April 02, 2012
The Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) leadership was up to its old tricks a week ago on Sunday. The occasion was a meeting where endorsements for a candidate for the 50th Assembly District primary was, or wasn’t, on the agenda.
Three candidates — Democrats Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom; 53rd Assembly District Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, social justice advocate Torie Osborn and Republican attorney Brad Torgan — are vying for the seat in the newly redrawn district replacing the old 41st.
Bloom, who boycotted the meeting, issued a statement which was read at the Church in Ocean Park gathering. He said, “Today’s meeting was never advertised as an endorsement meeting, although a series of e-mails forwarded to me by those handpicked to receive them clearly indicate a plan to accomplish exactly that.”
SMRR is notorious for political shenanigans. I’m betting its elite guard, specifically co-chairs Patricia Hoffman and Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein contributed to the dupery. Tahvildaran-Jesswein was accused of a conflict of interest when students in his Santa Monica College political science class were given extra credit for handing our SMRR literature before the 2010 election. Complaints against him were deflected by the SMRR dominated SMC Board of Trustees.
SMRR’s elite have been accused of “a lack of transparency and fairness” numerous times over the years. At its Annual Congress in August, 2010, the rank and file membership refused to endorse perennial leadership darlings Pam O’Connor for City Council and Ralph Mechur and Oscar de la Torre for school board. Two nights later, the high command met behind closed doors and added their three names to SMRR’s endorsement roster.
To read the editorial in full, go here.