From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT]borderstan.com and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.
A group called D.C. Public Trust is trying to place the measure Ballot Initiative 70 on the November 6 ballot; this measure would ban direct donations from corporations to candidates for DC office.
If successful, the proposal would put DC in line with federal law, forbidding contributions from corporate interest groups to public officials and candidates. More than 20 other states have similar laws banning this type of contribution. However, even if the initiative makes to the ballot and passes, it would still be overturned by the DC Council. The Council overturned an voter initiative to impose term limits last decade.
According to the group, “This initiative, if passed, would prohibit corporations and other business entities from making direct contributions to principal campaign committees, exploratory committees, legal defense committees organized in support of public officials, transition committees, inaugural committees, or constituent-service programs.”
This new measure would stand in direct contrast to the current state of affairs. Currently, DC law allows corporations with city contracts to make direct contributions to the elected officials, creating major conflicts of interest and, as many critics note, a “pay to play” culture in the District.
To make Ballot Initiative 70 law, DC Public Trust needs to collect at least 23,000 signatures by July 9. If you support the measure, sign up online or make a donation.
Bryan Weaver is one of the leaders of the initiative; he filed the paperwork on the initiative. A Ward 1 resident, he ran in the 2010 Democratic Primary against Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1). Weaver was also a candidate in the 2011 special election to the fill the At-Large Council seat that was won by Vincent Orange. The chair of the group is Sylvia Brown of Ward 7 who is the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for ANC 7C-04.
Borderstan’s very own Diane Tucker has another campaign coverage piece on The Huffington Post, “Pre-Election Anxiety Squeezes African-American Women.” Tucker is is blogging for HuffPo’s “Off the Bus” campaign reporting series.
“On the news yesterday, they revealed a potential neo-Nazi plot against Barack Obama, and then they gave more details on the racially-motivated Ashley Todd hoax. It made my heart pound. My blood pressure rose precipitously,” said anthropologist Wende Marshall, professor of public health sciences, University of Virginia.
What are people in neighborhood saying about the 2008 presidential campaign? Borderstanian Diane Tucker talked to some local residents for this blog posting on Huffington Post’s “Off the Bus” series. The posting is, “Post-Convention Democratic Dip: D.C. Street Polling Serves Up Doldrums.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Political activist Tom Hayden and I have two things in common: we both attended the University of Michigan during the Pleistocene era and we both think Barack Obama will probably lose the 2008 presidential election.
For Hayden, the reason Obama will lose is simply this: a white war hero will always trump a black candidate who’s talking about the economy. That’s a seductive soundbite. But is it true?