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San Diego

Seeking to end what she called “a violation of the spirit” of local campaign spending laws, San Diego mayoral candidate Maureen F. O’Connor on Tuesday proposed that council members be banned from voting on matters relating to businesses whose employees donated more than $1,000 to them.

While city election laws limit individual contributions to $250, developers and other businesses can circumvent the intent of that law via multiple contributions to candidates from their employees, O’Connor said.

Under O’Connor’s proposal, weekly council agendas would note when council members had received more than $500 in cumulative contributions from any business or group that appeared before the council. If a council member’s cumulative donations from the company totaled more than $1,000, he would be disqualified from voting on any issue related to that firm for one year.

“This is one way of making sure that companies don’t have the council on retainer,” O’Connor said. “It also’s going to reduce the influence of money over what happens at City Hall.”

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