The power of incumbency is tough to beat. Despite their best efforts, both Terry O’Day and Gleam Davis failed in their attempts to capture a City Council seat.
McKeown, Holbrook and O’Connor are all returning to the dais they know so well. I was looking for a fresh pick-me-up at City Hall, but the campaigns run by both O’Day and Davis lacked certain political “facts on the ground.” O’Day raised good money and had wide support, but in the end his political dynamism did not meet Holbrook’s, did not have the “big issue” of McKeown’s campaign, nor O’Connor’s wide support at SMRR and longtime name recognition. Gleam Davis must have figured SMRR support was enough, which it was not. In the end, both lacked a good ground game and never truly registered with the voters. My hat is off to the three winners who know this town very well.
After Bobby Shriver takes his turn, McKeown, as the leading vote getter, is certainly entitled to be the next mayor.
As expected, our education bond measure BB passed in the City. Prop V, our clean beaches measure, requires a two-thirds majority to win and it is at 66.77 percent the last time I looked. With the help of Ralph Nader, Measure W was defeated, meaning we do have clean campaign rules in Santa Monica. Prop Y, instructing the Santa Monica Police Department to treat marijuana as a low priority, won overwhelmingly. Good.
I have a confession to make. Despite endorsing Arnold Schwarzenegger for Governor, which I felt necessary to keep political balance in the state, I actually voted for Green Party candidate Peter Camejo. I like his views and want to show support for the Greens.
One more thing on Schwarzenegger. His victory in California shows that voters will cross party lines if the candidate is deemed a unifier and reflects the local politics of his state. And if you have Maria Shriver for a wife. Be cool if she ran next. She can correct any mischief her husband might get us into.
In any event, this is a good election cycle for the Democrats, particularly in taking back the House of Representatives. That is where true legislation is established. They also have a good chance of taking back the Senate. Wouldn’t that be nice? A Democratic House and Senate without Dick Cheney as the tiebreaker. The Republican Rule has got to come to a halt.
Worst thing I heard all political season? Dick Cheney telling George Stephanopoulos, “We don’t care what the American people think, we are going forward with our plans in Iraq.” Huh? Somebody needs to tell him this country is not a dictatorship. It is not here for them to do as they please. If the people don’t want it, shouldn’t the President listen to them? Is it really so difficult to say, “Our plan is not working and we are exploring all possible options. We welcome the support and suggestions of the Democrats and all Americans.” Forget it, this President and his party have ruled with an iron fist. Boy, do I long for the days of Tip O’Neil instead of Dennis Hastert and Tom DeLay. You think torture legislation and the removal of Habeas Corpus would have cleared a Tip O’Neil House? Not a chance.
It is time for a change, and I am thankful it is coming. You can almost see a little daylight at the end of the Bush tunnel. These things do work in cycles, so in a few years look for Democratic abuse, but in the meantime look for more progressive politics.
On the state level, look for some old names to be more prominent. Jerry Brown as Attorney General, Deborah Bowen as Secretary of State, John Garamendi as Lt. Governor and our very own Julia Brownley as our newest State Assemblyperson.
On the local level, I was surprised to see Shane McCloud and Tom Donner lose.
Whether your candidate won or not, if you voted then we all won.