School Board Rescinds Request for Limits on Campaign Gifts

Times Education Writer

Despite the protests of two veteran Los Angeles school board members that current campaign laws allow the local teachers union to unduly influence board elections, a majority of the Los Angeles Board of Education voted Monday to reverse an earlier decision in favor of stringent campaign contribution limits.

"This makes us look like a bunch of damn fools . . . and puts (the board) on record against campaign reform," said board member Roberta Weintraub, who voted against Monday's motion.

By a 4-2 vote on a proposal by board member Julie Korenstein, the board rescinded a position it adopted last June that asked the Los Angeles City Council to begin proceedings to place the seven school board members under the same campaign contributions limit law that governs council elections.

Council candidates have a $500 ceiling on individual contributions because of a campaign reform act passed by voters two years ago. The law also requires candidates to return any money in excess of $5,000 that remains after a campaign.

Board members Weintraub and Rita Walters had authored the original motion calling for the limits, arguing that the lack of limits allowed the teachers union to exert too much pressure on board members during this year's board elections.

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