About four years ago, voters in Santa Monica, Pasadena and San Francisco passed propositions that barred public officials from accepting campaign contributions, gifts or jobs for five years from any individual, company or other entity to whom they have granted a contract, franchise or other benefit.
Prop LL was placed on the Santa Monica ballot by the Oaks Project, the volunteer arm of the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.
Though voters approved the propositions in all three cities, City officials in both Santa Monica and Pasadena refused to implement it. The San Francisco measure went into effect.
In Santa Monica, the City Attorney told the City Clerk not to implement Prop LL. When the clerk did as she was told, the City then sued itself as a means of nullifying the initiative. When trial courts and the Court of Appeals rejected the City’s thesis, the City took the case to the State Supreme Court, but in mid-May it announced that it would not hear the case, presumably ending the City’s quest to nullify the ordinance and requiring the City to implement the ordinance
From the beginning, City officials have argued that the ordinance is unconstitutional.
At a mid-May meeting, the City Council directed the City Attorney to study a potential initiative that could be placed on the ballot at a convenient near-term date that would “achieve the goals of LL in a transparent, enforceable, Constitutional way.”