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Fundraising for Major Opposition to Santa Monica’s LUVE Measure Tops $1.1 Million HOME ad for NO on LV Initiative link

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Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

October 28, 2016 -- The two major opponents to Santa Monica’s slow-growth LUVE measure (appearing on the ballot as LV) have increased their significant financial advantage over supporters, according to disclosure statements submitted to the City this week that cover through October 22.

Housing and Opportunity for a Modern Economy (HOME) and Santa Monica Forward raised a combined $1,155,869 in their separate campaigns. Residocracy, the activist group that wrote LUVE, has collected approximately $60,000

Forward has received the most money with $734,104.

Although it has collected donations from more than 200 contributors, the vast majority of the cash total comes from various property owners and real estate interests.

HOME has taken in $421,765. Nearly all of its funding comes from three developers--NMS Properties, Century West Partners and the owner of the proposed mixed-use project at 525 Colorado Avenue.

Forward still has more than $400,000 on-hand that had not been spent as of October 22. Meanwhile, HOME had under $50,000 remaining.

LUVE would require a significant number of planning regulations and development projects, including most over 32 feet, to get voter approval before being finalized.

Property owners funding the opposition campaigns are not limited to those with projects in the pipeline.

This is likely due to the belief that LUVE would also force repairs such as post-earthquake rebuilds to go before voters. LUVE supporters have disputed this reading of the measure.

Another ballot proposal that has attracted significant money interest is Measure V -- a $395 million Santa Monica College bond that would fund facilities improvements. The pro-campaign has raised $429,000.

The Campaign for Safety & Modernization at Santa Monica College has collected from many donors who have given a range of contribution amounts, including Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole with $100.

But the vast majority of the money has come from three sources: KCRW Foundation (which supports the public radio station) with $125,000, Santa Monica Associated Students with $125,000 and the Santa Monica College Foundation with $100,000.

No opposition group filed a disclosure statement with the City, but there is a website against the measure called, and the group behind it has produced at least one advertisement.

Supporters of Measures GS and GSH, which are a half-cent sales tax and a non-binding recommendation that the revenue go to schools and affordable housing, have raised approximately $175,000. There has been no organized opposition.

Two separate groups are campaigning in favor of the related measures.

The Campaign for Public Education & Affordable Housing has taken in just under $125,000, with supporters including PTAs (school-based and the district-wide one) and other education fundraising groups in Santa Monica and Malibu.

Top donors include $10,000 each from the Campaign for Safety & Modernization at Santa Monica College and Bay Area billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer.

City Councilmember Sue Himmelrich has almost entirely funded the other campaign supporting the measure. She has spent more than $50,000.

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