L.A. is voting tonight to bar city contractors from donating to campaigns. Measure H is passing easily with 74% of the vote.
From now on, bidders on city contracts and their executive-level employees will be banned from giving to candidates for city office. (They join registered lobbyists in that scorned category.)
Measure H also shores up the city's public financing system in time for the 2013 campaign. It lifts the cap on the city's matching fund, which is now set at $12 million. This could set the table for further expansion of the public financing system.
Opponents, including Councilman Greig Smith, charged that it was improper for taxpayers to pay for politicians' campaigns. But proponents of “clean money” argue that public financing levels the playing field between incumbents and challengers and curbs the corruptive influence of fundraising.