The Los Angeles Ethics Commission lifted the campaign-expenditure limit Tuesday in the primary election for the City Council seat held by outgoing member Herb Wesson.
Candidates who participate in the city’s matching funds program must limit their campaign spending in both the primary and general elections. However, the expenditure ceiling is lifted when independent spending in a specific race reaches a certain threshold, depending on the elected office in question, according to the Ethics Commission.
For a City Council race, the threshold is $86,000 spent in one election to support or oppose one candidate.
For the upcoming March 3 primary election, the expenditure ceiling for City Council candidates is $537,000.
In the Council District 10 race, which includes portions of downtown and South Los Angeles, candidate Mark Ridley-Thomas, who is not participating in the matching funds program, notified the Ethics Commission Tuesday that his campaign committee has made or incurred expenses that exceed the $537,000 spending limit.
Contributions to the Ridley-Thomas campaign are now over $578,000, according to the Ethics Commission.
As a result, the expenditure ceiling has been lifted for matching funds candidates in the CD 10 race.
Ridley-Thomas is the District 2 representative on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Also vying for the City Council seat are community organizer Channing Martinez, human rights activist Melvin Snell, former Board of Water and Power commissioner Aura Vasquez and attorney Grace Yoo.
Caregiver and business owner Althea Shaw and business owner G. Juan Johnson are certified write-in candidates for the council district race.
Independent spending involves a person or organization spending money on political communication that supports or opposes a candidate or ballot measure and the communication is not coordinated with nor authorized by the candidate.
Independent expenditures must be reported to the Ethics Commission within 24 hours.
Additional information about the candidates, independent spending and political communications in the 10th District primary election is available on the commission’s Election Totals page at ethics.lacity.org/elections/.
Campaign activity and political communications can also be searched on the commission’s Public Data Portal at ethics.lacity.org/dataform/.
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