Limit Campaign Contributions in SLOCO - Act by Nov 17

Limit Campaign Contributions in SLOCO - Act by Nov 17

Say No to Big Money in Local SLOCO Elections
Time Range For Action Alert: 
November 13, 2020 to November 16, 2020

Resources to act by November 10th and 17th

  • Understand the Issue
  • How to Locate and Contact your Board Supervisor
  • Letter Template for Quick Action
     

We urge to contact your County Supervisor to revise Draft Ordinance 30.2 by lowering the $25,000 contribution cap. The ordinance will be on the Board's agenda on November 10th and November 17th. Contact your Board Supervisor here.

For decades, the LWV has supported campaign finance practices that combat undue influence, allow candidates to compete more equitably for public office and promote citizen participation in politics. The LWV SLOCO recently learned that the SLO County Board of Supervisors was proposing the approval of a new ordinance that would undermine those objectives.

In 2019, the CA Legislature amended the Political Reform Act of 1974 a second time with AB 571 to further curtail campaign finance corruption and undue influence of big money in campaigns. Effective January 1, 2021, AB 571 imposes contribution limitations of $4,700 per person on local elective offices in jurisdictions that have not enacted their own contribution limits.  In response, the SLO County Board of Supervisors proposed COUNTY ORDINANCE 30.2 on October 20, 2020. The Board set the cap on campaign contributions at $25,000 per person — more than 5 times the limit set by the State’s Political Reform Act. The county ordinance applies to 10 elective county offices: the Board of Supervisors, County Assessor, District Attorney, Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator, Clerk Recorder, and Sheriff-Coroner. 

The proposed ordinance moves our county in the wrong direction with campaign finance reform and will exacerbate the public’s perception that money controls elections, further eroding the public’s confidence in our local elections. The LWV SLOCO urges the Board of Supervisors to reconsider the proposed cap of $25,000 to more closely align with the state’s limit of $4,700. This change would enhance the public’s trust and confidence in county elections and  encourage citizens to participate in the political process. 

WE URGE YOU TO CONTACT YOUR COUNTY SUPERVISOR TO REVISE DRAFT ORDINANCE 30.2 BY LOWERING THE $25,000 CONTRIBUTION CAP.
 The Ordinance will be on the Board's agenda on November 10th and November 17th. Find and contact your Board Supervisor here.

Read County Ordinance 30.2 here or info [at] lwvslo.org (subject: Ordinance%2030.2) (email us).

District Telephone    

District 1 Supervisor:
John Pescshong

(805) 781-4491 jpeschong [at] co.slo.ca.us North County:
Templeton, Paso Robles, Shandon, San Miguel

District 2 Supervisor:
Bruce Gibson

(805) 781-4338 bgibson [at] co.slo.ca.us North Coast: San Simeon, Morro Bay, Los Osos/Baywood Park, Cambria, Cayucos, parts of San Luis Obispo

District 3 Supervisor:
(Vacant)

  As this seat is vacant, please contact Lynn Compton, District 4  South County: Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, Shell Beach, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, parts of San Luis Obispo

District 4:
Supervisor Lynn Compton

(805) 781-4337 lcompton [at] co.slo.ca.us South County: Nipomo, Oceano, Arroyo Grande

District 5:
Debbie Arnold

(805) 781-4339   darnold [at] co.slo.ca.us  North County: Atascadero, Santa Margarita, Creston, California Valley, parts of San Luis Obispo

 

Two Letter Templates for Your Board Supervisor

 

Letter, Version 1

TO: County Board of Supervisors

DATE: November 7, 2020 

RE: Proposed County Ordinance 30.2
       November 17, 2020 Agenda

Dear Board of Supervisors: 

I am writing to express my strong opposition to proposed County Ordinance 30.2 which would authorize a per-person campaign contribution limit of $25,000 on local elective county offices.  I understand that this contribution cap will affect 10 county elected offices: Board of Supervisors (5), County Assessor, District Attorney, Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator, Clerk Recorder, and Sheriff-Coroner.

A cap of $25,000 is excessive.  It is five times the limit set by the California Political Reform Act (AB571), which is intended to curb undue influence and prevent corruption and the appearance of corruption.  It is out of step with the size and small town/rural nature of our county.

The stated intent of the Ordinance itself is to “to encourage public confidence in the political process and to prevent corruption and the appearance of corruption by limiting the source and amount of contributions that may be made to candidates and committees controlled by candidates for county elective offices”.  A contribution cap of $25,000 does the opposite.  It discourages public confidence and contributes to the perception that public office can be “bought”.  It will further erode confidence in our elections and in our democratic principles.

This is not the direction we should be going to restore confidence in local government and encourage public participation in the political process.  I urge you to oppose this far too high cap on political contributions.

Thank you.

Your Name

Your City

 

Letter, Version 2

TO: County Board of Supervisors

DATE: November 7, 2020 

RE: Proposed County Ordinance 30.2
       November 17, 2020 Agenda

Dear Supervisor __________,

Having watched yesterday’s Board meeting and heard your comments concerning County Ordinance 30.2 we would like to respectfully address your concerns.

First, you are concerned that though per-person contributions are limited, contributions from independent campaign committees are not limited in the ordinance.  We would like to suggest that the Board include limitations on these contributions in the ordinance as well.  Or if that is not possible, write a separate ordinance limiting independent campaign committee contributions.  The goal of AB571 and of proposed ordinance 30.2 is to limit big money in politics and encourage public confidence in our elections, not to make sure that more wealthy people or interest groups can contribute a lot of money.

Second, you are concerned, as is Supervisor Compton, that the state is setting the limit of $4,700.  AB571 gives local jurisdictions the opportunity to set their own limits.  So do that.  Set a limit of $2,500 or $5,000.  But not $25,000, an amount that is excessive, corrodes public trust, reinforces the belief that elected office is “bought”, and frankly insults the intelligence of your constituents.

We are a tragically polarized country.  Our democratic institutions are being challenged and public confidence is eroding.  The power of money and monied interests in our political life is contributing to this.  We need to apply the brakes.

Your Name

Your City

Issues referenced by this action alert: