Mayoral candidates LaToya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet pledged Wednesday to support a landmark ordinance that would force New Orleans politicians to refuse campaign contributions from owners of companies that do business with the city -- a move aimed at easing concerns that “pay to play” would play a role in either woman’s administration.
Both candidates said they would support such a proposal in a radio forum held Wednesday night by WWL Radio and The Advocate.
The runoff is Saturday.
The proposed ordinance, as pitched by WWL talk show host and former Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, would apply to members of the City Council as well as the mayor.
Whether it would actually get past the council is an open question. New Orleans council members, like mayors, have traditionally relied on contributions from a wide net of current and former city contractors to help fund their election bids.
Still, the fact that either woman is open to the idea may help ease the fears of residents alarmed by the hundreds of thousands of dollars in contractor contributions that Charbonnet raised this election cycle. Those contributions helped raise the allegations of “pay to play” in the mayor’s race in the first place.
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Cantrell has also received at least tens of thousands of dollars from contractors. It’s not yet clear how much of the more than $613,000 she has raised since late September has come from city vendors.
Both candidates have already pledged to continue Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s reforms to the city’s procurement process, which was heralded as a way to help end corruption. Charbonnet has also pledged to hire an ethics compliance officer within City Hall.
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