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Supreme Court Opens Floodgates on L.A. City Election Spending

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Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 7:11 PM
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Developers, billboard companies, and public employee unions will all get to have a more direct role in Los Angeles elections, thanks to last month's Supreme Court ruling that struck down limits on independent campaign activity.

The L.A. Ethics Commission announced today that due to the ruling in the Citizens United case, it will no longer enforce a 2001 ordinance that banned corporations and unions from directly supporting candidates in city elections.

Under the ordinance, unions and corporations could still fund committees that could then run independent campaigns. All they were prohibited from doing was funding independent campaigns out of their own accounts.

So how much will this change?

Independent spending on city campaigns has accelerated rapidly in the last decade. Seems like this will push the pedal to the floor. Also, instead of getting mailers from groups like Californians For A Brighter Future or the Coalition for Strengthened Families or whatever, you can get them directly from ConocoPhillips, AFSCME or Clear Channel.

Note, though, that the limits on contributions directly to candidates are still in place.

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