Interesting. I just looked at the City Council meeting agenda for next week and noticed that the title for the very last Tony Daysog Council Referral had totally changed. As a reminder, the last time we saw it on the agenda it was listed as “Campaign Finance Reform” which it really wasn’t.
Now the title of the referral is more reflective of what it actually is:
Consider Directing the City Clerk to Work with the City Attorney in Crafting an Ordinance to Provide City Funding to Pay Administrative Election Costs to Reduce Financial Barriers of Running for Office. (Councilmember Daysog) [Not heard on December 6, 2016]
However while some of the language was changed from the original to reflect the more appropriate description there was one place where it wasn’t changed which was here:
[E] Referencing the short-name of this ordinance (“local campaign finance reform”) and the Ordinance number, the City Clerk shall include the above information [A through D] in any notices to the public (including the electronic and print media) pertaining to informing residents of filing periods and requirements for City Council, Mayoral, City Treasurer, and City Auditor up-coming elections.
Which might have not been removed in the revise, but still exists there.
While I could be convinced that lowering the barrier to entry would be a good thing to help bring a more diverse set of candidates to our elections, the big missing part of this Council Referral is where the money would come from to pay for these costs which would normally be paid for by campaigns themselves.
Also, as long as we have candidates with the ability to self-finance, have ties to friends and colleagues with money, have ties to larger organizations with money, or have the bully pulpit of the office to make favorable decisions for potential donors; this lowering of the barriers to entry really doesn’t address the key issue that would arise for a fresh faced newcomer which is having the ability to compete against folks with money or people with deep ties to organizations with political clout.