Out-Of-State Cash Pours Into D.C. Mayoral Race | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Out-Of-State Cash Pours Into D.C. Mayoral Race

Play associated audio
Legislation closing the LLC loophole doesn't take effect in this campaign cycle.
Mallory Noe-Payne/WAMU
Legislation closing the LLC loophole doesn't take effect in this campaign cycle.

Outside money continues to pour into the D.C. mayor's race as the candidates scramble to raise campaign cash.

An analysis of the reported campaign filings finds more than 40 percent of the money donated to the city's mayoral candidates is from outside the city. By far, most of that cash came from neighboring Maryland, which accounts for one out of every five dollars raised by the seven major candidates.

And this outside money is also more likely to have a corporate name on the check. More than a third of total campaign contributions from Maryland, for example, are corporate donations.

Because of the early primary date of April 1, the candidates are in a hurry to raise money.

Mayor Vincent Gray, who was the last candidate to enter the race, reported bringing in more than $620,000 in donations during Friday's campaign filing, a total that triples what any of the other candidates raised over the past two months.

Gray still trails Jack Evans and Muriel Bowser — the two council members have both broke the $1 million mark — and have more cash-on-hand to spend than anyone else.

Tommy Wells, who has promised to not accept any corporate donations, is now in fourth place in the money race.

The issue of corporate donations is a thorny one for the candidates. The other three council members in the race — Jack Evans, Muriel Bowser, and Vincent Orange — all recently voted to close the LLC loophole. It's a practice that lets business owners exceed individual contributions limits by bundling donations through affiliated companies. The practice is legal, but as WAMU explored in its "Deals for Developers" series, it has the potential for abuse.

Likewise, Mayor Gray earlier proposed a campaign finance bill tackling the same issue.

But all four — Gray, Evans, Bowser and Orange — are raising money through LLC donations this cycle as the law doesn't take effect until 2015.

"The rules that are in place right now are the rules that we are following, and we will continue to follow," says Chuck Thies, spokesman for the Gray campaign. "The mayor, however, will continue to be a fierce advocate for campaign finance reform."

But until the rules change in 2015, it looks like outside money and corporate donations will have an outsized impact on fundraising.

NPR

100 Years Ago, 'New Republic' Helped Define Modern Liberalism

Robert Siegel speaks with The New Republic editor Franklin Foer about the new book Insurrections of the Mind, a collection of seminal essays from the magazine's first 100 years.
NPR

Edible Packaging? Retailers Not Quite Ready To Ditch The Wrapper

To reduce waste, some enterprising companies are trying to roll out products that make the package part of the snack — edible packaging. But selling it to the retail market is trickier than it seems.
WAMU 88.5

Senator's Legislation Would Strip NFL Of Nonprofit Status

The Redskins' refusal to change its name has prompted the legislation from U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
NPR

The Kaypro II: An Early Computer With A Writer's Heart

Commentator Andrei Codrescu remembers the first word processor he had — the Kaypro II in the 1980s. Its inventor, Andrew Kay, died Aug. 28, at the age of 95.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.