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Council Approves Some Ethics Reforms

City Council today approved legislation that would require lobbyists to register and file public reports on their expenditures, along with a series of other bills that deal with campaign finance rules and government reform.

But they did not act on legislation that would allow city employees to engage in political activity in their off-hours, as ward leaders, party committeemen or campaign workers. That activity is now strictly barred by the city charter and the proposal met with strong opposition from Mayor Nutter and reform groups.

Councilwoman Marian Tasco said Council would continue to work on reforms to political activity rules.

"We do not want to move forward and act in haste and repent in leisure," Tasco said.

Council also approved bills that would loosen the city's restrictions on campaign contributions, allowing candidates to raise money for post-election expenditures and campaign-related litigation, independent of their regular campaign organizations. That would permit multiple contributions from donors who would otherwise top the city's annual contribution limits - now $2,600 per year for individuals and $10,600 a year for political action committees.