Colorado gives limited liability companies preferential treatment over corporations for campaign finance purposes, despite the fact that they are virtually indistinguishable from closely held corporations for state law purposes. The limits on campaign gifts through LLCs aren’t well defined.
It turns out that Colorado is not alone on this score. Similar abuses have been reported in New York State. Maryland has also encounted this issue.For example: “campaign finance reports from Maryland’s State Board of Elections show at least 84 instances in which developers used LLCs to donate more than $40,000 to county executive officials.”
[I]nsurance company AIG has skirted New York’s campaign limit laws by making contributions through numerous “obscure subsidiaries,” with the contributions all drawn from the same AIG bank account. In New York, corporations may not contribute more than $5,000 a year to candidates running for state office, but through its various subsidiaries AIG was able to give slightly less than 20 times that amount.
In Colorado, some of the bigger abusers of the LLC loophole have been Mark D. Campbell, an Englewood real estate investment firm president, and Eric Bush, president of Bush Development Inc., a Denver real estate development firm.