That's My Take: Initiative 70 - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

That's My Take: Initiative 70

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In recent testimony before the D.C. City Council, Attorney General Irvin Nathan laid out his concerns about the growing perception of "a pay to play" culture in the D.C. government. As a response to those concerns, the attorney general said that he and Mayor Vincent Gray will soon be proposing campaign finance reforms that will tackle the thorny problem of corporate campaign donations. The AG went on to say that he and the mayor oppose the outright ban on corporate donations. Quoting the attorney general, "We don't support the meat-ax way. We would like a more refined approach."

The "meat-ax way" that the AG is speaking of is exactly what Initiative 70 is all about. Initiative 70 is the brain-child of D.C. Public Trust. That's a non-profit community group who for the past several months has dedicated its efforts to gather slightly more than 23,000 signatures in order to get a referendum on the November ballot to ban direct corporate donations to campaigns. If passed, it would also ban corporate donations to constituent services funds, legal and defense funds and transition and inaugural funds. Such donations have contributed to creating the "pay to play" climate in D.C. politics.

D.C. Public Trust hasn't quite reached their goal yet and the deadline for collecting signatures is Monday, July 9.

Both the D.C. City Council and the mayor do not think Initiative 70 is the right way to address the "pay to play" concerns. Whether an outright ban is the way to go or not, and I think it is, it seems to me it is only right to let the voters decide. But to put the voters in that position, the last remaining steps to getting the referendum on the November ballot must be taken.

Here is a schedule for upcoming events and locations where signatures are being collected:

Friday, July 6

7 a.m. – 9 a.m. – Brookland Metro Station
7 a.m. – 9 a.m. – Fort Totten Metro Station

Saturday, July 7

3 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Hechinger Mall Safeway, 1601 Maryland Avenue, NE
3 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Carver-Langston Aldi, 901 17th Street, NE

Sunday, July 8

3 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Hechinger Mall Safeway, 1601 Maryland Avenue, NE
3 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Carver-Langston Aldi, 901 17th Street, NE

That's my take. Let me know what you think. Go to and click on That's My Take or send me an email at

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