By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – State Senator Larry Farnese brought some colleges to town yesterday to discuss a bill he’s co-sponsoring on campaign finance reform.
Lawyer Michael Schwartz, who has helped City Hall and the political watchdog group Committee of 70 on ethics issues, suggested campaign finance reform in Philadelphia, first tested in the 2007 Mayoral election, made the candidates get out and talk about the issues.
He says limited contributions did not ensure victory for self-funded candidate Tom Knox, who spent $12-million. Michael Nutter, who won the nomination in a five-way race, raised $3.4-million.
“But from 4,000 different individuals, including 3,000 contributions of $250, or less.”
While Senator Farnese’s bill, as written, sets $500 limits on contributions per individual in local races, and $5000 limits from political action committees, City Controller Alan Butkovitz suggests the General Assembly adopt Philadelphia’s limits: $2900 from individuals and $11,500 from PACS.