Monthly Archives: March 1983

1983.03.27: Rent Group Mailings Blasted as False (L.A. Times)

View in searchable PDF format: 1983.03.27 – Rent Group Mailings Blasted as False (LAT) – Leon Letwin – OCR

1983.03.27 Rent Groups Mailings Blasted as False (Leon)(LA Times)

Raw text:

“”‘@AI ~ “~ l. 7, l~t 3

” f w I r

Rent roup Mai as False

KENNETH J. FANUCCHI, Tirr;;.es Staff Write.r

Mailings by Santa Monicans for R.enter;;’ Rights that He also announced the fcnnation of a legal team of

have attacked the renH.:ontrol record of Councilman ‘!top constitutional lawyers” to defend his group

William Jennings and the principal backet• of Proposi- the lawtiuit filed .em behalf of Kates. They are

tion A have been lambasted by the group’s opponents as 1 Lash, of the American Civil Liberties Union; Leon

patently false and manifestly unfair. V Lit. win, of the UCLA School of Law; David Epstein (no

Jennings charged that a mailing from the renters’ relation to the council candidate), Los Angeles; and

rights group that gave him an “F” on a rent control Lawrence St.einbta:rg and Davui Brown, both of Beverly

“report card” vioiated the Code of !<“‘air Campaign Hills.

Practices that prohibits the use of, among other things, FJeishman commented, ”Let them get 40 lawyers,

libel, and scurrilous attacks. they’re going to need them.”

The second mailing focusE!d on Lawrence Kates, Jennings was particularly upset with a n”””””””’

owner of two Santa Monica beachfront apartment maUing that called his contention he was a

uui.!U!J:I/5″-‘ and major bankroller of A, which oo-founder of Santa Monicans for RentE~rs’ R~ghts a

would tena.nts to buy their apartment units. fabrication.”

· The brochure described Kates as “Santa Monica’s out that he was co-chairman of the

landlord, multimillionaire and pro- he broke with it in the last election.

condo converter” and he could p1·esident of the Sa.nta Monica Democra.tlc Club,

make more than $100 million if Proposition A is Jennings said, he served on the steering committee that

in the 12 municipal elections. formed Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, which is a

Stephen M. Fleishman, who is rep1·esenting r..oa!ition of four groups.

Kates in a $30-million libel suit filed earlier against “Obviously, therefore,” he said in a letter to the

organization, “your assertion that 1 was not a co-founder

of SMRR is itself a ‘complete fabrication’ (to use your

own words).”

He also objected to another chargf: in the mailing that ‘

“I ever betrayed renters and denounced them to the


Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights

members, sald he was incemsed”

Skelton said Jennings was not a co-founder of the


and several “If anyone founded SMRR. it was Dennis Zane (now

at the latest councilman) and Parke Skelton,” he said. “W~~ were the

mailing on Kates.

“It is wtfair for them to make an

a political football,” Fleish ‘””

c'”· .. “‘”‘ to hold him up to

light, show that he’s

and urge voters .not to back something he

supports. What it shows is t.hat they an~ not willing to

deal with the issues of the “

Te!Ty Pullan, campaign manager for a City Council

slate that includes Jennings, Christine Reed and David

Epstein, backed by the All Santa Monica Coalition, said

the mailing, which included an attack on Reed, does a

disservice to renters.

“Renters in this city do not feel that secure about x~nt

. control and need all the supporters they can get,” Pullan

J$aid” “Bili (Jennings) always has been a supporter and

“Christine (Reed), as a moderate Republican, haP

::Republican contacts in the Legislature, where there are

.bills to do away with rent eontrol in Santa Monica.

“It doesn’t make any sense to polarize the city and

~defeat two people who support rent control and can be

help to it against legislative attempts to abolish it”

: Parke Skelton. campaign manager for the council

~slate sponsored Santa Monicans for Remters’ Right~,

‘said his organization stands by the accuracy of the


; “We believe Jennings’ record on rent control and

:Kates’ supplying 00% of the money backing Proposition

‘A are legitimate issues,” he said.

ones who came up with the idea. Jennings was· one of ·

only 140 members of the Democratic Club to vote to

with the other three groups to form SMRR There V•lould

have been a SMRR even if the club had voted not to


He said the charges that Jennings betrayed renters

were based on statements made by Jennings in the press

after he broke with Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights.

“He was quoted as saying he favored some form of

vacancy decontrol and had doubts about Santa Monica’s

rent control law,” Skelton said.

Jennings also produced a letter from Mayor Ruth

Goldway, who was tl1e other co-chalr of the

D~..n.$A’J! …. U.&<fll 1’1&.« fi-.1(! 1l1,;.;t(!~ ‘P.f’O..€f,<l’i

Golll!tbuu~d from 5th Page

organization, thanking him for “the support. you ~ave

SMRR, tenants and the many commumty actJV!St

organizations i.n Santa Monica.” . .

The letter was sent after Jenmngs ret;ngned as


Skelton said the tone of the letter resulted from a

political decision within the orgamzatwn to mmnm.z.e hts

defection from the organization that.helped elect hnn.

“We were in the midst of a camprugn a~.d d1d not want

to make a big deal out of his defection, . Skelton satd.

“Also, we did not know his true an.tJ-rent-con~;ol

feelings until he made them kno~rn later m the press.