Local Electeds Could Face New Campaign Rules with Criminal Penalties
March 25, 2016
A bill seeking to level the playing field for campaign finance rules actually creates an unfair system against county supervisors and other local elected officials serving cities, counties, special districts and school districts. Assembly Bill 2523 (Mullin) would apply the legislature’s contribution limit (currently $4200 per candidate, per contest) to all local elected officials.
It also creates a bifurcated system giving Legislators administrative remedies through the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) while local officials would face criminal or civil penalties through the District Attorney’s Office. CSAC is also concerned that a District Attorney’s office may not have the capacity, nor the expertise, to investigate and enforce campaign finance violations.
CSAC recognizes the intent of the measure but believes exceptions for locally determined campaign finance rules should be made. AB 2523 permits counties to have lower limits but does not permit those with existing higher allowable contribution levels. In addition, local officials should be offered administrative remedies if they must adhere to one-size-fits all campaign finance rules. If your county would be impacted by this measure, please contact Dorothy Holzem, CSAC Legislative Representative, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-650-8133.