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Gov. O’Malley backs campaign finance reform measure

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley is supporting a bill that would close a campaign finance loophole.

O’Malley expressed his support Tuesday to close a loophole that would count limited liability corporations and individual owners as one contributor, if they are closely related to the same person or people. O’Malley wrote his support in a letter to House Ways and Means Chair Sheila Hixson.

Under current law, individuals and corporations can contribute $4,000 per candidate and $10,000 overall to all candidates during a four-year election cycle. But donors have been able to get around that rule, because LLCs are treated as separate entities. That means people have been able to contribute $4,000 per candidate and $10,000 overall for each LLC in which they have ownership.