City Council’s plan to restrict developer donations faces Council pushback

Elected officials say the measure restricting donations from anyone seeking approval on a building contract would have unintended, negative effects

May.May 28, 2019 03:30 PM
Councilmen Blumenfield and Cedillo with City Hall
Councilmen Blumenfield and Cedillo with City Hall

Pay-to-play allegations have been hovering over City Hall for months, leading the City Council to attempt to crack down on how much influence the real estate industry — or any other interest group — has on decision making. But there does not appear to be consensus over what that crackdown looks like.

After the FBI raided City Hall six months ago, council members drafted a plan to restrict campaign donations and charitable donations from anyone seeking approval on a building contract.

Now, some of those council members do not want to be restricted from raising money for local causes, casting doubt on how much of the plan will be approved, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Councilman Jose Huizar, the once powerful downtown official now ensnared in a scandal over donations, had asked developers doing business at City Hall to donate to a high school his wife was involved.

Councilman Gil Cedillo said it will hinder his ability to give out turkeys on Thanksgiving, or toys and other aid to low-income residents.

Some of the council members also questioned a separate plan to restrict campaign donations from businesses and organizations. Business executives, union leaders and those involved in advocacy groups would have to give as individuals. Councilman Bob Blumenfield warned that the measure would trigger “a hard shift to the right politically” at City Hall as it shuts out contributions from unions and advocacy groups. [LAT]Gregory Cornfield

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