There are non-trivial First Amendment problems with this proposal,
not the least of which is defining what an interest group is. Should
someone who takes support from, say Progressive Minnesota, be banned
from voting on the whole range of public issues that PM has taken a
The better approach is public financing of local elections, so that
candidates do not have to deal with interest groups as a prerequisite
to running. You could structure it very much like the state system,
hopefully more robust, where once a candidate reaches a certain
triggering threshold of small, individual contributions, they qualify
for public funds -- and the candidate's acceptance of such funds
would bind them to an overall limit on the amount of money to be
spent in the race. That limit could be waived if another candidate
in the race refused to agree to public funding and/or a spending cap.
I know this idea is a hard sell during tough financial times for the
city, but it's the only viable alternative to developer-financed
local elections that I see.
On Dec 5, 2005, at 5:12 AM, Wendy Wilde wrote:
Voluntary recusal would be a great start. David Brauer Kingfield
Mandatory recusal. You take money from an interest group to fun
you cannot vote on projects for them. Make it law. And cannot
take a job
from them for 10 years after leaving office.
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