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Gray To Once Again Push Campaign Finance Reform Bill

D.C. will once again try to tighten its campaign finance rules to prevent donors from "bundling" checks through related corporate entities.

The process of developers and other businesses making multiple contributions to individual candidates through limited liability corporations is so common that it has its own name—the LLC loophole. It's legal, but as many critics point out, it allows a donor to exceed contribution limits. (The loophole was highlighted in WAMU's "Deals for Developers" investigative report.)

After an unsuccessful attempt last year, Mayor Vince Gray says that he will once again try to close this loophole. Gray said on Wednesday that his campaign finance reform bill will once again be pushed to the Council, after failing to gain traction during the previous legislative session. The bill would also limit when contractors can give money to candidates—if they have over $250,000 in city business, they wouldn't be allowed to—and set more stringent disclosure rules.

Ariel Levinson-Waldman with the D.C. Attorney General's office explained at a press conference that the bill would stop LLC bundling by implementing new limits on how many affiliated LLCs can give to one candidate.

"Anybody, person, corporation, business LLC, LP, name your corporate entity—anybody who is affiliated with another entity will be counted together for aggregation rules, so that you can't evade, and that's really been the problem in the past," he explained.

But for the bill to become law, it needs to be passed by the Council and the incumbent lawmakers who often rely on these donations during election season.

NPR

Opulent And Apolitical: The Art Of The Met's Islamic Galleries

Navina Haidar, an Islamic art curator at the Met, says she isn't interested in ideology: "The only place where we allow ourselves any passion is in the artistic joy ... of something that's beautiful."
NPR

Tired Of The Seoul-Sucking Rat Race, Koreans Flock To Farming

More than 80 percent of people in South Korea live in cities. But in the past few years, there has been a shift. Tens of thousands of South Koreans are relocating to the countryside each year.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Republicans Warn Of High Energy Costs With Obama's 'Clean Power Plan'

Republican leaders in Virginia say Obama's clean energy plan would drive up energy costs and damage a struggling economy. Democrats say saving the planet is more important than the short-term problem of higher energy bills.
NPR

Hope Or Hype: The Revolution In Africa Will Be Wireless

Young entrepreneurs in Africa say that they're leading a tech movement from the ground up. They think technology can solve social ills. But critics wonder if digital fixes can make a dent.

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