PRESS RELEASE: Councilmember David Ryu Expresses Disappointment in Watered-Down Campaign Finance Reform Measure

Los Angeles - Today, the Rules Committee of the Los Angeles City Council advanced part, but not all, of a campaign finance reform package led by Councilmember David Ryu. The developer dollar ban, championed by Councilmember Ryu since he was a candidate for City Council in 2015, was unanimously approved by the Committee. It would, for the very first time, ban developers with business before the City from making donations to an elected official or candidate for office in the City of Los Angeles.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

November 15, 2019

Contact:

Estevan Montemayor 

estevan.montemayor@lacity.org

213.605.4145

Councilmember David Ryu Expresses Disappointment in Watered-Down Campaign Finance Reform Measure

Los Angeles - Today, the Rules Committee of the Los Angeles City Council advanced part, but not all, of a campaign finance reform package led by Councilmember David Ryu. The developer dollar ban, championed by Councilmember Ryu since he was a candidate for City Council in 2015, was unanimously approved by the Committee. It would, for the very first time, ban developers with business before the City from making donations to an elected official or candidate for office in the City of Los Angeles. 

However, the committee stopped short of passing Councilmember Ryu’s entire proposal by refusing to advance a separate ban on “behested payments” made by developers and other restricted sources with business before the City. A behested payment is a donation made to a political action committee or nonprofit at the request, or behest, of an elected City official. The campaign finance reform law now heads to City Council for a final vote.

“Since my first day on City Council, I have pushed this body to implement broad campaign finance reforms and restore trust in City Hall,” Councilmember David Ryu said after the Committee’s vote. “Although it’s remarkable how far we’ve come since I first began fighting for these reforms - we have not gone far enough. Delaying the passage of behested payment reform is a mistake and will only continue to erode the public’s trust in our city government. We need full campaign finance reform and we need it now.” 

Numerous activists spoke at the Rules Committee meeting, urging wholesale reform, including California Clean Money and the League of Women Voters.

Councilmember Ryu introduced the latest version of the campaign finance reform package in January of this year, and testified before the Ethics Commission in February urging their support for the strongest possible reform. It was Councilmember Ryu’s third time introducing a campaign finance reform measure since entering office.

Of the legislative options available, the committee voted to approve a version of the developer ban ordinance that was formulated by the City Council earlier this year. This seeks to add certain developers to a list of restricted sources, barred from making campaign contributions or behested payments in City elections. The ban would extend from the date property owners and their principals file an application for any significant planning entitlement process with the Department of City Planning to 12 months following the final resolution of the application.

Councilmember Ryu remains committed to passing a ban on behested payments made by developers and restricted sources with business before the City and is currently reviewing options to re-introduce further reforms to campaign finance law. 

Read the motion here

Read the Council File here.

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Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu represents the 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys. 

 


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