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City Council Overrides Henry Veto On Campaign Finance Bill

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Zach Bernard/WBOI News
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Fort Wayne City Council voted 6-3 to overturn a veto from Mayor Tom Henry over a campaign finance measure that would limit the contributions of contractors to political campaigns to $2,000 per year or less.

Henry wrote a letter to council last Thursday outlining his concerns over the legality of the measure, which was passed on Tuesday, November 28. He highlighted the legal opinions of four local firms concerned with possible violations of the state and federal constitutions.

At-large councilman John Crawford, who co-authored the measure with Jason Arp, says he found the legal findings on the measure to be suspect.

“Since the administration is their client, they would be expected to usually advocate for their client’s position,” said Crawford. “It’s interesting to note that at least two of those four firms that have submitted those opinions are major contributors to the mayor’s campaign.”

Crawford cited his 1996 smoking ordinance as an example of risky votes that could be necessary to Fort Wayne’s greater well-being, and also emphasized the diligence council attorney Joe Bonahoom gave in writing the measure “for years.”

Three council members voted against the override. Michael Barranda was one of those votes; he agreed with the mayor’s concerns, most notably possible infringements of the First Amendment.

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