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Tax Breaks, Campaign Donations Linked in D.C.

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    Patrick Madden from WAMU explains the $641 million in subsidies to local developers. (Published Wednesday, May 22, 2013)

    The District of Columbia has awarded $1.7 billion in tax breaks to developers in the past decade, and more than a third of that total has gone to 10 developers that donated the most to city politicians' campaigns over that time, according to WAMU-FM.

    An investigation by WAMU-FM examined the political contributions of developers who've received subsidies from the city.

    WAMU found that groups receiving subsidies gave more than $2.5 million to political campaigns in the District. Almost half of the donors used multiple affiliates to contribute, and 19 of them had more than 10 affiliates. District law allows for businesspeople to make donations from multiple limited-liability corporations.

    The 10 developers that donated the most were part of teams that received $641 million in subsidies.