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An open response to Santa Monica City Councilmember Gleam Daviss open letter on serving with

Bobby Shriver


Mark Twain said, There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Daviss letter has all three.

My first reaction: The letter is too ridiculous to dignify with a response. But then I decided Davis and
Kuehl should not get away with sending people such blatant lies.

The most effective lies are hinged on particles of truth. Let me sort the fact from the fiction:

1. Bobby did get involved in city politics because he received a letter from the city threatening him
and many others, he soon found out, with $20,000-a-day fines if they did not cut their hedges to
comply with a 1946 law that had not been enforced for decades. About 200 people organized
and presented a set of well-reasoned arguments for taller hedges to the council. The council and
city staff basically told them to take a flying leap. The issue immediately changed from hedges to
the arrogant way City Hall treated the people it was supposed to be serving. I and others met
with Bobby and pointed out how much good he could do on the council. Everyone who enters
local politics has a defining momentrealizing what he could do for the city was Bobbys.

2. Bobby had to put a lot of his own money into his first campaign. Davis neglects to mention that
his major opponent was the co-chair of the political machine that has controlled the city for the
past 30 years. The machines PAC typically adds around $100,000 to the funds candidates raise.
Another fact check: This was not the first instance of significant personal funding of a Santa
Monica council race. In 1992 an independent candidate spent $65,000, mostly his own money,
on his campaign and lost.

3. Regarding the red herring the Kuehl campaign has been throwing around since January: Only a
desperate campaign would take the time to generate those statistics about meetings and votes.
The council minutes for eight years consist of about 1,600 pages. If anyone actually did the
work, it would have taken about 20 hours to come up with those numberswhich means they
can feed them to anyone without fear of contradiction. Except when attending the funerals of
his mother, uncle, and father, Bobby made sure he was present for every important vote. Santa
Monica voters approved of the job he was doing by re-electing him in 2008 by more votes than
any council candidate ever received. None of his own money went into that campaign.

4. Davis shovels on more untrue, unsupported claims, but for brevity, Ill end with the most idiotic:
Bobby didnt work well with others, so he did not get very much done. Heres a short list of
what he got doneand he did all this while part of a 4-3 or 5-2 minority on the council. Thats
the best evidence that he got along very well with his colleagues and city employees.

Homelessness is down 20% in Santa Monica, even though it has increased in LA County. This
would not have happened without Bobbys work. Because people told him homelessness
was their biggest concern, he got the council and city staff to change policies that were
simply helping people live on the street to programs that helped them move off the streets
into supportive housing. He convinced the council to hire former LA County Supervisor Ed
Edelman as Homeless Czar. Ed, Bobby, and city staff worked to create programs that have
moved hundreds of people into housing: the Homeless Court, the Serial Inebriate Program
in the jail, and Project Homecoming, which reunites people with family, are three. Soon 60
chronically homeless vets will move into a rehabilitated building on the West LA VA campus.
Bobby made that happen.

Santa Monica Bay had the second dirtiest water in the state. In 2006 Bobby raised funds
and helped run the campaign to pass Measure V, which provided money to clean the storm
water draining into the bay. Water quality went from Ds and Fs to As by 2011. Heal the
Bays Mark Gold said, Measure V never would have passed without Bobby Shriver.

The Annenberg Beach House would not exist, if not for Bobby. He found out the State of
California was ready to take back control because Santa Monica was not doing anything with
it. He got Wallis Annenberg involved, which brought a grant from her foundation of $27
million and the beautifully restored public facility we enjoy today.

Smarter city budgets resulted from Bobbys watchdog mentality. City Manager Rod Gould
told me, Bobby made our staff perform better, because they knew he was going to ask
hard questions. Even though it meant retribution from unions, Bobby wasnt afraid to point
out that the citys pension plans are unsustainable, unless employees contribute to them.
Santa Monicas police union gave $50,000 to the union PAC supporting Kuehl, and not
because of anything she ever did for public safety.

I could go on, but I hope its clear: Anyone who says Bobby didnt get much done as a Santa
Monica City Councilmember has been drinking too much Kuehl-Aid.
I have served on the Santa Monica City Council for 24 years. During that time, no other
councilmember even came close to working as hard and getting as many good results as
Bobby did. Los Angeles County would be very lucky to have him as a Supervisor, and thats
why I am supporting Bobby Shriver.

Sincerely,

Bob Holbrook


P.S. Three other Santa Monica City Councilmembers have also endorsed Bobby, making a
council majority.

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