I read with concern the news that Remy O’Neill, Carolyn Van Horn’s longtime campaign manager, has threatened to sue the city of Malibu unless it repeals its $100 per person campaign contribution limit. That limit was enacted to insure that every Malibu resident would have an equal voice in the political process and to avoid the appearance that government decisions were being unfairly influenced in favor of large contributors. I seem to recall that in the past those policies were supported by the very people Ms. O’Neill worked to elect. Abolishing the contribution limit would open the door to excessive influence by individuals with great wealth and large monied interests who are willing to spend whatever it takes to get their way.
The voice of the average Malibu citizen would be weakened, and public confidence in the impartiality of our government (certainly none too strong at the moment) would sustain further damage. It is extremely unfortunate that Ms. O’Neill and her friends have allowed their own short term political needs to outweigh the sound policy goals of the city. For the record, regardless of whether Ms. O’Neill is successful in obtaining court sanction for her fat cat campaign, my election campaign will continue to voluntarily abide by the existing $100 per person contribution limit, and I also offer to assist the Malibu City Attorney, on a pro bono basis, in his defense of the campaign ordinance if he thinks my help might by useful.