Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

The Gutting of the Tin Cup By the Modesto City Council

By Emerson Drake

Time Is Now Clean Up Politics – Tin Cup

Tin Cup Change 6/7/05

TO:  Mayor and Councilmembers

FROM: City Attorney

SUBJECT: Proposed Revision to theModestoMunicipal Code

CONTACT: Michael D. Milich, City Attorney, mmilich@modestogov.com, x75284

RECOMMENDED COUNCIL ACTION:

Introduction of an ordinance amending Section 2-8.01 of Chapter 8 of Title 2 of the

Modesto Municipal Code increasing the amount of campaign contributions over the prior 48

months that triggers a conflict of interest from $1,000 to $3,000, clarifying that campaign

contributions received by councilmembers in connection with their candidacy for any other

elective office do not count towards the $3,000 limit, and eliminating the limitation on

contributions in the week preceding the election.

BACKGROUND AND REASON FOR RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Modesto Municipal Code Section 2-8.01, et seq. (“TIN CUP Ordinance”) prohibits a

councilmember from exerting any influence on a City decision in which he/she has reason to

know they have a financial interest.  The ordinance states that a councilmember has a prescribed

financial interest if the decision will have a material effect on a major campaign contributor to

that member.  A major campaign contributor is defined under the ordinance to mean a person or

entity that has contributed $1,000 or more in the aggregate over the past 48 months.  The

ordinance was adopted by the City Council in 1986 and has basically remained unchanged since

that time.

The ordinance also imposes a reporting requirement in addition to those imposed on

candidates by the Fair Political Practices Act.  Finally, the ordinance prohibits contributions

exceeding $99.00 in the final week preceding the election and continuing until the certification

of the election results.

On May 10, 2005, the Modesto City Council considered a letter from Rob Ellett, Chairman

of the Government Relations Committee of the Chamber of Commerce which requested that the

Council eliminate the TIN CUP ordinance.  By motion of the Council this issue was referred to

the Audit Committee.  The Audit Committee met on June 2, 2005, and unanimously

recommended that the TIN CUP ordinance be amended in the following respects:

· The $1,000 limit be raised to $3,000.Mayor and Councilmembers

Proposed Revision to theModestoMunicipal Code

Page 2

· The ordinance be amended to clarify that it does not apply to campaign

contributions received by a councilmember in connection with that

councilmember’s candidacy for any other elective office.

· The limitation on contributions in the week preceding the election be eliminated.

The changes recommended by the Audit Committee are set forth in the attached

ordinance.

MICHAEL D. MILICH

City Attorney

MDM/sw

Attachment

cc: City Manager

City Clerk

How it was passed: 6/28/05

This item removed from Consent.
B. Ordinance 3391-C.S. amending the Section 2-8.01 of the Modesto Municipal Code and repealing Section 2-8.03 of the Modesto Municipal Code relating to campaign reform (Tin Cup).
· Motion approving final adoption of Ordinance 3391-C.S. amending the Section 2-8.01 of the Modesto Municipal Code and repealing Section 2-8.03 of the Modesto Municipal Code relating to campaign reform (Tin Cup) recommended.

ACTION: By Motion (Keating/O’Bryant; majority; Dunbar, Jackman no; Marsh absent) approved the final adoption of Ordinance 3391-C.S. amending the Section 2-8.01 of the Modesto Municipal Code and repealing Section 2-8.03 of the Modesto Municipal Code relating to campaign reform (Tin Cup) recommended.

http://ci.modesto.ca.us/ccl/agenda/ar/2005/06/ar050614-08.pdf

http://ci.modesto.ca.us/ccl/minutes/2005/cc050628.asp

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One thought on “The Gutting of the Tin Cup By the Modesto City Council

  1. So the developers shills can now get $3,000 per donation. Is that reported or not reported?

    Either way thousands of dollars can and will make the candidate more willing to be influenced by the big money donors even if they say they are not influenced by the money.

    Corruption begets corruption!

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