Richmond Confidential reports that the City of Richmond, CA passed an amendment that prohibits a councilmember who receives more than $250 from a business or individual from voting on laws that those donor businesses or individuals lobby for, or would receive primary benefit, during future council votes. It would take one year for that councilperson to vote again on that particular item. The measure passed 4-3.
Of course in Richmond, Indian Gaming, Environmentalists, Chevron, and others are the whipping boy. But if this were done in the City of Concord, nothing —maybe a good thing— would ever get done; especially when it came to issues concerning garbage rates or employee benefits and pension goodies. Practically all sitting Concord members have accepted campaign donations from Garaventa Enterprises and the Concord Police Officers’ Association and their respective employees and members. Helen Allen would’ve had a cow.
I will have to ask Tom Butt, the Richmond Councilmember who proposed the amendment, if money spent on hit pieces on behalf of some candidate from PACs controlled by these same organizations will count toward the voting ban.
As amusing as this scenario could be, the only real campaign finance reform would be to eliminate all limits, and prescriptions such as Butt proposed, and simply require immediate and full disclosure with go-to-jail stiff penalties.