By: Caroline Johnston, Contributing Writer
Green is in support of closing the loophole; however, not the time limitation that was proposed by City Council in April. Council proposed a restriction that limited one PAC from receiving more than 50% of their contribution amount from another PAC, 12 months before making their contribution. The proposed restriction was considered by City Council, but handed over to the Board of Ethics.
The Philadelphia Board of Ethics was given the responsibility to close the campaign donation loophole that city officials have been utilizing to gain funding from multiple Political Action Committees (PACs).
To reduce the influence of large political contributions, Philadelphia has limited campaign donations from PACs to $10,600 since 2010.
The campaign donation loophole was first addressed by City Council in April, but was handed over to the Board of Ethics since the Board of Ethics enforces the City’s Public Integrity Laws. Under the regulation’s first draft, City Council was aware of the possibility of one PAC funding multiple PACs.
The unanimous approval of the new provision has made it’s way to the Philadelphia Law Department, and if given public approval after ten days, the restriction will be placed in affect by August.
This added regulation will close off a loophole that is utilized by PAC donors to help improve the likelihood of electing a specific candidate. The clarity of this added restriction will give City Council and the Philadelphia Board of Ethics the comfort in knowing that their previous concerns will be relieved.
There are just a few steps left before the Philadelphia campaign ethics laws are tightened, that is, as long as City Councilmen are not able to prove this restriction to be a violation of the law. We can look to August and future elections to see if this restriction holds, and what it’s cost is on City officials election funds.