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SLO city campaign contribution limits expand 

Anyone who wants to donate money to city elections can now throw in an extra $100 thanks to new campaign regulations passed in San Luis Obispo.

SLO city councilmembers voted 4-1, with Councilman Dan Carpenter dissenting, to adopt the recommendations of a citizen committee that will adjust some local election contribution regulations. The recommendations include:

    • Eliminating a city supplemental campaign statement.

    • Increasing individual contributions limits from $200 to $300.

    • Deleting sections of the municipal code related to the closing of campaign accounts.

    • Clarifying how the city clerk advertises campaign statements.

While the proposed changes were met with little controversy, local attorney Stew Jenkins warned, in a letter to city officials, that future U.S. Supreme Court rulings could strip any caps on individual contributions. City Attorney Christine Dietrick told councilmembers that contribution limits could be challenged in the future but said the city shouldn’t necessarily alter its course.

“The Supreme Court has already demonstrated … a hostility in contribution limits and individual contribution limits,” Dietrick said.

Councilman John Ashbaugh voted to approve the recommendations, but noted that he was uncomfortable with the recommendation pertaining to closing campaign accounts.

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