Following multiple campaign-finance scandals, the resignation of two DC Council members, and the launch of an investigation of the campaign of DC Mayor Vincent Gray (D), the DC Attorney General and Mayor have unveiled a campaign finance reform proposal addressing government contractors and registered lobbyists. The proposal includes the following:

  • Pay to play: Individuals or companies with city contracts or grants exceeding $250,000 would be banned from making contributions for a certain period of time to any elected official or candidate involved in the approval process. Such individuals also would be prohibited from contributing to an entity in which an elected official or candidate holds a significant financial interest.
  • Increased penalties for campaign finance violations: Misdemeanor charges would result in a maximum penalty of $5,000 or six months in prison (not both); felony charges for a knowing violation of campaign finance laws would result in a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine, five years in prison, or both.
  • Additional prosecutorial authority: The DC Attorney General's office would have the same enforcement powers as the US attorney's office for misdemeanor violations.
  • Bundling ban: Registered lobbyists would be banned from bundling contributions, meaning that lobbyists may not forward or arrange to have forwarded contributions from one or more persons other than himself or herself to elected officials or candidates.
  • New reporting requirements would be imposed on campaign contributors.

The public comment period for the proposal closed September 17.