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Campaign Finance Reform

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NEWS
April 19, 2013
Your editorial, "Good government wins," (April 15) falls short of the mark. Bestowing kudos to the General Assembly for passing legislation that makes campaign finance more helpful in "restoring integrity to the political process" is, with all due respect, misguided. As you point out, these reforms are offset with other provisions which result in a process that facilitates throwing more money into the political arena instead of getting money out. The actions of the General Assembly with regard to campaign finance reform bring to mind the following analogy.
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NEWS
September 24, 2014
I agree that Montgomery County's campaign finance reform bill is a step in the right direction ( "An alternative to fat-cat politics," Sept. 22). In recent years, big-money donations have corrupted our elections and therefore made our political system less democratic. Never before has our nation seen such vast sums of cash flowing into politics. Money talks. The wealthy individuals and corporations throwing this money at candidates have their own agendas and make it hard for candidates to focus on average donors.
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NEWS
September 24, 2014
I agree that Montgomery County's campaign finance reform bill is a step in the right direction ( "An alternative to fat-cat politics," Sept. 22). In recent years, big-money donations have corrupted our elections and therefore made our political system less democratic. Never before has our nation seen such vast sums of cash flowing into politics. Money talks. The wealthy individuals and corporations throwing this money at candidates have their own agendas and make it hard for candidates to focus on average donors.
NEWS
May 22, 2014
For the third election in a row, a Baltimore County executive has the potential to play kingmaker in elections for other local offices, thanks both to what has been one of the most gaping loopholes in campaign finance law and the inability of the Republican Party to put up a credible candidate in what was once the key jurisdiction in its efforts at state-wide competitiveness. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has amassed at least $123,000 in an election slate he controls, all of which he can transfer to other slate members, of which there is presently only one: his favored candidate in a contested County Council primary.
NEWS
October 7, 2013
Campaign finance limits are back before the U.S. Supreme Court this week, and that's probably bad news for those who like good government. Think what this country needs is to give more political clout to the wealthy and those who seek special favors from government? Well, your wish may soon be granted. Tomorrow, the justices will hear arguments in Shaun McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission that challenge aggregate limits on individual campaign donations. Under current law, a donor can't give more than $48,600 to federal candidates during the two-year election cycle and no more than $123,200 when contributions to political committees are added to the mix. Those caps date back to the post-Watergate philosophy that there's a public interest in preventing corruption and the appearance of corruption.
NEWS
August 29, 1995
From Ross Perot to Common Cause, critics of the status quo in Washington seek lobbying and campaign finance reform laws by year's end. Mr. Perot said recently he would serve as chairman of a commission to recommend specific reforms to Congress.Congress needs an outside shove from some sort of commission. President Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich agreed on creating one with a handshake in New Hampshire back in June. The Senate passed lobbying reform legislation, but the House leadership says it probably won't get to it this year.
NEWS
By Christopher J. Peters | July 5, 2011
Democracy has been called a government of laws, not of men; but who makes the laws that govern democracy? Not you, me, or our fellow citizens — at least, not according to the five-justice conservative majority on the Supreme Court, who continue to chip away at our authority to govern ourselves. We must reclaim that authority soon or risk losing it forever. On June 27, the five conservative justices struck down an attempt by the state of Arizona to preserve fair and meaningful participation in its elections.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | April 10, 2014
This is a column about campaign finance reform. And your eyes glazed over just then, didn't they? That's the problem with this problem. Americans know that government truly of, by and for the people is unlikely if not impossible so long as the system is polluted by billions of dollars in contributions from corporations and individual billionaires. Half of us, according to Gallup, would like to see public financing of campaigns; nearly 80 percent want to limit campaign fund-raising.
NEWS
April 4, 2014
In the world of John G. Roberts Jr., it appears the only true case of government corruption is the "American Hustle" style of handing over a pile of money to a congressman in some smoke-filled backroom deal. Yet here in the real world, we've come to understand that corruption is a subtler evil where money buys access and preference, resulting in gifts not necessarily tied up with a bow under a tree, but just as real and valuable. Forty years ago, Americans were outraged by this potential assault on democracy, and so were enough members of Congress to support bipartisan limits on campaign donations.
NEWS
February 4, 2014
Conservative pro-business Republican Larry Hogan, a former appointments secretary under Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., and Del. Heather Mizeur, a liberal Democrat and ground-breaking advocate for gay rights who favors legalizing marijuana, wouldn't seem to have much in common politically, aside from the fact both are running for governor. But as of this week, they share an important common denominator — both have chosen to accept public financing of their primary campaigns. That's good news because it demonstrates the viability of public campaign financing in Maryland after a 20-year dry spell.
NEWS
December 4, 2013
Del. Heather Mizeur's decision to accept public financing for her gubernatorial campaign may be a transparent attempt to turn what is likely to be a massive fundraising deficit into some shred of advantage. So what? By being the first candidate since 1994 to do so, she breathes some life into a system that had seemed all but dead and gives some real momentum to efforts to make public financing more broadly available state-wide. Ms. Mizeur has styled her campaign as something of a giant public service project, and this may be the ultimate manifestation of that.
NEWS
October 7, 2013
Campaign finance limits are back before the U.S. Supreme Court this week, and that's probably bad news for those who like good government. Think what this country needs is to give more political clout to the wealthy and those who seek special favors from government? Well, your wish may soon be granted. Tomorrow, the justices will hear arguments in Shaun McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission that challenge aggregate limits on individual campaign donations. Under current law, a donor can't give more than $48,600 to federal candidates during the two-year election cycle and no more than $123,200 when contributions to political committees are added to the mix. Those caps date back to the post-Watergate philosophy that there's a public interest in preventing corruption and the appearance of corruption.
NEWS
April 19, 2013
Your editorial, "Good government wins," (April 15) falls short of the mark. Bestowing kudos to the General Assembly for passing legislation that makes campaign finance more helpful in "restoring integrity to the political process" is, with all due respect, misguided. As you point out, these reforms are offset with other provisions which result in a process that facilitates throwing more money into the political arena instead of getting money out. The actions of the General Assembly with regard to campaign finance reform bring to mind the following analogy.
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