District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray (D) and Attorney General Irvin Nathan introduced new campaign finance reform legislation today that would, among other things, ban registered lobbyists from bundling contributions.
The bill (PDF), which includes new prohibitions on contributions by government contractors and grant recipients, would increase penalties for campaign finance violations and give the attorney general's office new prosecutorial authority for misdemeanor violations. The proposal comes after a year of persistent ethics-related headaches for the District, from the resignation of two councilmembers to an ongoing investigation of Gray's 2010 campaign.
The proposed legislation would add on to an ethics reform package the District of Columbia Council passed last year. Campaign finance reform took center stage after a series of campaign finance-related scandals this year, including a guilty plea from a woman accused of funneling more than $650,000 to a shadow campaign supporting Gray in the 2010 election. Gray has never been charged with wrongdoing.