Seattle Councilman Proposes Campaign Finance Changes - State and Federal Communications

August 13, 2012  •  

Seattle Councilman Proposes Campaign Finance Changes

SeattleCouncilman Mike O’Brien has introduced a bill to the city council in hopes of limiting the advantages incumbents currently have in city elections. The bill, which has been placed into committee, would limit the election cycle, limit the time frame a person can raise money for a campaign, and limit the amount of money a candidate may keep at the end of the election cycle.

The new election cycle would start on January 1st of the year that office is up for election and end on April 30th following the general election. Also, a candidate would be forced to get rid of the money in his or her war chest following the end of the election cycle. Councilman O’Brien believes this will limit the advantage an incumbent has over challengers and encourage more people to run for city office.

The bill would take effect 30 days after the mayor signs it, however any money received by a candidate prior to the effective date may be retained until the next election for that office.

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