An investigation by WAMU and the Investigative Reporting Workshop identified more than $5 million in political contributions from more than 300 businesses that have contracts with the District. Nearly $1 out of every $5 that current Council members’ campaigns have received came from a firm seeking a city contract.
Unlike the District, the federal government and 15 states have laws that restrict government contractors from making political contributions such as the ones filling D.C. lawmakers’ campaigns, according to reports by Public Citizen, which advocates for such laws.
These restrictions vary from one state to the next. Variations include the types of contractors banned from giving, the politicians banned from accepting contractors’ money and the individuals who are considered to be part of the contracting firm.
This story accompanied an investigative report produced through a partnership between WAMU and the Investigative Reporting Workshop, for which I contributed reporting and data analysis.