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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Alhambra group wants to limit developers’ influence in elections

March 14, 2018 02:13PM

Lowe’s (credit: Getty Images, Pixabay)

Real estate and politics should not mix.

At least that’s according to an Alhambra advocacy group, whose members want to limit the ability of real estate developers to influence future elections through large donations.

Grassroots Alhambra In Action told the city it would petition for a ballot initiative to cap campaign contributions, singling out the outsized role of the real estate industry, the Pasadena Star-News reported. The proposal would also require election voting be done by district not at-large.

The group needs 3,982 signatures from Alhambra voters to be on the ballot.

The cap would prevent real estate developers from making large donations. Councilmembers David Mejia and Jeff Maloney both previously accepted $5,000 campaign donations from the Charles Company.

The Charles Company and GTR Property Development are developing a project that will include a Lowe’s and a pair of office buildings on South Fremont Avenue. A group of residents had filed a lawsuit, arguing that the developers should conduct a full environmental impact report.

Mejia told the Pasadena Star-News that caps on donations made sense, but voting by district did not.

In 2017 in Los Angeles, City Council candidates could accept a maximum of $700 from an individual and $30 per-person in cash. There was a $210,100 limit on non-individual contributions during the regular city election. [Pasadena Star-News] — Hannah Madans