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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

Is It All Greek To You? Thank Medieval Monks, And The Bard, For The Phrase

Ben Zimmer, language columnist at The Wall Street Journal, explains the origin of the phrase "it's all Greek to me" — and shares a few variants from other languages.
NPR

Do Try This At Home: 3 Korean Banchan (Side Dishes) In One Pot

If you've ever eaten at a Korean restaurant, you're used to the endless side dishes that come out with the meal. They're called banchan, and they're remarkably simple to make for yourself.
WAMU 88.5

Cutting Local Taxes in The District

The D.C. Council has taken steps to accelerate tax cuts for all income earners. They're part of a broader overhaul of the city's tax levels, but some council members argued there wasn't enough time for a rigorous debate about the new schedule. We explore the debate over cutting taxes for D.C. residents and how it affects the city's ability to pay for critical local services.

NPR

Reddit CEO Says Miscommunication Led To Blackout Protest

A user revolt briefly shut down the social site last week after a key employee was dismissed. Interim CEO Ellen Pao says the company has "apologized for not communicating better" with site moderators.