Council talks campaign cash

City will consider increasing or abolishing local campaign donation limits

At the tail end of Tuesday night’s Chico City Council meeting, Mayor Sean Morgan requested the council agendize discussion of campaign finance limits.

“I don’t know when the city of Chico came up with the arbitrary limit of $500,” he said, arguing that the cost of campaigning has increased and that spending limits further divide candidates. “As much as I love the idea of a grassroots campaign … it doesn’t work anymore.”

Morgan (pictured) offered as an example his most recent campaign effort (during which he raised the most of any candidate, $64,078—not including the $31,750 raised by a political action committee supporting him).

“I can reach out to one particular population group, which is what I did, and that was effective,” he said. “But there’s a whole other side who didn’t know who I was.”

He requested the council discuss the limits, including an option to abolish them altogether. The motion succeeded, 4-2, with Councilmembers Ann Schwab and Randall Stone dissenting and Karl Ory absent.