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Amidst FBI probe into City Hall corruption, we debate a revived proposal to City Council limiting developer’s political donations

Los Angeles City Hall
Los Angeles City Hall
Grant Slater/KPCC

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A handful of council members on Tuesday proposed a ban on campaign contributions from real estate developers of significant projects.

Developers covered by the proposed restrictions include those whose projects would add or construct more than 4,000 square feet of residential floor area or 15,000 square feet of commercial space.

The council members also want to look for ways to restrict developers from making contributions to favored causes supported by officials, donations known as "behested payments."

Councilman David Ryu authored the new motion calling for the restrictions on developers' campaign contributions and behested payments, a move backed by council members Paul Koretz, Mike Bonin, Paul Krekorian, Nury Martinez and Joe Buscaino and seconded by Council President Herb Wesson. The motion seeks to ban contributions from certain developers from the time of their planning applications until 12 months after they are finally resolved.

This motion is the second of its kind. A previous motion from early 2017 expired over the recent council recess. Ryu's office hopes the latest motion, which for the first time calls for steps banning behested payments from developers, will move more quickly.

Read the full LAist story here.

In 2017, KPCC investigated millions of dollars in behested payments raised by Mayor Eric Garcetti from individuals, businesses and foundations. Read the series here.


Nicholas Greif, chief of staff for Councilmember David Ryu, who represents Council District 4, which stretches from Sherman Oaks through Griffith Park to Miracle Mile; he helped draft this legislation

Mott Smith, principal with Civic Enterprise Development, a mid-sized developing firm based in L.A., and adjunct professor in the USC Price School of Public Policy

Derek Muller, associate professor of law at Pepperdine University where his work focuses on election and campaign finance law