L.A.’s Ethics Commission Has Changed Its Tune on Developer Donations

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission is coming around on the issue of developer donation restrictions.

Just one year after it rejected a ban on developer contributions, the Commission is now backing a plan that would bar donations to city officials from real estate executives, architects, engineers and others seeking city building approvals.

“The commission also backed new restrictions on ‘behested payments’ — donations solicited by politicians for charitable or governmental causes. And it endorsed the idea of barring businesses, organizations, unions and other entities from giving to candidates and officeholders, allowing only political donations from individuals,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Commission’s move comes amid a wide-ranging FBI probe into possible corruption at City Hall.

“A perception of corruption and pay-to-play politics, fueled by the outsized influence of developer money, threatens the very foundation on which we stand,” said Councilman David Ryu, who has been pushing for change for some time. “Twice I have tried to advance legislation that would target this problem. And twice I have seen this legislation go ignored while the problem only gets worse.”