By Buddy Nevins, BrowardBeat.com, Special to SouthFloridaReporter, June 11, 2015 – Inspired by the ethics controversy sweeping the Broward Elections Office, Sunrise officials are ready to ban campaign contributions from three key officials to any Sunrise election.
Mayor Mike Ryan suggested the new prohibition.
The ban would forbid the City Clerk, City Attorney and Deputy City Attorney from donating to any Sunrise municipal candidate.
The mayor publicly clashed with Elections Office attorney Burnadette Norris-Weeks after he suggested Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes might want to ban her from contributing to campaigns. That e-mail exchange can be seen here. An earlier public e-mail from Ryan can be seen here.
Ryan told Browardbeat.com that his proposal has been unanimously supported by the City Commission, who also wanted the City Manager and Police Chief included as charter officers. Ryan said the prohibition was backed by officials affected by the ban.
The new law will be prepared and voted on later this year.
Ryan said there is a “strong governmental interests in protecting the integrity of elections and preventing even the appearance of impropriety or a conflict of interest in elections, combined with the narrow prohibition to be only as to elections in which these positions could play a role, makes this prohibition legal and constitutional. Additionally, the City Clerk, the City Attorney and the Assistant City Attorney welcomed this prohibition and I suspect would voluntarily agree to the waive of any implicated ‘free speech’ rights as it relates to the right to make campaign contributions in Sunrise elections.”