San Bernardino elected officials will soon have to verbally disclose recent donations received from contributors who show up to benefit from their vote on a point in front of city council.

City councilor Theodore Sanchez, who has championed such campaign finance reform for two years, called the legislation “huge for the city” this week and said the new rules would help eliminate “some of the most corrupt practices. glaring that we have seen in the city. . “

“It also frees all elected officials in that they don’t have to feel up to the wall,” Sanchez said. “We can devote ourselves and our energy to deciding issues on the basis of merit. “

Sanchez and board members Sandra Ibarra, Ben Reynoso, Kimberly Calvin and Damon Alexander approved the new regulations when they were first proposed last month.

Councilors Juan Figueroa and Fred Shorett opposed it.

“I understand why this is being brought forward,” Shorett said when the article was submitted to city council for approval on May 19. “There is pay-to-play, there is corruption, there is no question about it. But there are no people of integrity trying to do the best job for the citizens of San Bernardino. These things have never been a problem for me and didn’t expect them to be a problem in the future.

“I’d rather see people demonstrating integrity than being regulated for integrity.”

Known as the 460, elected officials and election candidates in California file documents twice a year – in January and July – revealing who has donated to their campaign in the previous six months.

In summary, the new campaign finance rules in San Bernardino require elected officials to verbally disclose donations over $ 250 before a vote on an item that should benefit someone who has contributed to their campaign after they have submitted their campaign. last 460.

In addition, individuals and groups are now prohibited from making a donation to an elected official before such a vote.

Anyone will be able to report a violation to the California Fair Political Practices Commission, Sanchez said.

In the future, it will be up to elected officials and their campaign treasurers to know who is donating their war treasures. Donations can be returned within 30 days if they are found to be from a party with pending business before city council.

These regulations, Sanchez said, will keep policymakers honest and accountable.

“It is a historic law,” said the city councilor. “No one in the region has adopted such comprehensive campaign finance regulations. There are little things here and there, but it’s very comprehensive. Nowhere else is this in place.

“We now have a council that is less popular than lice,” Sanchez concluded, “but we were able, even in our darkest hours, to have been able to pass brilliant legislation that hopefully moved the city forward. . “

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