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By Stephen Hadland
Observer Publisher 


Local Voting Records Become Issue


Through the various candidates' forums held throughout the city, we have put together a compilation on the four candidates with their views and positions on matters affecting Culver City

While the candidates agreed on many issues, including the ban on fracking and protecting the city, two big revelations emanated during the forums held in Blair Hills and at the Democratic Club.

At the Democratic Club forum, it was revealed that Daniel Lee and Alex Fisch had less than stellar records for voting in Culver City elections. Former Mayor and Councilmember Steve Gourley claimed that Fisch had not voted in a couple of local elections, even though he had voted in state and national races.

City records show that Lee had never voted in a city election until his run in 2016, Fisch voted by absentee in 2016 and had not voted since 2006. Candidates Albert Vera and Marcus Tiggs had voted in every recent city election.

Fisch commented "I'm not sure. I felt disengaged from local politics."

He went on to say that he voted in the last city election. He noted that the firm Political Data, Inc. did not count absentee ballots in the last election, adding that he had voted by mail.

During the forums, all the candidates were asked why they are running for public office.

"I'm running because I'm really passionate about this city," Vera said. "I'm at the store (Sorrento Market) every day... I invite people to come down to deal with their issues."

Lee spoke about diversity stating, "having a diversity of skills is important."

Tiggs commented, "I'm running to make a difference. I think I have made a difference on the Planning Commission, working on the Fiesta LA Ballona Committee, and the Centennial Committee. Now I want to make a difference to the whole community."

Fisch responded with: "This is the moment. My experience is relevant: housing crisis, homelessness, budget challenges, environmental challenges."

Would you cut police and fire budgets if needed?

Tiggs and Vera said they would not cut police and fire. Fisch said he would look at overtime. Lee commented that he would "audit the police and fire budget to see where we can reduce," adding that to "some degree over policing can be as much of an issue as under policing".

What about Fracking?

All the candidates said they are against fracking in Culver City. Tiggs, Fisch and Vera unequivocally stated they want a fracking ban; Lee proposed an excise tax to pay for monitoring oil field activity, offsets, and a $2.5 billion bond from the Inglewood Oil Field operator to pay for any harm from accidents or pollution.

During the forums, the candidates highlighted their backgrounds and services to the community.

Alex Fisch has been a resident of Culver City for 13 years; he currently serves as Chair on the Culver City Homeless Committee. He is a corporate attorney.

Daniel Lee has resided in Culver City for 15 years; he serves on the Culver City Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee, and has served as Chair. Lee is a social worker.

Marcus Tiggs is a 25-year resident of Culver City. He serves on the Culver City Planning Commission (8 years, including being Past Chair); he's been on the Fiesta La Ballona Committee for 12 years (Past Chair); and is a member of the Culver City Centennial Committee and the Culver City Unified School District Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee. He is a founding member of the Rancho Higuera Neighborhood Association, a retired combat veteran (Lt. Colonel,). Tiggs works as an attorney.

Albert Vera is a lifelong Culver City resident. He is on the Board of Directors for Upward Bound House and the YMCA; and is a Culver City Chamber of Commerce member; He is the owner of the Sorrento Italian Market.

At most of the forums, the candidates' answers tended to be pretty similar. But at one forum, the candidates had decidedly different answers to a few questions.

"Name your favorite Saturday morning cartoon?" was asked at the Blair Hills Candidates Forum.

Vera: Tom and Jerry.

Lee: The Smurfs.

Tiggs: SpongeBob.

Fisch: Ren & Stimpy.

"Artist/group/band you'd listen to/if stuck on a desert island?" was also asked at the Blair Hills Candidates Forum.

Lee: Prince.

Tiggs: Celia Cruz.

Fisch: Zeppelin.

Vera: George Strait.

Culver City Observer Columnist Carole Bell contributed to this story


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