Malibu Democratic Club Is Case Study in 'Time-Honored' Politics
• Endorsements Have Traditionally Been Based on Who Succeeds in Packing Party Club Meetings with the Most Supporters
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
An audience of approximately 80 packed the multi-purpose room at Malibu City Hall for the first official debate between the three Democratic candidates for newly redistricted state Assembly District 50 at a forum sponsored by the Malibu Democratic Club.
The new district is comprised of Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Carthay Square, West Hollywood, portions of Hollywood, Hancock Park, Miracle Mile, Topanga, Agoura Hills and unincorporated portions of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Gay and lesbian civil rights activist Torie Osborn received 41 votes for endorsement following the debate; Betsy Butler, seeking re-election to the 50th Assembly District, which prior to redistricting, did not include Malibu, received five votes; Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom did not receive any endorsement votes.
There were also 13 votes from members of the organization who did not wish to endorse any of the candidates.
A strong contingent of opponents of the State Park's Malibu Lagoon construction plan tended to cheer loudest for Osborn, who has expressed opposition to the project, calling it "overkill," and actively booed Bloom, who is chair of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and an outspoken supporter of the project.
Observers say the response is another indicator that the Lagoon issue may be a significant campaign issue in the upcoming Malibu City Council election.
Malibu issues discussed at the debate included PCH safety and the water board-mandated Civic Center septic system ban.
Several observers said that some of the candidates "still have a lot to learn about Malibu's environmental issues."
After the meeting, several longtime members of the club indicated that, while they were not concerned by the presence of large numbers of apparently non-resident members, they were troubled by the rumor that the club received a check for $1000 to cover the $25 membership fee for 40 people, which might correlates with the Osborn vote tally.
"Will we even see any of these people again?" one member asked.
The next forum for the three Democratic candidates for District 50 will be sponsored by the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club and is scheduled to take place on Jan. 15, 2-4 p.m. at the Pacific Palisades Women's Club, 901 Haverford Ave, Pacific Palisades, 90272.