Councilman Ara Najarian voted against the change, arguing that money received after election day could leave the door open for expectations of political favors on behalf of donors and unrestrained spending on the part of elected officials.
He supported the use of extra funds for charitable organizations, but feared that any other kind of expenditure could lead to abuse.
“Money received after election day is some of the dirtiest money that is received,” he said. “The money is not the same type of money you get during the campaign.”
Regulations had allowed office holders to use surplus funds raised before election day for governmental purposes, but money raised after an election could be applied only to campaign debt. Those terms could have left office holders on an uneven playing field, officials said.
The modification approved Tuesday brings city regulations in line with state law, officials said.
The Nov. 30 fundraising cut-off date was extended from the original Aug. 30 deadline to give the current set of council members more time this year. Aug. 30 will return as the fundraising deadline for the next election cycle.
Supporters of the change challenged Najarian’s assessment, arguing there were plenty of checks and balances via state reporting laws.
“Every dime you spend has to be accounted for,” Mayor Frank Quintero said.
Councilman John Drayman said he took offense to Najarian’s statements.
“It wasn’t dirty money when the original ordinance was voted for, and it isn’t dirty money now,” he said.
The League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank was against the change, not because of its substance, but because of the process.