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D.C. Group Tries To Ban Corporate Campaign Contributions

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If D.C. activists seeking new campaign contribution restrictions succeed, members of the D.C. Council would no longer be able to accept campaign contributions from corporations.
Mallory Noe-Payne
If D.C. activists seeking new campaign contribution restrictions succeed, members of the D.C. Council would no longer be able to accept campaign contributions from corporations.

After months of scandal at city hall in D.C., good government advocates are trying to ban corporate campaign contributions to local candidates.   

The grass-roots group D.C. Committee to Restore Public Trust is hoping to put the proposal before voters as an initiative on this year's November ballot.

While the council passed an ethics reform package late last year, it stopped short of reigning in corporate donations.  Council member Tommy Wells introduced an amendment banning the practice of bundling -- that's when corporations use subsidiaries to make multiple donations and, in effect, skirt contribution limits -- but his amendment was shot down by his colleagues.

Now activists, with the support of Wells, are trying to put the issue before voters by banning corporate contributions all together. The city's elections board is holding a public hearing today on the proposed initiative to let residents raise any questions or concerns.

Changing the law through an initiative is not easy. Activists will need to gather 22,000 signatures in a short period of time to get the measure on the ballot.

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