Cedar Rapids council backs campaign finance reform movement

Adds name to an effort seeking constitutional amendment

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Without comment, the City Council this week unanimously added the city’s name to a list of some 550 cities and counties and 16 states calling for a constitutional amendment to limit election spending and to require disclosure of political donors.

The city had received a petition with 463 signatures asking for the council action.

In Iowa, elected officials in the cities of Dubuque, Des Moines and Altoona and Johnson, Black Hawk and Lee counties have passed similar resolutions calling for the constitutional amendment.

Mayor Ron Corbett said that the Cedar Rapids council typically doesn’t approve such resolutions, but he said council member Monica Vernon asked for the council to consider taking a position on the issue.

Vernon, who is running for the 1st Congressional District seat in Congress for a second time and has run for state as well as local office, said on Thursday that those running the local petition drive had no trouble convincing her that the council should lend its voice to the call for campaign finance reform.

“I hear it all the time from people who are fed up with big money and secret money in politics,” Vernon said. “This (constitutional amendment) would shed light on who is giving and how much.”

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