San Diego City Debates Political Party Campaign Contribution Limits
San Diego is the first city in the nation forced to review its campaign contribution limits after a landmark Supreme Court ruling. The ruling allows political parties to contribute to candidates, where before they could not. A Republican Party suit prompted the city council to come up with a contribution limit for political parties.
The council voted to allow parties to give $1,000, where the individual contribution limit is only $500.
Council President Ben Hueso, a democrat, said that may not be enough to satisfy the republicans who filed suit.
“We’re dealing with people that have a lot of money, that are just looking to overturn these limits,” Hueso said. “That’s their sole motivation and it’s not good for the democratic process.”
The San Diego Republican Party argues it’s unconstitutional to limit political party spending. Party secretary Michael Rosen says he won’t say what, if any, limits the party might accept.
“We feel like finally at long last, the law is on our side, thanks to the Supreme Court Ruling,” said Rosen. “And we will continue to put all those tools to work for us for as long as we can.”
The Republicans are expected to appeal the council’s $1,000 contribution limit. Judge Irma Gonzales could decide Wednesday to lift the current ban on party contributions altogether, or require the Republican Party and the city to reach a mutually agreeable limit. That could go into effect after the June Primary.
However, San Diego taxpayers may be on the hook to litigate this issue up to the U.S. Supreme Court.