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Dirty Pool

Who is subverting the democratic process more?

a) Candidate A, who uses his political allies to exploit a loophole in Oakland’s campaign finance law in order to exceed spending caps


b) Candidates B and C, who use their positions as city council legislators to attempt to modify clarify* Oakland’s campaign finance law 5 weeks before an election in order to prevent Candidate A from exploiting the longstanding loophole

Background (complete with tendentious headline) here. This is not an entirely rhetorical question, by the way.

*I changed “modify” to “clarify” above for accuracy’s sake. Candidates B and C may not precisely be trying to change the law itself, but rather mandating a particular procedure or set of “guidelines” for how the law should be interpreted and implemented. If any lawyers out there care to elaborate on the possible distinction between changing the actual statute and changing the “guidelines” used to implement the statute, then please feel free to clue me in below. For instance, would such “guidelines” be a legally binding part of the municipal code, or something less than that?