Santa Ana to Consider Relaxing Campaign Finance Limits

A resident stands outside Santa Ana's City Council Chambers. (Photo by: Violeta Vaqueiro

Santa Ana council members on Tuesday could decide on proposed changes to the city charter for the November ballot, with a proposal on the table to reduce some of the city’s strict limits regarding campaign finance.

Under the current city laws, council members can’t participate in decisions regarding people who have contributed at least $250 to their campaigns in the preceding 12 months.

Additionally, council members and their campaign committees can’t seek contributions of $250 or more from people impacted by a license, permit or other entitlement within three months of the decision.

Now, an ad-hoc committee of three council members is recommending that the council ask voters to eliminate or amending those laws.

While the local laws “appear to be well intentioned they may increase misunderstandings and false accusations by those who don’t fully understand the competing local versus state rules,” a staff report states.

The current rules “are not equally applied or enforced,” it adds.

The proposed charter amendments also include raising the city council’s compensation, and removing the right of department heads to go back to their lower-level job if they’re removed from the higher-level position.

Tuesdays council meeting is set to start at 5:45 p.m. Presentations usually mean the business portion of the meeting usually doesn’t start for at least another hour later.

You can reach Nick Gerda at, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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