A good analysis of this pair of competing ballot measures is found in this 10/17/2014 Santa Monica Mirror article, by Jennifer Eden (archived PDF copy here). Be sure to study the reader comments, too.
Local citizens in this parks-deficient area were seriously outspent in this campaign. Shortly before the vote, funding levels were roughly 8-to-1 more for sustaining the airport… though the vast majority of the pro-airport funding came from major U.S. aviation lobbies who normally spend their money lobbying to Congress and FAA in Washington, DC. Here is a screen-capture showing the long list of videos uploaded to YouTube, by the pro-airport ‘Santa Monica Airport Association’, as copied by aiREFORM on 11/5/2014:
This ballot battle presents a fairly classic example of typical strategies used by aviation interests and FAA, to defeat locals who are trying to resolve their longstanding concerns about their ‘local airport’. The national funding went to produce professional videos, including many in Spanish. The videos are slick, so whatever they present sure looks plausible. But, the videos were filled with numerous distortions that re-framed the issue to appear to be one of failed local governance, implying rampant corruption and cronyism. And, the videos conveniently overlooked that the real beneficiaries of maintaining the airport status quo are just a tiny number of local operators, at the large expense of tens of thousands of local residents enduring noise and air pollution (both lead and carbon soot).