Monday, April 27, 2009

I like the reform packages headed to city council this week. Hope to see them passed.

This was a letter I just sent to city council at the urging of Bill Peduto's email blast:

In the past, I called for a public hearing when Bill Peduto first called for campaign finance reform. This was when Bob O'Connor was still on council.

Back then the plan from Bill seemed to fight pay-to-play by starting campaign finance reform. The real issue was no-bid contracts and it is GREAT to see that faced straight on -- with legislation about no-bid contracts. Frankly, the $30,000 limit is a lot higher than I want. NO bid contracts are not necessary, IMHO.

The database of givers and takers is a no-brainer. It should be done already. And, with the help of a couple of you we could begin TRANSPARENT PAC ACCOUNTS with a local banker. That would not require any extra work on the part of gov workers, even the controller's office personnel.

Finally, the Ethics Hearing Board is broken -- because of the people on the ETHICS HEARING BOARD. They won't do anything and considered cutting meetings by half and closing them to the public. If I was on the Ethics Hearing Board -- or if there were others there -- such as a Libertarian or two -- then that reform would get done (to use a campaign slogan).

Bill Peduto wrote to me after he got his copy of the note above saying:
You were instrumental in getting us to this point in ending no bid
contracts for all not just contributors and you said it from the beginning. The $30,000 limit is the same as the rules governing council approval. If Duane Ashley needs to hire a clown for a rec center anniversary, we shouldn't require an rfp and council approval. However, we will need to work on the rules for pre-selected contractors under $30,000 - more work is always needed.

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