City Council Election at a Glance

Diagram of City Council candidate endorsements and what they mean

In an attempt to understand the current endorsements of City Council candidates by local endorsing organizations, and what those endorsements mean for the larger picture, CASMAT has produced the graphic above (PDF version here).  The graphic shows all local endorsing organizations and their candidate endorsements.  The organizations are arranged on the corners of the triangle by the three meta-issues that overarch local Santa Monica politics at this time, namely:

  • Quality of life and environmental issues
  • Development and traffic concerns
  • Budget and Safety concerns

Each endorsement of a candidate by a group aligned with one of these meta-issues can be seen as a determination by that group that the endorsed candidate favors the group agenda.  The sum of the resultant forces on any candidate (financial and political) determines their position within the diagram and should give an idea of the ‘whole’ of what a vote for that candidate represents.  We have posted this diagram on our site because we feel it helps to clarify what forces are at work in the current election, and what the consequences of any candidate choice might be.  It seems that Ted Winterer’s candidacy transcends meta-issue Balkanization, which implies that individual voters are faced with a choice of which other candidates to vote for in addition (up to 4 total votes).

The reason we started this project was to try to see how the CASMAT candidate ratings published earlier (see here) can be rationalized by, and mapped onto, local organizational endorsements.  That mapping diagram (yes we know it is very busy!) is shown below (PDF version here):
Diagram showing how CASMAT ratings align with local organizational endorsements
From the diagram we see that CASMAT ratings reflect a larger city-wide reality, and align directly with the meta-issue diagram for the entire city.  The SMO debate clearly maps directly onto a larger, but fundamentally identical problem space faced by the Santa Monica electorate as a whole.  It seems we all have the same basic issues, and we all face the same choices this November.

We hope our readers find these diagrams enlightening in this complex local election for which large amounts of money are being spent on endorsed candidate’s behalf’s by PACs and special interest groups.  Our goal is to try to take some of the mystery and deception out of what endorsements and campaign literature really mean for our city.  We feel this goal aligns with CASMAT’s mission to inform on SMO and all issues relating to it.

Update 10/17/2012: SPAA has created a flyer (see here) derived from the CASMAT diagram above showing the meta-issues for the city and how SMO debate and CASMAT ratings map onto them.  This flyer was delivered to 10,000 Santa Monica households today.