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Philadelphia City Council Votes To Close Loophole In City Election Finance Law

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(File photos)

(File photos)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Philadelphia City Council today passed a bill to close a loophole in the city’s campaign financing regulations that allowed campaign donors to give more than the legal limit to city candidates, and mayor Michael Nutter quickly signed the measure into law.

But some councilmembers feel the new law doesn’t go far enough.

City law limits limits individual campaign contributions to $10,600 per year, but a flaw in the law allowed funders to funnel more money to particular candidates by passing the money through a second group.

Sponsor Marian Tasco says her new bill specifies that the limits apply to total contributions.

“It addresses a major issue about pass-throughs that we omitted when we did the regulation, so we wanted to close that up and tighten it,” she told KYW Newsradio today.

The bill passed unanimously, but Councilman Bill Green says he wanted even tougher rules.  He says the new law will still allow donors to get around the limit.

“I would have preferred that we waited and got it right,” he said today.

Green himself has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the loophole. IBEW Local 98, the electricians’ union, gave him $40,000 last year using separate organizations it created.

A union spokesman did not return our calls seeking comment.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060

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