L.A. to Curb Developer Donations, But Some Fear Corporate Contributions Could Mask Source of Giving

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City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, left, speaks before the council, addressing Councilman David Ryu, center, ahead of a vote to restrict campaign contributions from real estate developers.(Credit: Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, left, speaks before the council, addressing Councilman David Ryu, center, ahead of a vote to restrict campaign contributions from real estate developers.(Credit: Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

Real estate developers pushing to get new projects approved at Los Angeles City Hall will be banned, under a new law, from giving campaign contributions to the council members vetting their projects.

But Los Angeles leaders have held off on another change that critics say is needed: Barring donors from giving through limited liability companies and other business entities that can make it difficult to tell who is donating.

Doing so, they argue, would prevent prohibited donors from using LLCs to camouflage their campaign contributions. Banned donors are not legally permitted to give through such entities, but it could be tougher for the city and watchdogs to detect them.

Los Angeles allows political donors to give not only as individuals, but also through companies and other groups. But some corporate entities don’t have to publicly reveal who owns them, leaving it unclear to the public who is giving the money. In some cases, donors have funneled money through such companies to evade restrictions on campaign contributions.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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