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What Comes Next in Santa Monica?

April 10, 1988

In reporting that, at least on paper, the All Santa Monica Coalition disbands (Times, March 20), Alan Citron refers to a report on Santa Monica elections by a "nonprofit group called the California Commission on Campaign Financing." The article implies that this report may have spurred the All Santa Monica Coalition decision to cease and desist from electoral activity.

This newest wrinkle in our city's political fabric prompts me to two questions.

First, who or what is the California Commission on Campaign Financing? Their nonprofit status conveys little beyond an ability to file for 501(c)3 tax exemption. So, what stands behind this quasi-official sounding group? What else does it do? Does it have a track record? How is it funded?

Second, what new group will emerge before November to replace the coalition, just as it replaced the Citizens' Congress in 1983?

My first question could be answered now by your reporter. Time will answer my second question.

In the meantime, I have two predictions. I fully expect coalition council member Christine Reed to revive her "election reform" ordinance package, which would cripple fund raising and fund pooling by umbrella political committees (and thus, now, would apply only to Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights). And I would not be surprised to see Mayor Jim Conn cast the crucial swing vote on Reed's proposal, perhaps in return for a November endorsement by the coalition (or its successor).


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