The county council voted 4-1 Monday evening to override county executive Allan Kittleman’s veto of CB30, the small donor campaign finance bill, but Republicans may yet make another challenge to try to block it.
Jon Weinstein, the council chairman and one of the bill’s co-sponsors, voted after reminding everyone that “in November there was a vote by the citizens of our county,” that approved the idea. “I’m proud and pleased to vote ‘yes.'” he said.
Councilwoman Jen Terrasa, the other sponsor, said “I feel a little like a broken record here. This is a bill that strengthens our democracy,” before voting to override the veto. All four Democrats on the council voted to override, while Greg Fox, the only council Republican, voted “no,” after repeating his frequent objection that “this could potentially be very costly.”
The bill is actual law now, meaning that in 2022, candidates for county council and executive will have the option of participating in the small donor program. That means their top donation can be no more than $250, with the county matching the first $150 in varying proportions. It also prohibits contributions from corporations and PACS, and puts an upper limit on total campaign spending for those who participate. the county must begin putting aside around $600,000 a year to build the fund up enough to match candidates’ donations.
But the fight may not be over yet.
After the meeting, Fox indicated there may be some further move to block the law from taking full effect. “TBD (to be determined),” he said, refusing to say what form such an effort might take. “This (the law) will never stand as is.”