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Dave Williams
With loophole, many campaign donors remain anonymous

A loophole in state campaign finance laws allowed contributors to Maryland candidates and political groups to pump $4.3 million into the 2010 election cycle while remaining anonymous — denying citizens a thorough look at the money that flows into politics. The State Board of Elections discourages candidates from using the "lump sum" label on campaign finance reports, and Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has taken issue with the practice. But it remains legal and has been used by Democrats and Republicans alike, enabling some local candidates to finance their races without disclosing large numbers of donors. Critics say that grouping contributions together rather...