February 29, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica City Council Candidates Loan Themselves Big Bucks For Campaigns:

Santa Monica City Council candidates in the Nov. 4 election have made their financial situations clear, with Sue Himmelrich and Michael Feinstein frontrunners on the $340,000 money-train.

All election candidates were scheduled to file official 460 campaign contribution forms for funds received July 1 – Sept. 30 by Monday, Oct. 6. All figures quoted in the article are per calendar year.

Sue Himmelrich

Topping the campaign high rollers at $96,547.34 in funding, Himmelrich can credit the bulk of her contributions to a personal loan, of $90,000.

“I have not actively solicited donations; I do, however, have a donation button on my campaign website and have been fortunate to receive contributions of approximately $7,500 from family, friends, and Santa Monica supporters,” Himmelrich said.

She said that “Santa Monica is in trouble” and she was willing to put her money where her mouth was

“It is difficult for a first-time candidate to gain name recognition in a field of perennials and incumbents extremely well-funded by outside interests, and so far, we are having great success,” she said. “I am committed to loan my campaign whatever is needed to take back our City. I will do whatever is necessary.”

Union Graphics received the most from Himmelrich, a total of $21,834.82.

Michael Feinstein

Coming in second with $53,246.19 raised, a personal loan of $44,495 helped push Feinstein to the second highest earner list to date.

“My donor mix includes many community members who think favorably of my previous City Council work,” Feinstein said. “I also have many friends and family around the country who support me.”

Printing, advertising with a variety of publications, and campaign management has absorbed almost $30,000 of campaign funds with Gilpin Group strategists taking $7,760.

“People donate to my campaign because they believe I’ll enhance the public policy debate and serve responsibly/effectively in office,” he said. “I am also lending my campaign funds because of the high cost of campaigning and reaching all voters.”

Richard McKinnon

In third place, McKinnon filed $48,012.50 in campaign funding this year, a personal loan of $27,000 adding to his coffers.

“People from all walks of life and parts of Santa Monica have supported the campaign,” McKinnon said. “A lot of people I don’t know personally have donated through the website, and we are being frugal with their contributions.”

Materials, postage, and campaign managers have been the big winners of McKinnon’s fundraising efforts, he’s spent $69,317.13.

HSG Campaigns have pocketed $19,652.97 so far (plus $13,337 still to pay) and the U.S. Postmaster received $5,113.75.

“Our job is to continue building enough support from residents to get our message to voters,” he said.

Frank Gruber

With a considerable $36,698.99 raised, Gruber chipped-in $10,000 of his own money and still has $27,645.41 in the kitty.

“It’s expensive to campaign in Santa Monica,” Gruber said. “To reach 60,000 potential voters… and with the contribution cap of $325 it is extremely difficult for an independent candidate to raise money.”

“My contributors are a mixture of local residents and businesses, friends and family from around the country, and other people around the L.A. region who share (to a greater or lesser degree) my views on the issues or who otherwise believe I’ll make a positive contribution,” Gruber commented.

Pam O’Connor

Reaching $33,649 in funding, O’Connor said that after attending a national women’s voting forum, she learned to be bold when asking for support.

“I work regionally and nationally,” O’Connor said. “So I asked friends, family, everyone I know. I have contributions from the environmental field, from a bigger field; from all over.”

O’Connor said that like many Santa Monicans, she works in and enjoy other parts of the region.

“I serve Santa Monica on regional boards such as LA County Metro and the Southern California Association of Governments and work with people around the region who also support me,” O’Connor said.

Political strategists The Political Scientists received $20,000 in payments from O’Connor’s campaign, she still has a few thousand left to spend.

Phil Brock

With $26,102.50 raised, loans included $2,512.52 and $9320.98 from Brock himself and Studio Talent Group respectively. Advertising absorbed much of his budget, with Facebook topping the payouts at $2788.49.

“The vast majority [of my contributors] are composed of residents; both owners and renters, who are disturbed about the future of our city,” Brock said. “Traffic, over development, our infrastructure, financial oversight, and higher taxes are of deep concern to them. I’ve met residents throughout our city and I’ve found we share the same frustrations and concerns. I look forward to installing a department of common sense in city hall to solve the issues in the city I love.”

Kevin McKeown

Adding a personal loan of $5,100 to raise a total of $24,955.33, McKeown said that most of his funding was local and many in amounts too small to make the official register.

“Over half my contributions are in amounts under $100, from Santa Monica residents,” McKeown said. “That to me is the definition of a true grass-roots, community campaign. I know that for many of our neighbors, those donations represent a significant decision to support me, not just a business expense. “It looks like my proportion of support from residents has increased significantly even from my previous levels, and I’m grateful for our community’s engagement and generosity.”

The Gilpin Group strategists also benefited from McKeown’s fundraising with $4,244 on campaign consulting.

Jennifer Kennedy

Raising $12,768.33, Kennedy contributed a personal loan of $4,350 to her campaign.

“I am proud to have the majority of my contributions from Santa Monica residents,” Kennedy said. “I do not accept contributions from developers.”

“With 15 years of community based activism…it is a wonderful feeling be supported so generously by the residents of the community that I have worked to preserve and enhance,” she added.

In terms of expenditure, Kennedy has spent $2,213.19, mainly on campaign materials.

“My campaign is a grass roots community based campaign,” she said. “I have the support of Santa Monica resident volunteers who are helping get the word.”

Nick Boles

Relying on friends and family, Boles rounds up the filed contributions with $8231.69.

“All of my contributions came from family and friends,” Boles said.

A $4,000 personal loan also added to his total.

“I generally ask for help in three ways,” he said. “Direct funding, volunteer hours, or referrals. I think it’s very important to have help from within the city limits and the vast majority of my intern/volunteer base is made up of students and residents who are part of the community and are passionate about their future.”

Campaign management and advertising has taken most of Boles’ budget, his team hitting the pavement to gain ground.

“It’s extremely labor intensive work,” he said. “My campaign can’t afford to flood residents’ mailboxes, so we are knocking on as many doors as possible and responding to peoples wants and needs. We will see if money buys elections come November.”


Candidates Jerry Rubin and Jon Mann are running donation-free campaigns.

“Money buys campaign ads, hires campaign managers, sends out campaign mailers, etc, etc.,” Rubin said. “All well and good, but since my ‘activist campaign’ takes a different approach I still consider my campaign to be very serious although I might be defining the word ‘serious’ a bit different than the usual ‘serious candidate’ definition.”

Mann explained why he was running a donation-free campaing.

“I am a Green party candidate, running a penniless, paperless campaign to take the money out of politics and level the playing field, so anyone can run for office; it is a daunting challenge,” Mann said. “I joined Clean Money over a dozen years and Common Cause decades earlier. I have been advocating for ranked voting, term limits and voting by district my entire political career.”

Candidates Whitney Scott Bain, Zoe Muntaner, and Terence Later did not file 460 forms.

in News
Related Posts

(Video) Pro-Palestine Protest at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Protesters were there to protest the arrival of U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi Counter-protesters drove by in a car. @smmirrornews Pro-Palestine...

(Video) Restaurants Replace Glass Front Doors After Late Night Robbery Spree in Del Ray

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Seven restaurants and small businesses in Del Rey and Venice, including Nick the Greek and Dudley Market, were robbed. Council...

SMMUSD Appoints New Asst. Superintendent of Education Services

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Dr. Williamson Will Assume Her Role on March 8, Bringing 17 Years of Education Experience In a special board meeting...

Hollywood Royalty to Shine at 96th Oscars: First Wave of Star-Studded Presenter Lineup Unveiled

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Incredible Lineup of Actors and Previous Oscar Winners Announced Executive producer and showrunner Raj Kapoor, along with executive producers Molly...

Vote Smart, Vote Early: Streamlining Your 2024 Presidential Primary Experience in L.A. County

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Skip the Lines and Save Time – Your Guide to Early Voting Options  In preparation for the upcoming 2024 Presidential...

Iconic Venice Beach Sculpture and Landmark to be Removed, Returned to Artist’s Property

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Since the Money, Effort or Desire to Purchase the Piece Appears to Not Be There, the Artist Wants It Back...

(Video) Heartfelt candlelight vigils in Westchester and West Hollywood for Nex Benedict

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

The non-binary 16 year old student with Choctaw ancestry died in Owasso, Oklahoma after being beaten by three older high...

Sweet Lady Jane Sparks Hope of Return – Popular Bakery Hints at Reopening Across LA

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

After Abrupt Closures, Beloved Bakery Hints at a Comeback, Leaving Fans Intrigued  Sweet Lady Jane, a Los Angeles cake bakery...

Waymo’s LA Expansion Hits Roadblock: CPUC Temporarily Halts Self-Driving Company’s Plans

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

California Public Utilities Commission suspends Waymo’s service expansion for 120 days. California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has put a temporary...

Real Estate Giant Funds LAPD Union Fund to Sway L.A. City Council Election in March

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Santa Monica Company Responsible for LA’s Largest Mass Eviction Gives $400,000 Santa Monica-based Real estate investment trust company Douglas Emmett...

Santa Monica College Unveils 2024 Spring Jazz Series Lineup

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Tickets for each concert are priced at $10 and can be purchased in advance The Santa Monica College Music Department...

Downtown Wellness Center Bridges Gap Between Psychedelics and Meditation

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

The Center Has Partnered With Local Agencies and Gave Free Sessions to Around 500 Veterans in Two Years By Zach...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Calls Special Board of Education Meeting

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

SMMUSD Gathers to Address Time-Sensitive Resolutions In a press release sent on Saturday, February 24, The Santa Monica-Malibu School District...

 39th Independent Spirit Awards Celebrates Independent Cinema in Santa Monica

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Hosts Annual Awards Ceremony Amid Pro-Palestinian Protest The 39th Independent Spirit Awards ceremony, another precursor to the...

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Landlords’ Challenge to Rent-Control Laws

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

New York Landlords’ Bid to Challenge Rent-Control Laws Fails The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a significant property rights...