77ºF

Judge rules campaign finance reform question should be placed on ballot

Miami-Dade County commissioners sought to block initiative

photo

MIAMI – Voters will get the chance to decide whether to limit campaign contributions of people who profit from Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas ruled Friday that the campaign finance reform initiative be placed on the Nov. 8 ballot.

A group called Accountable Miami-Dade collected and delivered a sufficient number of signatures that would qualify the item for the ballot, but county commissioners voted 9-4 to reject it.

The ballot question would let voters choose whether to block lobbyists, vendors and their families from donating to candidates for county office.

Thomas wrote in his ruling that failure to place the question on the ballot "will silence the voice of voters as it relates to campaign finance reform in Miami-Dade County."

File: Ruling on Miami-Dade County campaign finance reform initiative

During a Thursday hearing, the attorney for Accountable Miami-Dade argued that the commission had no standing to block the process under the county charter.

The county's attorney countered that the ballot question, as it was written, does not meet a legal standard and would mislead voters.


About the Authors: