D.C. residents hoping to ban corporate donations in city politics are facing a deadline to turn in thousands of signatures.
The citizens group, angered by ethics problems, hopes to get the ban on the Nov. 6 ballot. The group has thousands of signatures, and volunteers have one more week to collect more.
Supporters of Initiative 70 have been fanning out around the District getting voters to sign petitions that would help ban corporate donations to city campaigns, political birthday parties and other fundraising for politicians.
Bryan Weaver, a leader of the initiative, said the city's been battered by ethics scandals -- the felony convictions of former Council Chairman Kwame Brown and Council member Harry Thomas Jr. -- and citizens need to do something. Mayor Vincent Gray also is under federal criminal investigation for his 2010 campaign for mayor with rumors swirling that he could resign at any time -- rumors with no firm basis but still disrupting the flow of city politics.
“I think now everyone is sort of holding on to what’s coming next and there is a little degree of everyone holding on to their seat saying, What’s the next shoe to drop?” Weaver said.
Initiative 70 supporters must turn in 24,000 valid voter signatures by the end of the day July 9 and need many more just in case of errors. Weaver said the group is near its goal but will work through the July 4 holiday week.
“Just trying to find a way to sort of come out of this crisis of confidence that we're having,” Weaver said.
About 20 states already ban corporate contributions to local campaigns.