Council Debates


Council debates campaign finance language

6/17/2010 - West Side Leader

By Stephanie Kist

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron City Council members debated June 14 an ordinance meant to clarify campaign finance language in the city Code of Ordinances.

Changes to the language would mostly be housekeeping details meant to bring the city’s code in line with state law, said Law Director Cheri Cunningham. However, a provision would permit municipal candidates to raise funds above and beyond the city’s campaign contribution limitation if those funds would be used for “purposes permitted under the Ohio Revised Code other than to influence the results of the candidate’s nomination or election” to city office.

Those purposes could include running for state or national office, travel, raising funds for a political party, or community purposes such as sponsoring a youth sports team or attending an event for a nonprofit agency.

Some Council members, however, fear the change would muddy the campaign accounting waters.

“How do you distinguish all of those funds, and how do you keep someone from moving a portion or all those funds for the actual election?” asked Council member Michael Williams (D-at large). “They’re all in the same fund. You have one campaign account. You can only have one. So all the funds are intermingled in the same account.”

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