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D.C. Council Eyes Limits on PAC Fundraising in Non-election Years

Washington Times

Campaign finance reform crusaders on Wednesday lauded a D.C. Council measure that would forbid political action committees from raising unlimited funds in nonelection years and ban businesses from donating to candidates who could influence their contracts with the city.

The “Campaign Finance Transparency and Accountability Amendment Act of 2016” is part of a bevy of bills aimed at increasing the political distance between candidates and businesses in the District.[...]

The bill includes provisions that would require PACs to certify that received donations are not coordinated with a particular candidate. It also would prohibit unlimited contributions to PACs during nonelection years.

In addition, it would bar businesses and individuals who have made financial campaign contributions from entering into certain business relationships with the District for two years.

Emmanuel Caicedo, a senior campaign strategist at the public policy think tank Demos, said that D.C. elections overwhelmingly are decided by wealthy white residents.

“This big-money campaign finance system fails to address needs of people of color,” Mr. Caicedo said. “D.C.’s campaign finance system is currently dominated by a small number of wealthy white donors who don’t represent the city’s racial and economic makeup. What we have here is a system that represents vast inequality on race and class.”[...]