Los Angeles Limits Campaign Donations from Developers - State and Federal Communications

December 6, 2019  •  

Los Angeles Limits Campaign Donations from Developers

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to prevent real estate developers who have project applications pending at city hall from making campaign contributions to elected officials or candidates for municipal office.

City Councilman David Ryu introduced the proposal to ban developer donations to prevent interference with the ethical commitments candidates make when running for office.

Under the new ordinance, real estate developers will be barred from giving political contributions to Los Angeles city officials and candidates for council, mayor, or city attorney while the city decides on key approvals for building projects.

These restrictions will be in effect for one year after a final decision on each developer application.

The law does not prohibit developers from hosting fundraisers or raising money from other donors and does not apply to major subcontractors on a development project.

Critics contend the new rules will spur developers to donate more money to independent expenditure committees, which have no limits on how much they can receive and cannot coordinate with their chosen candidates.

The council also voted to have a committee reexamine possible restrictions on behested payments, which are donations solicited by candidates or elected officials for various charities or causes.

The ordinance becomes operative the first day a candidate for elected city office can file a Declaration of Intent to Solicit and Raise Contributions for the 2022 general election.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has until December 16 to act on the ordinance.

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