Wednesday, September 22, 2010

County Councilman to Propose Campaign Finance Reform

At tonight's legislative session, Allegheny County Councilman Matt Drozd plans to submit an ordinance that would ban county officials from taking contributions from vendors, contractors or employees that do business with the county or have financial connections with the county. Drozd says he's been mulling over this legislation for years and believes he has the support of County Executive Dan Onorato. Drozd says he has seen contracts awarded where there was clearly a conflict of interest and he wants to put an end to the practice and to the perception that contracts are granted based on contributions to officials. He says he's not trying to put Allegheny County officials and lawmakers running for higher office at a financial disadvantage, "what I want to do is, anyone who runs for the office even, cannot accept contribution from vendors....I want to make that broadened, include anyone that's running for the office, even if it's not an elected office in the county, they can't do that." He says he's received complaints from small businesses and companies owned by women and minorities, "there's a perception – I've heard this from many of them – if you don't give a donation, you're not going to get a contract or any kind of work from the county, or other areas in government." The session begins at 5 p.m. in the Gold Room at the Allegheny County Courthouse.

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