Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Full Circle

So Luke has changed his mind on campaign finance reform. He and my best friend Dan are teaming up to pass a law in city and county council to limit campaign contributions.

The question on everyone's mind is why did Luke change his mind?

If this law had passed 6 months ago, Luke wouldn't have been able to save his pennies from the DeSantis campaign where he didn't even bother with television commercials. Now, there's no way in hell it will be preventing him from using his little "war chest."

And why should a man whose friends can convince Bill Clinton to have a little fundraising luncheon for him nowhere near an actual election care about individual campaign limits? $750,000 in one day on $500/plate sandwiches is enough for almost any local campaign.

My bet is on Luke ultimately running for the highest office in Allegheny County after his stint as mayor and leaving the city to hot-head Shields or Dowd whose claim to fame appears to be that he has held public office as long as the Mayor. I can't wait for these debates.

My questions?
1) If it's so important for us all to be the same, why not just follow Philadelphia's example?? Do individuals really need to contribute $4600 instead of $2600. They also have some pretty slick safeguards such as accounting for inflation every four years. Importantly, Philadelphia's law has already held up in court.

2) As Chris Potter says, why aren't campaign contributions posted online? Transparency had better be a part of this bill or the likelihood of its actually getting enforced are slim to none. And can we please take this as an opportunity to combine county and city forces to have ONE campaign contributions website?

My vote? If there is a multi-millionaire in the audience, give a million to Ms Robinson. Let's shake things up around here.


Bram Reichbaum said...

Did you see Mr. Onorato is hosting an online hootinany?


See you there...

illyrias said...

And you know I've already sent in my questions. :)

EdHeath said...

Among the reasons the Mayor gave when he vetoed campaign finance before were that it needs to be done on a state wide level and that the Mayor should have a higher contribution level since he is rnning city wide, rather than in just one council district. On the second point, the Mayor did not give a level for his office versus those of council, but mentioned "ten times" as the amount a Mayoral candidate must raise versus a Council candidate.

But I don't think it matters, I suspect Council will try to modify this legislation and Ravenstahl and Onorato will both veto it.