected official here, just vote them out!

That’s how you can tell that someone just moved to Santa Monica, and hasn’t yet started paying attention.

Elections should be simple. One person, one vote, count them up. But that’s not where we’re at. No voter suppression here (that I know of) but, why does it take a minimum $150,000 to win a Council seat (that pays barely $12,000)? Political Action Committees (PACs) throw in hundreds of thousands and candidates claim, like Sgt. Schultz in Hogan’s Heroes, “I know nothing. Nothing!” Why are you almost dead in the water if you can’t get the endorsement of kingmakers SMRR? If things have gotten so bad here and the incumbents are clearly to blame and all this money and political machinery is set up to keep it all going, what hope is there?


As long as we have a vote, because we are the many. The problem is, we have to come out in droves, an absolute tsunami of voters who previously stayed home or voted in ignorance, to overcome the numbers of people who do vote in ignorance. They grab the last postcard they got in the mail and vote for the ones every “good name” endorses, nearly all incumbents. Not knowing that those endorsements are literally paid for.

Are there any good incumbents, that we should keep? In my opinion, no — almost. In the most important race, City Council, I have recently spoken kindly of one, but you can vote for three candidates so I shall vote also for two challengers whose platforms would please everyone I know who feels as I do. One other challenger is a SMRR golden boy who has not, as he claims, spent a “lifetime” in Santa Monica and should be rejected, and the other someone I found to be so uninformed and unfocused that even her good social positions should not earn a seat on the Council. We have one good incumbent and two really good challengers. Against all odds, let’s change Council and turn this sinking ship around. That’s your most important local vote.

For Rent Control Board you have three challengers to the all-lawyer board. One is a lawyer, also coming straight from SMRR. Of the other two, only one is a property owner and as I said last election, it’s not right to not have them represented, with at least one member, since all the RCB business concerns also property owners. It makes sense to get them in the mix for the best outcome for our many renters. I will bullet vote for only that one.

The college board of trustees has two challengers, one of whom I believe, from conversations, will be great. I will vote for both, and only those two. The SMMUSD school board race has one challenger that absolutely needs a seat there. I will also vote for one of the incumbents, but you will just have to guess. (Don’t overthink it.) Again, two votes only.

QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK: About bond measure SMS: With very nearly a billion of our dollars at stake, why is there no “Argument Against,” only “For,” on the City’s Vote 2018 site? Was the PTA endorsement of it really representative of parents? Where is the League of Women Voters study/analysis that led to their endorsement of it? Why not wait two years until the next election to have a bond measure that is specific as to where the money will go? Why the rush when we still have $2M/week available through 2020 to spend from reserves and the last school bond measure we generously approved? How much will this cost renters? (Even the Rent Control Board doesn’t know.) Are you OK that 20 of the 29 contributors to the campaign for the bond were companies from outside Santa Monica that provide consulting, design, engineering and construction services? Follow the money.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.” — H.L. Mencken.

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 32 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at

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  1. Charles! You are one of my two favorite journalistic curmudgeons! But we must agree to disagree. It was great talking with you last night. I hope things will be better after the election. There is one Council person I am NOT VOTING FOR. She’s not my kind of Politically O’Correct. Definitely YES on 8. Kenny was on dialysis after losing one kidney in the early 90s; the other one failed in the early 2000s, and he had to wait some years for a donor. With all the big??from the big dialysis people coming in, it’ll probably go down, but I’m voting yes anyway, for my brother.. ?☀️?

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