ShareThis Page

Limits on Pittsburgh campaign donations approved by city council

| Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday tentatively approved caps on campaign contributions for mayoral, city controller and council candidates.

The caps, OK'd 8-0 with one abstention, are lower than those proposed by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato. There are no limits currently.

If the legislation passes a final vote Tuesday and Ravenstahl signs it, mayoral and city controller candidates beginning next year could accept maximum contributions of $2,000 from individuals and $4,000 from political action committees. The limits for City Council candidates would be half as large.

Councilwoman Darlene Harris abstained from the vote.

Ravenstahl vetoed legislation that council approved last year to limit campaign donations but has said he welcomes the latest legislation, introduced by his political rival Councilman Bill Peduto.

In a statement, Ravenstahl hailed council's decision, which he said would result in "the lowest campaign contribution limits in the history of Pennsylvania."

The legislation contains a "millionaire's exception" that nixes limits for candidates who spend more than $50,000 of their own money on campaigns. It requires the city controller's office to publish campaign contributions on the Web.

Similar legislation is before County Council but hasn't come up for a vote.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.