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Supervisors Could End $1,000 Political Contribution Limit Next Week

A $1,000 limit on the amount of money that political parties are allowed to contribute to candidates in county of San Diego elections could be eliminated soon, according to documents posted online today.

At a meeting next week, the Board of Supervisors will take up a proposal to end the restriction on party contributions and increase the $500 donation limit for individuals, in step with the area's inflation rate. The board would schedule a public hearing, probably on Dec. 4, before giving final approval to the amendments to county campaign finance laws.

The individual donation level would be adjusted for inflation by the Registrar of Voters in $50 increments, tied to changes in the consumer price index for San Diego County.

The issue stems from the resolution of a lawsuit involving the city of San Diego, in which a judge struck down prior party contribution limits as being too restrictive.

City officials have been wrestling with proposed changes to San Diego's campaign finance ordinance for most of this year. The City Council was scheduled to take action earlier this week on proposed amendments, but the item was postponed to give the City Attorney's Office more time to study certain legal issues.

Because of the judicial ruling, political parties can give as much money as they want in city of San Diego campaigns this year. The Nov. 6 general election will decide a replacement for termed-out Mayor Jerry Sanders and whether Councilwoman Sherri Lightner will retain her seat representing the northwestern portion of town.

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