For Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Councilmember Doug deHaan has put forth a referral asking that the the City Council direct staff to:
…perform an analysis of the Campaign Financial activities of the November 2, 2010 election using the proposed Campaign Financial Reform Ordinance Proposed by the Sunshine Task Force.
And in addition to this “analysis” that they bring back the proposed Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance for a review and vote by the City Council.
While I do not disagree with the need to bring back the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance, and honestly it should have been done after the Sunshine Ordinance was adopted, it’s unclear what purpose an “analysis of the November 2010” election serves in 2012 except to make political hay before two upcoming elections. To be honest, I’m not sure if Doug deHaan himself necessarily understands the scope of the Campaign Referral that he put forward, because after a post on David Howard’s site about this upcoming issue, where he of course, made political hay about the Firefighters once again, Doug deHaan posted this clarification:
I left in the two other comments, one from a former City Council candidate, who I guess feel that public speech — including public speech as it applies to local elections — should be limited to those who agree with them only, in other words, the Firefighters Union should not have the ability to canvass and go door-to-door for candidates they support. But I digress.
While it appears from the posting by Doug deHaan that he believes that “his sole intent” is only requesting that the issue of the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance come back and hopefully be adopted, he missed the whole first part of the referral which asked for the analysis of the November 2010 election. While it might have been an academic exercise in 2011 right after the election, in 2012 it smells like a political tactic. Here’s an analysis of the 2010 campaign finances using the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance. Every major candidate took contributions in excess of the proposed $500 cap per individual.
Also, I’ll point out that “transparency” has nothing to do with limiting campaign contribution amounts for individuals. The transparency in that process is already satisfied by any amounts exceeding $100 be itemized on the Campaign Disclosure Forms.