LWV League of Women Voters of California
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Orange County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Measure A
Campaign Reform Ordinance
County of Orange

188,224 / 34.8% Yes votes ...... 352,374 / 65.2% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 12 4:00pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (2243/2243)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the County of Orange Reform Ordinance be repealed and reenacted to allow an increase in the campaign contribution limit only if approved by the voters, allow intra-candidate transfers of campaign funds, require additional reporting of late independent expenditures, allow the Board of Supervisors to establish an administrative procedure for the enforcement of the Ordinance and make other changes in the Ordinance

Impartial Analysis from County Counsel
The proposed ordinance would repeal the existing Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance, and reenact it with certain changes. The significant changes are indicated in italic type below.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit campaign contributions for County office in excess of $1,000 for each of the following elections: primary, general, special, or recall. The same limits would be imposed on contributions to persons or committees that make specified independent expenditures in County elections.

In applying the $1,000 limit, the following contributions would be added together: a sponsored committee and its sponsor; a corporation and an individual who owns a specified controlling interest in the corporation; a partnership and an individual who owns a specified interest in the partnership; entities that share a majority of directors, or multiple officers, or are owned by the same majority shareholder(s), or are parent and subsidiary; a business entity and an individual connected with that entity who participates in a decision by the entity to make a contribution: and in most cases, contributions of minors and their parents or guardians. Contributions of spouses would not be added together. A husband and wife could each contribute $1,000. A campaign contributor would be required to disclose to the candidate or committee any other contributions made under a different name that are required to be aggregated with the current contribution.

A County candidate or officeholder could have only one campaign committee and one campaign bank account from which expenditures can be made. There could be no interlocking committees.

Different candidates could not transfer funds between themselves and their committees. However, a single candidate could transfer funds between his or her own accounts, subject to the contribution limit of $1,000 per person per election.

Late independent expenditures would have to be reported to all County candidates running for the office to which the independent expenditure relates. Candidates would be required to file a post-election Campaign Statement within 15 days of an election, and to file required amendments to Campaign Statements by a specified deadline.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit solicitation or receipt of contributions by county officials and employees from persons who have proceedings before those officials or employees. It would require the Registrar of Voters to provide County candidates and officeholders with a copy of the Campaign Reform Ordinance.

Violations of the ordinance would be subject to misdemeanor prosecution and civil actions for specified penalties and injunctive relief. In addition, the Board of Supervisors could establish an administrative procedure for the resolution of alleged violations and the collection of specified penalties.

The ordinance could be repealed or amended only by a majority vote of the County electorate, except that the Board of Supervisors could impose additional requirements. The Board of Supervisors would no longer have the power to adjust the contribution limitations for changes in the consumer price index.

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Arguments For Measure A Arguments Against Measure A
Measure A is a revision to the County's Campaign Reform Ordinance, also known as the TIN CUP ordinance initially enacted in 1978.

Measure A WILL NOT change the current contribution limit of $1000 per person per election. It will, however, prohibit the Board of Supervisors from increasing the contribution limit in the future without voter approval.

TIN CUP is the most successful local campaign contribution ordinance in the State of California. The law works so well, you never hear any complaint about it. However, experience and recent court decisions have made it necessary to make revisions in order to improve its effectiveness and enforceability. The areas of improvement consist of preventing evasion of the contribution limit by Slate Mailer Organizations and other entities making independent expenditures.

The reporting requirements are also being increased. For the first time, candidates running in an election will be required to file a timely post-election campaign statement disclosing campaign contributions and expenditures made just before and just after election day.

Voters throughout the county and the state have consistently supported contribution limits. Runaway election costs have been deterred by limiting contributions from individuals, businesses, political action committees, and other third parties. The limit has been particularly beneficial to those entities seeking contracts, permits and project approvals with the County because they are no longer subject to requests for unlimited campaign donations. It has also caused candidates running for County office to broaden their financial base by seeking more, but smaller, contributions from their constituents, which gives the general public a bigger voice in the election of county officials.

Measure A is the best means we have to minimize the influence of large campaign contributions on decisions made by our elected officials.

We urge every voter to vote YES on Measure A.

No argument against this measure was submitted.

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Created: December 6, 2002 03:14 PST
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