Feb. 3, 2015 (San Diego) The County Board of Supervisors passed campaign limit contributions from parties to candidates. When the first reading of this was passed on Jan. 27, it was with the same limits as the City of San Diego, 10 thousand for district elections and 20 thousand for city wide elections. These were replicated with district elections and Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk, District Attorney, Sheriff and Treasurer/Tax-Collector.
The passed limits, will stand at 25 thousand for Supervisor districts and 50 thousand for Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk, District Attorney, Sheriff and Treasurer/Tax-Collector.
There were four speakers in favor of this limit and over 30 against. Most of those who came to speak against it had direct ties to the Republican party, or ancillary organizations to the party. The argument made by those who opposed this was that money would be pushed to dark recesses where none could track where it wold go. This case was particularly made by Tony Kvarick, President of the Republican Party of San Diego.
Others, veterans of the Armed services, including Larry Wilske, a former SEAL, said that these limits were to free speech. These were, according to these vets, a violation of the first amendment and a curtailment of the Constitution.
Those in favor of these limits, included Michael Casanneli who stated, “unlimited campaign contributions fly in the face of democracy.” He added, “big money in politics replaces the will of the people.”
In the closing statements Supervisor Ron Roberts pointed out that during the 2012 elections both parties sank over 1 million dollars into the city of San Diego Mayoral election. There was no way to trace it, or to see where it went. This was not in the interest of either the citizens or the political system.
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Supervisor Bill Horn, the sole voice against this, said that he was always on the side of free speech. He agreed with those who opposed it, who wore red T-Shirts asking the Board not to curtain free speech.
With this vote, the parties now have a limit on how much they can give to each candidate. However, as pointed out by Supervisor Dianne Jacob, they are not limited on personal communications, walking precincts, or direct communications to voters. This was a direct rebuttal to some of the arguments made by those who opposed this. Limiting parties in that way flies in the face of state law.
Supervisor Dave Roberts, who also supported this, pointed out that the County is considered one of the best run counties in the country. It is in everybody’s interests to keep it this way. He also pointed to the opponents, that personal contributions to candidates stand at $750. Those limits, which have been in place for decades and only raised recently and now matched to the Consumer Price Index, are not touched by this limits either.
A previous version of this story contained the wrong spelling for Kvarik