Arp: Council likely to override veto on “pay to play” bill

(Kayla Blakeslee/WOWO News )

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Fort Wayne City Council is headed for a showdown with Mayor Tom Henry tomorrow night.

Last week, Mayor Henry vetoed an ordinance passed by the Council that would block companies that donate more than $2,000 a year to local elected officials’ campaign funds from getting city contracts.

Councilman Jason Arp tells WOWO News the Council will most likely override him tomorrow night:

“We will vote to override the veto. All we need is six votes,” Arp says, noting that the legislation passed on a 6-2 margin last time.

Henry said he couldn’t approve the ordinance because it raised legal questions, specifically over a local government’s ability to restrict campaign finance, according to four different legal firms. Arp, however, isn’t buying it:

“The places they’re getting these opinions from, gave $70,000 to the Mayor’s last campaign, and received over $3-million in bids. So I think they have a vested interest,” Arp says.

Henry, however, says he hopes the Council listens to his concerns:

“I understand where they’re coming from, and I do think campaign finance laws should be re-addressed,” Henry tells WOWO News, “but twice before when the Council has tried to do this, the Attorney General has said it’s illegal. But if you want to keep trying, that’s fine. I’ll work with you.”

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