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Spokane Mayor, City Council At Odds Over Campaign Finance Reform

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A view of Spokane, Washington, from Sunset Hill.

In Spokane, the city council and the mayor are at odds over a new city ordinance. It changes how the city funds local campaigns. The mayor vetoed the new law, but the city council hopes to override that veto Monday. ?

The new law includes a long list of actions. It lowers the maximum contribution limits to candidates to half of what the state allows. It also prohibits any company with more than $50,000 in city contracts from contributing to local campaigns.

Six of Spokane’s seven city council members voted for it. At least five of them would be needed to override Mayor Condon’s veto.

State Sen. Andy Billig, a Democrat from Spokane, has been pushing for similar campaign finance laws in Washington state for years. He pre-filed legislation again this year. 

Spokane Mayor David Condon said that while he gets a lot of email from residents in Spokane covering a few topics, no one has ever emailed him about campaign finance reform. He thinks that’s because like him, the public believes it’s an issue that should be addressed at the state level. ??

“So that we don’t have a patchwork across our state,” Condon said.