Cleveland City Council Raises Campaign Contribution Limits

City Council President Kevin Kelley speaks at a 2014 news conference. Behind him is Councilman Kevin Conwell.
City Council President Kevin Kelley speaks at a 2014 news conference. Behind him is Councilman Kevin Conwell. (Nick Castele / ideastream)

Cleveland City Council voted Monday night to increase the maximum amount of money a person or political group can give to a candidate for mayor.

The measure would allow individuals to give up to $5,000, up from $1,000 currently. Political action groups would be able to give up to $7,500, up from $2,000 dollars.

The ordinance passed with 13 votes in favor versus three against.

Councilman Kevin Conwell said he backed Mayor Frank Jackson, but couldn’t support raising contribution limits.

“I don’t want special interest groups or big businesses running the city of Cleveland,” Conwell said. “I need my residents to remain as the boss of the city of Cleveland.”

Council President Kevin Kelley originally proposed raising the cap to $10,000 dollars for all contributions to mayoral candidates. That was opposed by some on council, and members agreed to a compromise proposal at a finance committee meeting. 

The ordinance also raises limits for donations to council campaigns to $1,500 for individuals and $3,000 for political action committees—up from $1,000 and $2,000 respectively. 

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