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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
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
· 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
MICHAEL D. MILICH
cc: City Manager
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.