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Council to consider placing a cap on party campaign contributions

Council to hear ordinance on June 4, one day after election-cycle begins.

Political parties in San Diego might have to look for other ways to funnel cash to candidates.

On June 4 city councilmembers will discuss whether to adopt an ordinance that would cap the amount that political parties can donate at $20,000 for citywide candidates and $10,000 for council candidates.

That's quite the blow, considering that during last year's election the Republican Party gave former councilmember Carl DeMaio $800,000 in campaign contributions while Democrats gave Mayor Bob Filner $237,500, says a report by San Diego's Ethics Commission.

The commission also found that the County GOP forked over more than $1 million in "member communications coordinated with a mayoral candidate," compared to $700,000 from the Democratic Party.

But political parties are not out of options if they decide to fight the ordinance. The voters will have no less than 30 days to strike down the ordinance by referendum, says Deputy City Attorney Catherine Bradley in a May 28 memo to city council.

"...The ordinance does not relate to the actual conduct of an election. Instead, the ordinance relates to campaign finance laws, only indirectly related to elections. Accordingly, an ordinance amending the Municipal Code relating to campaign finance may be passed by the Council not less than twelve days after introduction. Thereafter, the ordinance is effective “not less than thirty calendar days” from final passage. This will preserve the power of referendum to the people as required by the California Constitution..."

The 30-day waiting period will, however, also provide the parties with time to give cash to candidates. Next year's election cycle begins one day before the council hearing.

City Council will hear the item during the afternoon session on June 4.

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Political parties in San Diego might have to look for other ways to funnel cash to candidates.

On June 4 city councilmembers will discuss whether to adopt an ordinance that would cap the amount that political parties can donate at $20,000 for citywide candidates and $10,000 for council candidates.

That's quite the blow, considering that during last year's election the Republican Party gave former councilmember Carl DeMaio $800,000 in campaign contributions while Democrats gave Mayor Bob Filner $237,500, says a report by San Diego's Ethics Commission.

The commission also found that the County GOP forked over more than $1 million in "member communications coordinated with a mayoral candidate," compared to $700,000 from the Democratic Party.

But political parties are not out of options if they decide to fight the ordinance. The voters will have no less than 30 days to strike down the ordinance by referendum, says Deputy City Attorney Catherine Bradley in a May 28 memo to city council.

"...The ordinance does not relate to the actual conduct of an election. Instead, the ordinance relates to campaign finance laws, only indirectly related to elections. Accordingly, an ordinance amending the Municipal Code relating to campaign finance may be passed by the Council not less than twelve days after introduction. Thereafter, the ordinance is effective “not less than thirty calendar days” from final passage. This will preserve the power of referendum to the people as required by the California Constitution..."

The 30-day waiting period will, however, also provide the parties with time to give cash to candidates. Next year's election cycle begins one day before the council hearing.

City Council will hear the item during the afternoon session on June 4.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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