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News, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Airport

Unnamed Pro-SMO Groups Alleged To Be “Push-Polling”

Posted Feb. 22, 2014, 7:15 am

Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer

On the heels of a federal court dismissing a Santa Monica lawsuit seeking ownership of the local airport, a local grass roots organization issued Friday a press release claiming unnamed pro-airport advocates engaged in “push-polling” techniques in an attempt to have a measure placed on the ballot.

According to a statement released by, the alleged campaign would support a ballot measure to block City Hall from challenging the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about noise, pollution, or safety issues at Santa Monica Airport (SMO).

The unnamed group may also be seeking City Hall to keep SMO open in perpetuity. As reported in the Santa Monica Mirror, an Instrument of Transfer gave City Hall ownership of SMO in 1948 with the requirement it be operated in perpetuity. Any decision to shut down SMO, it could be inferred, may result in the federal government reclaiming the ownerships stake it had in the airport prior to 1948 and possible seek legal action against Santa Monica.’s released statement claims former Santa Monica mayor Michael Feinstein was approached by a pollster seeking a ballot measure to restrict City Hall’s possible pursuit to shut down SMO.

“This week I received a push poll in support of a potential measure that would prevent Santa Monica from changing SMO from aviation uses to a public park,” the statement quoted Feinstein as saying. “The measure would also permanently prevent the City from any further legal efforts to regain control of the land.”

According to, Feinstein stated the call came from a 719 area code and a group who identified itself as Insight Research.

The Mirror confirmed with Feinstein he received a phone call from someone claiming to be from Insight Research.

The alleged ballot measure would, if approved, “require the city to continue to operate the airport, prohibit new park uses there, and forbid the city from filing any lawsuits against the FAA,” Airport2Park’s statement said.

The American Assoc. for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) defines a push poll “as a form of negative campaigning that is disguised as a political poll.”

“‘Push polls’ are actually political telemarketing – telephone calls disguised as research that aim to persuade large numbers of voters and affect election outcomes, rather than measure opinions,” the AAPOR’s website stated.

A resident group founded in 2013, Airport2Park hopes City Hall will shut down SMO after an agreement with the FAA expires in July 2015 and convert the airport into a park.

Post a comment


Feb. 22, 2014, 10:38:54 am

I love SMO! said...

This is GREAT news! Where do I sign up! Finally all these anti-airport hate groups funded by real estate developers are going to get a run for their money. Fair and square! You think all those corporations that own jets at SMO are going to sit around? No way, they'll use their political and economic influence to keep this valuable asset open.

Feb. 22, 2014, 8:40:08 pm

Robert (Bob) Smith said...

Common practice amongst people who cannot get their way, is to say UNNAMED SOURCES are doing this or that. Airport2Park want Santa Monica Council to keep on spending YOUR MONEY as Tax

Feb. 22, 2014, 8:48:20 pm

Robert (Bob) Smith said...

Cont'... as Tax

Feb. 22, 2014, 10:28:13 pm

stewart said...

ok so, let me see if I have this one correctly? an as yet unidentified individual distributed an as yet un identified groups poll that as yet no one has a hard copy of that pushes a pro airport agenda? has the issue been 'framed' correctly?

Feb. 23, 2014, 8:08:42 am

Fred R said...

Parimal Rohit and the Mirror are pro-developer shills who spread the lies their corporate master tell them to print. Don't believe me, just read their articles related to development issues in Santa Monica. It's shameful to call this reporting. The anti airport groups must be shaking in their boots after the court's ruling so now they have to make up stories like this. The people are smarter than you think and the truth will prevail. SMO will stay open.

Feb. 23, 2014, 8:30:42 am

SM mom said...

I received one of these calls and can confirm it is a thinly veiled poll actually aimed at pushing a pro-airport agenda. The people against the airport are NOT at all pro-development. Quite the opposite. We are pro-clean air, pro-open spaces, pro-safety and against rude airport noise. Stop trying to say we are funded by developers, this is completely FALSE. The airport serves only the very rich at the expense of everyone else. This amazing piece of land, which belongs to Santa Monica, could be a beautiful open space for ALL to enjoy.

Feb. 23, 2014, 4:14:01 pm

JeanB said...

You can find a full script for the current push poll and the 2011 poll conducted by AOPA side by side on CASMAT here "". There is no doubt that AOPA is behind the poll and the threatened ballot initiative. They will of course fail, the people of Santa Monica are not fools.

Feb. 23, 2014, 9:51:48 pm

Gus said...

Hey JeanB it's not 2011. It's 2014.

Feb. 23, 2014, 9:55:39 pm

Lance Piper said...

Yes, Santa Monica city council is known for taking valuable land and turning it into a nice park. An office PARK, a mixed use development PARK, a high rise hotel PARK, a PARKing structure. When did you NIMBYs become so gullible? You're buying their lies hook line and sinker just to improve your home values a little bit on paper. I guess anyone who's dumb enough to buy a house in a flight path then complain about it....

Feb. 23, 2014, 10:01:24 pm

JJ said...

The anti airport developer groups have had their propaganda machine at work so why can't the airport supporters have their say? This time they're up against the federal government, several powerful aviation lobbies who are not about to repeat Chicago Meigs as well as many powerful corporate and private interests. Suck it up, you're in for a real fight now.

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