Bill would bar political donors from DC contracts

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Local,DC,Watchdog,Campaign Finance,Government Contractors

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the D.C. Council wants people who contribute to political campaigns to be barred from obtaining contracts or doing other business with the city.

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson says the bill he introduced Thursday will end the perception and practice of "pay to play" by District of Columbia contractors.

Mendelson says making those who donate to campaigns ineligible for city contracts would effectively "dry up contributions from those critics believe are seeking influence."

Contractors frequently donate to candidates for office in the district. Businessman Jeffrey Thompson, who until recently had the largest contract in city government, has donated to nearly all of the city's elected officials. Federal investigators are looking into Thompson's ties to Mayor Vincent Gray, including $650,000 in illicit funds that went to Gray's 2010 campaign.

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