How to Vote on our Local Santa Monica Ballot, if You Want to Climb Out of the Toilet We're In
Santa Monica is plagued by a rash of new development and an ongoing, oft-dismissed crime problem
October 26, 2020
Along with the alarming issues on the California State ballot there are a few alarming issues to be decided at the city and county level. In addition, you must choose who you want to run various local institutions and think hard about the environment that has been provided by incumbents. We provide guidance.
Santa Monica City Council
Phil Brock--Christine Parra
Oscar de la Torre -- Mario Fonda-Bonardi
Together, these candidates have the best chance at changing the current course of rampant over-development and runaway spending.
Should you vote for unopposed Kristin McCowan? She was appointed by the other council members with Greg Morena had to resign last spring. It doesn't matter, does it?
SMMUSD Board of Education
Esther Hickman-- Jason Feldman-- Steven Johnson
The incumbent candidates have participated in serious mishandling of the district's financial interactions with the state, resulting in a large deficit in the budget. This was before COVID-19. They have also participated in injecting toxic tribal identity politics into the K-12 curriculum. The three candidates recommended, part of the "slate of eight" for change, stand the best chance together of making some systemic improvements in the district. We particularly like Steven Johnson's campaign statement to use "data driven decision-making with measurable outcomes" and to cease putting teachers as first on the financial chopping block when cuts need to be made. The candidates would do well to consider statements made by their competitors regarding prioritizing education and critical thinking over "equity" and "social justice" catchwords that do not actually promote true equality or good outcomes.
SMC Board of Trustees
SMC is a cesspool of nepotism and financial waste. We vote for anyone who isn't an incumbent.
Rent Control Board
The people on the 5-member Rent Control Board are renters' advocates. It would be useful and equitable to include a landlord for a different, and possibly more realistic, perspective.
Member of the State Assembly
Richard Bloom is a far-left disaster. He was the lead author of the vetoed Ethnic Studies curriculum requirement for high school graduation, a bigoted, anti-American pile of garbage. He authored AB3107, which would have required cities to allow more density. Will Hess, a Democrat, shows refreshing centrist principles. He supports legal immigration, an end to "sanctuary cities," and opposes defunding the police.
United States Representative, 33rd District
James P. Bradley
The incumbent, Ted Lieu, is a far-left radical who supports whatever the most radical elements of the once-Democrat party tell him to. It's time for some common sense in the U.S. House of Representatives.
This measure would double the real estate transfer tax on properties over $5 million. Currently, this tax would be $15,000 for a property of that amount. This would raise that to $30,000 - a difference which could buy you a small car. While city officials claim this money would go to needed services, there is actually no rules placed on its use. It would undoubtedly go toward hiring more expensive consultants or, more likely, toward paying down our huge pension liability (caused by earlier highly-paid employees).
This is another one of those measures that would legalize racist hiring. Currently, the city charter requires hiring on merit. This would allow officials to hire on any basis they please: race, friendship, blood relations, you name it.
George Gascon, Lacey's challenger, is a liar and an incompetent. Crime rose in San Francisco while he was there. The city government was pleased to get rid of him and don't recommend him. He supports all manner of "reforms" that punish law-abiding citizens and promote crime.
Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 72
Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 80
David A. Berger
Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 162
These judges are chosen on the basis of their professional qualifications and their adherence to a constructionist philosophy - that is, their understanding that their job is to rule on the law and not create law.
County Measure J
Supporters of this measure trade on utopian visions of a world where, if only we gave out enough money to nice-sounding non-profits, there would be no more crime. This is a false narrative. In addition, this measure would permanently cull funds needed for essential services and divert them to unaccountable and unproven "programs." Criminals alone are responsible for committing crimes.