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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.
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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
February 10, 2014
I recently read the "Campaign reform in action" (Feb. 5) editorial endorsing public financing of political campaigns, and I could not agree more. As a young person and relatively new voter, contending with the post-Citizens United election system is disheartening. I'm fresh out of college and work for a nonprofit, and with big elections coming up in Maryland and across the country, it's one of the first opportunities my peers and I will have to donate to candidates we support, albeit in a small way. Unfortunately, it feels like our contributions are meaningless pittance in comparison to multi-million dollar donations from special interests.
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
By Mona Charen | January 23, 1996
WASHINGTON -- One sure way to burnish your populist credentials these days is to come out for campaign-finance reform. A new book, ''The Buying of the President,'' published in association with the Center for Public Integrity, essentially argues that big monied interests -- not the voters -- decide who will be the nominees of the major political parties.This dovetails with the widespread view outside Washington that politics is a dirty game of money grubbing in which politicians sell their souls and their votes to the highest bidder.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,Washington Bureau of The Sun | April 1, 1991
WASHINGTON -- He might be head of the Maryland Democratic Party, but Nathan Landow likes to help fellow Democrats far from the state's borders.Mr. Landow and three other family members donated $10,500 -- mostly in $1,000 checks -- to candidates outside Maryland during the past two years, including contributions to Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., andSen. Albert Gore, D-Tenn., according to Federal Election Commission records.Meanwhile, Diana MacArthur, chairman of Dynamac Corp., a Rockville-based consulting and engineering company, spent $7,225 in out-of-state donations.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,SOURCE: Federal Election Commission, Institute for Southern Studies, Common Cause of MarylandStaff Writer | May 2, 1993
State lawmakers, who turned their backs on two out of thre bills intended to reform campaign financing in Maryland, have one more chance to act before they face the voters in 1994.The proposals, which died in the House Judiciary Committee, would have speeded up and clarified the reporting of contributions.The two legislators pushing reform measures seen by some as essential to increasing the attention that Maryland voters pay to many political campaigns -- Dels. Gilbert J. Genn and Dana Lee Dembrow, both Montgomery County Democrats -- say they will try again in the next General Assembly.
NEWS
By Susan Baer and Susan Baer,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | October 9, 1996
WASHINGTON -- As a group of University of Maryland students stood outside a Democratic fund-raiser here last week, waving signs to protest the influence of money, President Clinton glided by in his motorcade and waved warmly.Then he waltzed into the $2,000-a-plate dinner and helped his party collect $3 million.While politicians of all makes and models have given an approving nod to the public's cry for reforming the way politics is practiced -- especially how campaigns are financed -- there has been little action and even less talk of these issues on the campaign trail.
NEWS
By Nelson Schwartz and Nelson Schwartz,Contributing Writer | May 15, 1993
WASHINGTON -- EMILY's List -- the political action committee that helped elect dozens of women to Congress and vowed to change the way this city works -- is now using its considerable clout to protect itself from campaign reform.The group, which doled out more money to House and Senate candidates than any other PAC during the last election, is fighting for a loophole in the campaign finance reform legislation proposed by President Clinton.The battle is over "bundling," a technique allowing PACs to amass hundreds of individual checks into single, more impressive donations to a candidate.
TOPIC
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | December 8, 2002
NOW THAT Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has established himself as the premier fund-raiser in state history, the Democrats who control the General Assembly might have good reason to reconsider campaign finance reforms they have traditionally scorned. It could be a matter of political survival. The recent election showed that Ehrlich's finance wizards knew the loopholes in the law and were not shy about using them. The governor-elect's determination to build the state Republican Party is unquestioned, and his money machine is poised to pump money into challenges to incumbent Democrats in 2006.
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
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.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | April 7, 2013
With most of the heavy lifting behind them, Maryland legislators will convene Monday for a final frenzy of lawmaking before the 2013 General Assembly session adjourns at midnight. Bills that could affect every dog owner and every driver who talks on a cell phone still await approval, as does legislation that would craft tighter rules on speed cameras, legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes and put new restrictions on government speed camera programs. Most lawmakers said these remaining issues and scores more will likely find resolution by the end of the day. "We're in pretty good shape," House Speaker Michael E. Busch said as his chamber adjourned Saturday afternoon.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2013
The Senate gave its preliminary approval Tuesday to a comprehensive campaign finance reform bill after refusing to strip out a provision letting counties set up their own public-financing systems.  The measure, which has already passed the House, could receive a final vote as early as Wednesday. It would need to be reconciled with a slightly different House version.  Among other things, the legislation would raise campaign donation limits that haven't changed in two decades, curb giving through multiple corporate entities to evade those limits, increase reporting requirements and give the State Board of Elections new enforcement powers.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2012
A commission set up to advise the General Assembly how to reform its laws governing campaign financing edged closer to consensus on some key issues but has a lot of ground to cover at its final meeting scheduled for Sept. 27. The Commission to Study Campaign Finance Law reached a clear consensus on some enforcement issues -- extending the statute of limitations for misdemeanor violations of campaign finance laws from two years to three and allowing the State Board of Elections to issue civil citations for some less severe violations without having to refer matters to the State Prosecutors' Office.
NEWS
By William F. Zorzi Jr. and William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF | February 16, 1996
Looking beyond the March 5 congressional primary, Republican Patrick L. McDonough yesterday took advantage of a news conference on pending campaign finance reform to challenge Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, the 3rd District Democrat he probably will face in November.Mr. McDonough asked Mr. Cardin to sign a "campaign reform pledge" that includes several key provisions of the House's reform legislation known as the "Bipartisan Clean Congress Act," which the congressman is co-sponsoring.Mr. McDonough, a Republican from Perry Hall who is favored in a three-way primary to win the GOP nomination, asked Mr. Cardin, the presumed Democratic nominee, to agree to four campaign reform measures, similar to those included in the House legislation.
NEWS
By David G. Savage and David G. Savage,LOS ANGELES TIMES | September 8, 2003
WASHINGTON -- During the 1990s, television viewers knew an election was approaching when ads urged them to call Candidate X and tell him Y. In 1996, for example, Montana viewers were told: "Call Bill Yellowtail and tell him to support family values." This was the tag line for an ad that said Yellowtail, an environmentalist and a Democratic candidate for Congress, had taken "a swing at his wife," failed to pay child support and had been convicted of a felony. It was no surprise to anyone that Yellowtail lost the election.
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