March 1, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Proponents Of SMO Ballot Initiative Receive Major Financial Backing:

It has been no secret that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) have largely backed the group identifying itself as the “Santa Monicans for Open and Honest Development Decisions” (SMOHDD). Some have went so far as to allege AOPA and SMOHDD are essentially one in the same.

According to a series of forms filed in July with the City Clerk’s office, it can be confirmed AOPA is a significant backer of the SMOHDD group and its ballot initiative campaign claiming to give voters the power to decide the future of Santa Monica Airport (SMO).

According to several forms, the committee is officially labeled as “Santa Monicans for Open and Honest Development Decisions – Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (Aviation) with Support from Local Businesses and Pilots.”

Also according to the filed paperwork, SMOHDD has received more than $268,000 in contributions so far this year.

The individuals listed on one of the forms include Flora Lin (treasurer) and Dana Reed (assistant treasurer). Coincidentally, both Lin and Reed are attorneys at the Century City law firm of Reed and Davidson.

According to the firm’s website, Lin is a partner who “works closely with the firm’s political compliance unit and advises clients on campaign and lobbying laws in California and other states.”

Reed is also a partner at the firm and, according to its website, has practiced election and political law since 1975.

The website adds Reed “as been involved in California state politics and government all of his adult life serving in senior government positions.”

Another individual listed on filed paperwork was Bill Dunn of Frederick, Md., where AOPA is based. Dunn, who is listed as an officer on SMOHDD paperwork, is also the vice president of airports for AOPA.

Other officers listed on the filed paperwork include Santa Monica resident John Jerabek and David Shaby of Culver City.

On the form listing monetary contributions to SMOHDD, the AOPA group is listed as one of largest donors. So far this year, AOPA has contributed $117,399.80 to SMOHDD.

Another major donor: National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), who reportedly contributed $125,000 in June to SMOHDD.

In the 30-day period between June 5 and July 4, SMOHDD reportedly paid $56,896.50 to Carlsbad-based Arno Petition Consultants for “petition circulating.” Another payment of $16,025 was made to Culver City-based Frank Wilson and Assoc. for costs associated with Internet maintenance and email.

SMOHDD reportedly has an unpaid bill of $17,142.97 to Reed and Davidson. The group has reportedly spent about $256,000 to date.

Other groups reportedly supporting the SMOHDD ballot initiative campaign include Santa Monica Air Center and Santa Monica Airport Association.

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