Monday, January 12, 2009

Dan, Luke Propsose Campaign Finance Reform

Individual contributions to political candidates would be capped at $4,600 under a plan from county Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

Group donations from political action committees could be no more than $10,000 every election cycle under the proposal. (P-G, Tim Puko)

Those numbers are rather high; reform passed by City Council in the spring would have set both limits at half of these values. The Comet fears that $10,000 checks can still be disproportionately persuasive when it comes to officeholder's consciences, to say nothing of bundles of $4,600 checks.

After all, the set capable of playing at the $4,600 / $10,000 level has to be far more exclusive than the $2,500 / $5,000 set.

The exact text of the legislation will not be available until Thursday, Onorato said.

This sounds like a rushed and reactive response to some adverse headlines. Still, it's progress. I do like very much how it's a joint City / County initiative. Maybe it can be tightened up in the various committees?


  1. Ah, only after Onorato discloses his four million dollar warchest for his attempt at the governorship, and Baby Huey has potentially amassed $750k ?

    sillies ^_^

  2. The Comet fears that $10,000 checks are still disproportionately persuasive when it comes to officeholder's consciences, as are bundles of $4,600 checks.

    Good point. How did the come up with $4,600? Is $4,601 a corruptive amount?

    At least they have finally acknowledged the problem.

  3. "At least they have finally acknowledged the problem."

    Actually, I'm spoiling for audio of that, but I presume it's coming.

  4. So, is the $4600/$1000 good only for County Executive? Since (s)he has to run in such a large area. I assume then the Mayor is limited to $3450/$7500 and city and county council persons are limited to $2300/$5000. Right? Because isn't that why the Mayor vetoed campaign reform before, because it wasn't fair to him?

  5. luke got bad poll numbers so now he's a reformer???????

  6. The Huddler has said it before and will say it again. Campaign finance reform is a STATE ISSUE!

    This is a clear violation of the first amendment!

    We can not allow unreasonable restrictions on union members contributions.

    If union members give 5 dollars a pay - and then thier unions wanna give a candidate the equivalent of a buck 12$ a year - ( a buck a month per member) How is this LEGAL? It is a clear restriction on the members right to participate in politics!

    Unions give money on behalf of thier members. It helps members from being "maced" for contributions. It's the equivalent of public employees telling jehova's witnesses - "I gave at the office" !!!!

    Stop the madness !!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Huddler - Would you be in favor of forbidding union members from making individual contributions? Because if their unions are donating "for" them "collectively", solo contributions would be like double-dipping, and over-enfranchising a certain kind of worker.

    Most workers who have the good fortune / wisdom of having a union contract, IMHO, are doing well enough to be modestly politically active if they are so inclined. Allowing labor outfits to give vast sums takes advantage of all the workers who really don't give a hoot, or even who disagree with their elected / appointed leaders (see FOP, for example).

  8. I am glad they are both apparently and finally listening, but ironically after they both built their war chest.

  9. Any union member who contributes to a PAC fund does so VOLUNTARILY.

    IN addition most decisions regarding political contributions are done on a democratic level.

    For example; electing a political endorsement committee or electing the President who makes the endorsement decisions.

    If members chose to give on more than one level - they do so voluntarily. (Few do according to statistics)

    Do we need reform ? YES! But do it on a state level so that we have a level playing field.