Thursday, June 5, 2008
A campaign finance reform watchdog group has sent Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl a letter encouraging him to veto recently passed legislation that would limit campaign contributions in city races. Center for competitive politics president Sean Parnell says the bill would not take corruption out of politics and it might be unconstitutional. The bill passed this week limits individual contributions to $2,000 and limits political committees to $5,000 per election cycle. There is an exemption for candidates running against candidates who spend more than a quarter of a million dollars of their own money on a campaign. A similar provision in federal law has been argued before the US Supreme Court. Parnell says Pittsburgh ordinance would chill free speech, further entrench incumbents because challengers would not be able to get out their message and it would not limit corruption. He says politicians will still feel the pressure to get endorsements and other special interest group support.