Los Angeles City Council members will soon consider a proposal from Westside Councilman Mike Bonin that would expand public financing of campaigns for city elected offices.
Bonin introduced the proposal Tuesday as part of a package of campaign financing reforms. Another proposal would prevent foreign donations to local elections and a third would increase disclosure of donors to groups advocating various causes.
Here’s what you need to know about the public financing proposal:
How does Bonin’s proposal differ from what Los Angeles offers now?
Los Angeles already has a public campaign financing system, but it’s limited in its scope. Candidates for mayor, city attorney, controller and City Council can apply for matching city funds to finance their campaigns if they meet certain criteria.
For example, mayoral candidates who raise enough qualifying contributions and agree to debate their opponents can qualify. The candidates also agree to limit their campaign spending to about $3 million in the primary and a bit less for the general election.
In exchange, the candidate can get up to about $600,000 in public funds for the primary and $800,000 for the general.
If approved, how would the new system work?
Bonin wants what he calls “full public financing,” eliminating corporate and most private individual donations. He…