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 position on?

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 for office, you cannot vote on projects for them. Make it law. And cannot take a job
from them for 10 years after leaving office.

Greg Abbott
Linden Hills

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