by Neil Gibson

In Washington, DC, embattled mayor Vincent Gray and several members of his 2010 mayoral campaign remain the subjects of a federal criminal investigation regarding the campaign’s alleged violations of city campaign finance laws. Among other things, Gray’s campaign faces a growing body of evidence suggesting attempts by staffers to circumvent the city’s $25 cap on an individual’s cash donations to local political campaigns. In particular, the Washington Post discovered this past July that members of Gray’s campaign had repeatedly sought to disguise solicited cash donations of over $25 by illegally using the donated cash to purchase money orders, whose per-individual contribution limit exceeds that of cash. With D.C. Municipal Regulations calling for the itemization and reporting of all campaign contributions exceeding $15, to surreptitiously transform cash into money orders would enable a campaign to report forbidden cash donations of over $25 as money orders, and thereby avoid statutory penalties for campaign finance violations. Continue reading