Los Angeles Public Funding of Campaigns, Measure N (March 2011)

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A City of Los Angeles Candidate Access to Public Funding of Campaigns, Measure N ballot question was on the March 8, 2011 ballot for voters in the City of Los Angeles, where it was approved.[1]

Measure N brings the city's campaign finance laws into compliance with recent court decisions by repealing:

  • Contribution limits to independent non-candidate controlled groups in City and LAUSD elections; and
  • Rules that lift contribution limits on candidates running against self-financed candidates; and
  • Notice requirements on self-financed candidates.

Measure N was placed on the ballot by the Los Angeles City Council because of their belief that they need to change the city's existing campaign finance laws in order to bring those laws into compliance with recent court decisions.

Supporters of Measure N believed that if Measure N fails (which would mean that the city's laws would stay as they currently are) that Los Angeles could become subject to expensive damages and fees in potential lawsuits.

LA's current laws include limits on contributions to independent committees that campaign for or against candidates in the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District elections. Existing law also limits contributions to candidates, lifting the contribution limits of City of Los Angeles candidates running against a candidate spending more than $30,000 in personal funds, and requiring a self-financed candidate to give notice of planned spending.

A voter who voted "yes" on Measure N was saying that he or she was in favor of repealing City of Los Angeles campaign finance laws that are similar to laws that had recently been held by the Supreme Court of the United States to be unconstitutional.

Measure N was one of 10 ballot measures on the March 8, 2011 City of Los Angeles ballot.

Election results

Measure N
Result Votes Percentage
Approveda Yes 119,643 70.19%
No 50,820 29.81%

Election results from the Los Angeles City Clerk as of 2:44 a.m. on March 9, 2011


  • Los Angeles City Council member Paul Krekorian urged a "yes" vote on Measure N, even though he ardently wished that it was not necessary to repeal the city's existing laws in order to bring the city into constitutional compliance. Krekorian said, "This is a big step backward...The independent expenditures are sometimes financed by shadowy forces that hide behind cutesy names … like the Committee for Puppy Dogs and Apple Pie … and they have narrow interests with lots and lots of money...It’s a horrible step back for us, but it’s important to pass it because the city could be subjected to potentially millions of dollars of liability."[2]
  • The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times supported Measure N, saying, "What if Los Angeles put something in the City Charter and then discovered that it was unconstitutional? It would probably remove it from the charter. That's what the city is asking voters to do in approving Measure N on the March 8 ballot. You might ask why the city government can't just do this itself and save you the effort of parsing yet another ballot measure. But it's the law: Any change in the charter must be approved by the voters."[3]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure N: Shall the Charter be amended to comply with recent court decisions and avoid liability to the City by removing from the Charter three provisions determined by courts to be unconstitutional regarding campaign contribution limits on independent, non-candidate controlled groups' spending in City and LAUSD elections and notice and contribution limits regarding self-financed candidates that lifts contribution limits for only some candidates in City elections?[4]

External links