Sunday, March 18, 2012

Atlanta Update: Cooler Heads Prevail

Atlanta’s Fulton County Commission met yesterday as predicted ">here to take up its latest pay-to-play resolution. 

Everyone’s dying to know what happened. 

Drum roll . . . It failed.

Interestingly, Fulton County’s Commission didn’t simply reject the resolution, they made sure to give the bill sufficient medical attention to permit the orderlies to wheel it in to the room where they could execute it properly and with finality. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported on the gruesome course of events thusly:

 Fulton County commissioners didn't just reject Vice Chair Emma Darnell's proposal to limit contractors' donations to political campaigns. They killed it.

Darnell sought to prohibit any company or individual from bidding for county work if they have donated more than $500 to a commission candidate, or have given gifts to commissioners or county employees, during the past year.

The board opposed the plan 4-2, then, on a motion from Commissioner Tom Lowe, voted 4-2 to officially deny it so it can't be brought up again. Lowe called the idea stupid and bad for business

Not everyone sees the issue the same way. On the same day Fulton County was doing its work, the Brigantine Beach, New Jersey, City Council voted a strikingly similar piece of legislation onto the books. The Brigantine Beach ordinance, based largely on an Atlantic County, NJ, ordinance, and drafted with the assistance of the Atlantic County counsel, bans all professional contractor contributions one year before bidding and limits success ful bidders to $300 candidate contributions after that with aggregate total limit contributions from a corporation holding a city contract to no more than $2,500 annually.

The regulatory patchwork continues to be sewn together stitch by stitch with no sign of uniformity on the horizon.

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