The campaign finance reform measures — a long debated issue during previous elections — did not go far enough for some proponents in restricting the amount of cash candidates can raise, but they agreed that implementing some sort of control on what has so far been a no-holds barred fundraising system was needed.
“A savvy candidate will find a way around every rule we make,” Councilman Dave Weaver said.
Still, council members pushed through a list of restrictions that will come back to them next week in the form of a final draft ordinance that could either be adopted and take affect immediately, or 30 days later.
In doing so, the council will create a new chapter in Glendale’s political history, albeit one that carries less bite than some proponents had sought. Councilman Ara Najarian had pushed for a $250 donor limit, but the majority of his colleagues argued fresh challengers will need the $1,000 ceiling to quickly catch up to incumbents who already have tens of thousands of dollars in the bank.
“That’s one hell of an advantage, let’s be honest,” Councilman Frank Quintero said.
Quintero, Najarian and Councilman Bob Yousefian face re-election in 2009.
The majority also acquiesced to a provision allowing candidates to hold up to $5,000 in excess campaign funds, which was more and less than those on both sides had wanted.
The time period in which candidates can raise funds for their campaigns will also be shortened to one year, with an additional six months to pay off campaign debt after the election.