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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC Trustee Croninger proposes $6,000 campaign spending limit

Lauren Michelle McGee
File Photo of Marsha Croninger from Nov. 6, 2018.

The Board of Trustees is considering passing a resolution to limit campaign contributions in future board elections.

The resolution would limit individual contributions to $200, and the total money raised to $6,000.

Trustee Marsha Croninger proposed the resolution “so people who are not wealthy can have a shot.”

“There’s been a lot of concern,” she said. Croninger believes the proposed limitations will “level the playing field” for future board candidates.

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Croninger’s district race for Trustee against Darcel Elliott had around $60,000 between both candidates. Elliott was endorsed by the Democratic Party and raised over double what Croninger raised. 

“It’s just too much money in my mind,” she said. “It just seems to me that it would be a whole lot better for that money to go to the foundation.”

Croninger also believes the resolution will encourage non-politicians to run for the Board of Trustees.

Additionally, unlimited campaign contributions can sometimes raise concerns that elected officials will act in the best interest of their highest contributors.

The Board of Trustees discussed the limitations at its Feb. 13 meeting.

The board generally agreed that there should be less money in elections, but some members disagreed with the specific resolution.

“The resolution as it is would really favor wealthy candidates running,” said Trustee Jonathan Abboud.

It is very difficult to legally limit a candidate’s personal contributions to their own campaign, Abboud said. Therefore, a candidate that could self-contribute would be able to raise much more money.

The board is currently working with an attorney to confirm the legality of the proposal and plans to take action on the resolution at its March 12 meeting. 

Additionally, according to a post on Trustee Abboud’s Facebook, he plans to open discussion on Thursday about closing the campus due to coronavirus.

Multiple UC schools have switched to online instruction for the time being, and Abboud believes City College “[needs] to follow suit.”

The trustees will discuss these issues at their Thursday meeting. 

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