Huntington Beach

Who can’t make contributions?

A NEW STATE law tightens restrictions on who can contribute to a local government office-holder when they do business with that entity (Shutterstock).

By Huw Pickering/Orange County Tribune

Could giving money to a political candidate mean paying a fine?

Huntington Beach’s City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to draw up a rolling list of people and corporate entities who are ineligible to make campaign contributions. This is in response to state law SB 1439, which goes into effect on Jan. 1 of next year.

To prevent a conflict of interest, SB 1439 bars contributions greater than $250 from anyone who has negotiated a contract in front of the council in the previous 12 months.

Those who make a contribution within that 12-month window risk incurring a fine.

Councilmember Dan Kalmick wrote a report stating that the best way to prevent these conflicts of interest, and the resulting financial penalties, is to regularly update a list ofmthose who cannot make contributions to campaigns for city government positions.

The council does not currently have paid support staff to ensure that all contributions to candidates are in line with SB 1439. Kalmick also advised that a study be conducted of how other cities in Orange County prevent ineligible contributions from being made, and that the stipulations of SB 1439 be clearly stated on the city council’s website.

If a Huntington Beach resident or business owner has gotten a contract signed off through the council at some point this year, they would still be eligible to contribute to the candidate of their choice in November’s election.


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