Ethics Advocates Meet Petition Goal to Place Charter Amendment on November Ballot
Strange Bedfellows Seek Citywide Ethics and Anti-Corruption Reforms
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (August 5, 2014) – A petition campaign to pass a city charter amendment to strengthen Tallahassee ethics policies gathered 20,657 signed petitions, more than double the legally required amount, to put the issue on November’s general election ballot.
This was accomplished by a broad cross section of citizen groups including the League of Women Voters of Tallahassee, local tea party leaders, and Common Cause Florida. By law, in 2014, Tallahassee petition campaigns require signatures from 9,334 registered city voters, a goal far exceeded by the ethics advocates.
“More than 20,000 Tallahassee voters signed the petition and they want their voices heard on ethics reform,” said Anita Davis, co-chair of Citizens for Ethics Reform and a former Leon County Commissioner.
According to Citizens for Ethics Reform, a nonpartisan, Tallahassee-based anti-corruption organization, the Leon County Supervisor of Elections issued a certificate to the City of Tallahassee indicating that enough signed petitions have been verified to require that the proposal appear on the November ballot.
The City of Tallahassee charter and state law requires the city commission to place the proposal on the general election ballot, which organizers fully expect to occur at the August 20 commission meeting.
“We look forward to the commission fulfilling their legal obligation to place the initiative on the November ballot,” said Marilynn Wills, a co-chair of Citizens for Ethics Reform.
The proposed charter amendment would establish a citywide ethics and anti-corruption policy, an independent ethics officer, a $250 limit on campaign contributions, and a small donor refund program. In 2010, Leon County voters overwhelmingly supported a similar charter amendment to limit campaign donations to candidates for county commission and constitutional offices to $250 per contributor.
“It’s encouraging to see our community come together, from conservatives to liberals, to work constructively for a policy that could make Tallahassee a national leader for ethics,” said Catherine Baer, Co-Chair of Citizens for Ethics Reform and the chair of The Tea Party Network.
Marilynn Wills, Co-Chair, Citizens for Ethics Reform
Pd. Pol. Adv. Paid for by Citizens for Ethics Reform