Agenda Item 6B
September 30,2014
Action
MEMORANDUM
September 26, 2014
TO:
FROM:
County Council
Robert H. Drummer, Senio;
Legi~i~
Attorne
Josh Hamlin, Legislative
Attorne~
f;J
SUBJECT:
Action: Bill 16-14, Elections - Public Campaign Financing
Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee recommendation (3 - 0): approve the
Bill with amendments.
Bill 16-14, Elections
Public Campaign Financing, sponsored by Councilmembers
Andrews, EIrich, Berliner, Riemer, Council Vice President Leventhal, Council President Rice,
Councilmembers Navarro, Floreen, and Branson was introduced on February 4. A public
hearing was held on March 4 and Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee
worksessions were held on March 20 and September 15.
Bill 16-14 would:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
establish a Public Election Fund to provide public campaign financing for a
candidate for a County elective office;
regulate campaign finance activity of a candidate for County elective office who
voluntarily accepts public campaign financing;
authorize the Maryland State Board of Elections to administer and enforce the
public campaign financing system; and
provide for penalties for violations of the public campaign financing system.
Background
One of the provisions in the Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2013 (Chapter 419 of the
2013 Laws of Maryland), enacted by the General Assembly in its 2013 Session, authorizes the
governing body of a county to establish, by law, a public campaign fmance system for the
election of County Executive and County Council. A copy of this part of Chapter 419 is at © 15­
16.
Bill 16-14 would implement this authority by establishing a public campaign fmance
system for the election of County Executive and County Council. The goal of this Bill is to
encourage greater voter participation in County elections, increase opportunities for more
residents to run for office, and reduce the influence of large contributions from businesses,
political action groups, and other large organizations. Councilmember Andrews explained the
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purpose of the Bill in his January 29 memorandum at ©17 and summarized the components of
the Bill at ©18.
The Bill would designate the Maryland State Board of Elections to certify candidates and
generally administer the public campaign financing system. The Director of Finance would be
responsible for establishing a Public Election Fund and distributing the public contributions to
certified candidates. The Council would have to appropriate funds for the Public Election Fund.
A candidate would need to obtain a specific number of small contributions from a County
resident of between $5 and $150 in order to qualify for public funding. Each of these qualifying
contributions must be received within 365 days before the primary election and at least 45 days
before the primary. A candidate for Executive would need to collect at least 500 qualifying
contributions and an aggregate total of at least $40,000 to qualify. A candidate for At-Large
Councilmember would need 250 qualifying contributions and an aggregate total of at least
$20,000. A candidate for District Councilmember must collect at least 125 qualifying
contributions and an aggregate total of at least $10,000.
A candidate for Executive certified to receive public funding would be eligible for a
matching contribution of $6 for each dollar of a qualifying contribution for the first $50 of the
contribution; $4 for each dollar of the second $50; and $2 for each dollar of the third $50. The
match for a candidate for Councilmember would be $4 for each dollar of the first $50, $3 for
each dollar of the second $50, and $2 for each dollar of the third $50. Therefore, a candidate for
Executive who collects 3 qualifying contributions of $50 would receive $900 in matching funds
and a candidate who collects 1 qualifying contribution of $150 would receive $600 in matching
funds. The maximum public contribution for a candidate for Executive would be $750,000 for
the primary and $750,000 for the general election. The maximum public contribution for each
election for At-Large Councilmember would be $250,000 and the maximum public contribution
for each election for District Councilmember would be $125,000.
A candidate who voluntarily accepts a public contribution must pay for all campaign
expenses with the qualifying contributions, the matching public contributions, and a personal
loan from the candidate and the candidate's spouse of no more than $6000 from each.
Public Hearing
The Council's Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee held a public
hearing on March 4. Each of the speakers representing an organization supported the BilL
Finance Director Joseph Beach, testifying on behalf of the Executive, (©26), Kate Waybright,
Progressive Maryland (©27), Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, Common Cause Maryland (©28), Toni
Holness, ACLU of Maryland (©29), William Roberts, Montgomery County Young Democrats
(©30-32), Ronald Levin, Sierra Club of Montgomery County (©33-34), Brian Doherty,
Progressive Neighbors (©35), and Shelley Sherman, USAction (©36), each supported the Bill.
Tom Moore (©37-38), Marc Korman (©39-40), Evan Glass (©41), Dan Furmansky (©42-43),
Natali Fani-Gonzalez (©44), Armin Behr (©45), Beth Allen (©46), and Alan Hyman (©47-48)
also supported the Bill as individuals. Ralph Watkins (©49) opposed the Bill as an ineffective
use of taxpayer money.
Mr.
Watkins suggested public money be used for voter services to
explain candidates' positions on important issues, such as sending out a sample ballot with
position statements written by each candidate.
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March 20 GO Committee Worksession
Councilmember Andrews attended the worksession. Council President Rice and Council
Vice President Leventhal attended part of the worksession. Robert Hagedoorn, Finance,
represented the Executive Branch. Jared DeMarinis, Director of Candidacy and Campaign
Finance for the State Board of Elections answered questions from the Committee.
The Committee discussed the Bill and how the public campaign finance system would
work. The Committee asked the Council staff to work with Finance and the SBOE to answer the
Committee's questions concerning expenditures by independent political committees, slates,
funding, and how to limit matching dollars when funding is insufficient.
September 15 GO Committee Worksession
Councilmember Andrews and Council Vice President Leventhal attended the
worksession.
Council President Rice and Councilmember EIrich attended part of the
worksession. Robert Hagedoorn, Finance, represented the Executive Branch. Jared DeMarinis,
Director of Candidacy and Campaign Finance for the State Board of Elections answered
questions from the Committee.
The Committee discussed the Bill and how the public campaign fmance system would
work. The Committee approved the Bill (3-0) with the following amendments:
1.
prohibit loans from anyone other than the candidate or the candidate's
spouse;
require the Director of Finance
to
determine if there is enough money in
the Fund by July 1 before the primary;
establish an independent citizen committee to recommend funding;
direct complaints about receipt or use of contributions to the State Board
and require candidates to permit the Board to access their financial
records;
prohibit a participating candidate from joining a slate;
2 technical amendments;
permit digital signatures;
require CPI adjustments made to nearest $10 and only done every 4 years;
matching dollars after $100 would be matched at
2-1
after a CPI
adjustment;
require the Executive to submit the first regulation 180 days after the Act
takes effect;
prohibit a match for in-kind contribution;
delete the requirement that a qualifying contribution be obtained with
knowledge and approval of a candidate;
prohibit a candidate from pre-paying expenses with other funds for use
after certification unless permitted by regulation; and
permit qualifying contributions for matching from an individual instead of
a registered County voter, but require all qualifying contributions used for
certification to come from a County resident.
3
2;
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
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Issues
1.
What is the fiscal and economic impact of the Bill?
The Bill contairis 2 different cost generators. First, OMB estimated that administering
and reconciling the Public Election Fund would require
~
of the time of a contractual
Accountant/Auditor in the Department of Finance at a recurring cost of $33,700. See (©20-21).
The other cost generator would be the funds necessary to properly fund the Public Election Fund.
The actual cost of the public contributions distributed to candidates depends upon the number of
candidates participating and the success of those candidates in collecting qualifying
contributions. OMB estimated that if each candidate for County office in 2010 had participated
in public funding under this Bill and received the maximum publicly funded match for both the
primary and the general election, the Fund would have paid out $9,625,000. See (©25). The
maximum cost for the 2006 election cycle would have been $13 million.
It
is unlikely that an election cycle would reach the maximum cost estimated by OMB.
Also, public contributions, absent a special election, would only be distributed every
4th
year.
Finally, a candidate must return any unspent money in the candidate's publicly funded campaign
account to the Fund after the person is no longer a candidate. Despite these mitigating factors,
the public contributions distributed to candidates in an election cycle could be substantial.
Although this cost could be reduced by reducing the matching dollars in the Bill, the system
must provide enough matching funds to run a creditable campaign or candidates will be
discouraged from using it. Maryland Common Cause prepared an estimate of the matching
dollars that would have been paid to candidates in the June 2014 primary election for Executive
and Council if the Bill had been in effect and each candidate who qualified accepted a public
contribution. Common Cause estimated that the County would have paid approximately $2.5
million in matching funds in this primary election. See ©60-63.
The most responsible method of paying for these costs would be
to
appropriate money for
the Fund annually, beginning with the first year after the Bill is enacted.
2. Should the Bill prohibit loans from people or organizations other than the candidate or
the candidate's spouse?
The Bill does not pennit or prohibit a candidate from accepting a loan from someone else
that is greater than $150. The State Election Law pennits a candidate to accept a loan from
anyone in any amount with certain restrictions. The creditor must charge interest at the prime
rate or the lack of interest is considered a separate contribution. The loan must also have a
repayment schedule. If the candidate does not pay back the loan, it is considered a contribution.
See the SBOE Guidelines for Loans at ©50-51.
The purpose of Bill 16-14 is to restrict participating candidates to accepting only small
contributions from individuals and matching those contributions received from a County
resident. The candidate can only use money deposited in the candidate's publicly funded
campaign account for campaign expenses and must return any unspent money at the end of the
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election. A candidate would also be prohibited from using the public contribution received to
pay back the loan. Since failure to repay the loan makes it a contribution under State Election
Law, the result is likely to be the receipt of a contribution greater than $150.
In
order to protect
the integrity of the publicly funded system, the Bill should prohibit a loan to the candidate from
anyone other than the candidate or the candidate's spouse.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
prohibit loans from people or organizations other than the
candidate or the candidate's spouse. See lines 116-118 at ©6 and lines 285-286 at ©12.
3. How should the Director of Finance limit distributions if the amount available in the
Fund is insufficient?
The Bill (see lines 212-216 at ©1O) would require the Director to reduce each public
contribution to a certified candidate by the same percentage if there are insufficient funds.
Finance Director Joseph Beach suggested, in his testimony, that the Bill be amended to clarify
the order of priority of distributions if there are insufficient funds. Although the Bill would
require equal reductions, a candidate who was certified early in the process may receive more
funding per qualifying contribution than a candidate certified later after the Fund is drawn down.
One alternative is to establish a date certain before the primary for the Director to decide
if the amount in the Fund is sufficient to provide a full match to all candidates. With the primary
election currently scheduled for June, the full amount of appropriations to the Fund should be
known after the fiscal year budget resolution is approved in May of the preceding year. The
Director could estimate the maximum public distribution necessary based upon the number of
candidates who participated during the preceding election cycle and announce percentage
reductions, if any, on or before July 1 of the preceding year. Although this determination would
be speculative for the first election cycle after the Bill is enacted, it would become easier to
estimate after the system has been in operation for future election cycles.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
require the Director of Finance to determine if
there is enough money in the Fund by July 1 before the primary. See lines 209-212 at ©9.
4. Should the Bill establish an independent citizen committee to recommend an annual
appropriation for the Fund?
Although the Council establishes the salary for the Executive, Councilmembers, the
Sheriff, and the State's Attorney by law, the Council receives recommendations from an
independent citizen committee before enacting the law setting salaries for these elected officials.
A similar independent citizen committee could be established to recommend an appropriation to
the Fund each year to the Executive and the Council before the operating budget is approved.
Councilmember Navarro introduced an amendment to do this.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
amend the Bill to establish an independent citizen
committee to recommend to the Council an annual appropriation for the Fund. See lines 292-310
at ©12-13.
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5. Should the Bill direct complaints alleging violations of the law to the State Board of
Elections?
The Campaign Finance Refonn Act of 2013 requires that a County enacted public
campaign financing system be regulated by the State Board of Elections (SBOE). The SBOE is
responsible for investigating and enforcing the State campaign finance laws. Finance Director
Joseph Beach suggested, in his testimony, that the Bill be amended to clarify that all complaints
alleging illegal uses of the public contribution be filed with the independent SBOE.
An
incumbent County Executive running for reelection would have a fatal conflict of interest if
required to investigate and enforce these types of alleged violations by another candidate.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
direct complaints about receipt or use of contributions to
the State Board and require candidates to pennit the Board to access their financial records. See
lines
255-259
at
©11.
6. Is the Bill consistent with the proposed regulations of the State Board of Elections?
The SBOE adopted regulations governing the establishment and operation of a County
public campaign finance system. These regulations are at
©52-53.
The SBOE requires each
County to submit its public campaign finance law to the Board for approval. According to the
Board's staff, Montgomery County is the first county in the State to propose legislation
establishing a public campaign finance system in the State. The current regulation prohibits a
participating candidate from joining a slate. The Bill would pennit a participating candidate to
join a slate if each member of the slate is also a participating candidate.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
prohibit a participating candidate from joining a slate and
add a definition of a slate based upon State law. See lines
282-284
at
©12
and lines
92-93
at
©5.
7. Technical amendments.
Council staff recommends the following technical amendments:
Amend lines
75-77
at
©4
as/allows:
Publicly fUnded campaign account
means
~
campaign finance account established by a candidate
for the exclusive purpose of receiving qualifying contributions and
Amend lines
312-313
at
©13
as/allows:
Any
violation of this [[Section]] Article is
~
Class A civil violation. Each
day
~
violation
exists is
~
separate offense.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
approve the technical amendments. See line
75
at
©4
and
line
312
at
©
13.
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8. Digital signatures.
The Bill requires a contributor to sign a receipt for a qualifying contribution, but is silent
as to the acceptance of a digital signature. A solicitation through electronic mail or websites is
common in today's society. Although this can be resolved by regulation, the Committee may
want to consider expressly permitting a digital signature on the receipt. However, in today's
changing world of technology, the type of electronic signature permitted may be better addressed
by regulation.
Committee recommendation (3-0): expressly permit a digital signature using a method
approved by the Board. See lines 86-87 at ©5.
9. CPI adjustments.
The Bill provides for an annual CPI adjustment to the $150 contribution limit to the
nearest multiple of 5 cents. The Bill also provides for an annual
cpr
adjustment to the public
contribution limits for each office to the nearest multiple of 5 cents. This calculation will result
in a difficult
to
remember contribution limit stated in both dollars and cents. One possibility
would be to adjust the limits to the nearest multiple of $1 0 to keep to whole numbers.
Annual adjustments to the contribution limits could result in different contribution limits
for each year of the same election cycle. If the Committee decides that this adjustment should be
made only one time each election cycle to avoid confusion, the Bill could be amended to require
the CPI adjustment to be made only one time at the beginning of each election cycle.
Committee recommendation (3-0): adjust the limits to the nearest $10 and make the
adjustment one time every 4 years. See lines 121-128 at ©6 and 238-246 at ©1O-11.
10. Matching dollars after a CPI adjustment.
For County Executive, the Bill establishes a $6 match for each dollar of the first $50 of a
qualifying contribution, $4 for each dollar of the second $50, and $2 for each dollar of the third
$50. Although this works well when the qualifying contribution limit is $150, once it is adjusted
for an increase in the CPI, the math no longer works. Council staff recommends that the Bill be
amended
to
require the $2 match
to
cover the remaining amount of the contribution. Therefore,
if the limit is raised to $160, the first $50 would receive $300, the second $50 would receive
$200, and the remaining $60 would receive $120. The same change should be made for Council
candidates.
Committee recommendation (3-0): amend the Bill to require the $2 match to cover the
remaining amount of the contribution after $100. See lines 186 and 194 at ©8-9.
11. Deadline for the initial regulations.
The Bill requires the Executive to adopt regulations after consulting with the Board to
implement the Bill.
It
is important that the initial regulations are adopted by the Executive and
approved by the Council before candidates start collecting qualifying contributions
in
the next
election cycle. The Committee may want to consider adding uncodified language to the Bill
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requiring the Executive to submit the initial regulations to the Council on or before a date
certain.
Committee recommendation (3-0): require the Executive to submit the first regulation 180
days after the Act takes effect. See lines 314-316 at © 13.
12.
Should a qualified candidate be able to receive a match from qualifying donations
received before the candidate applies for public funding?
Many candidates solicit and receive campaign contributions before the one-year
qualifying period. The Bill would not pennit a certified candidate to receive a match for a
contribution of $150 or less received during the election cycle, but before the qualifying period.
The State law authorizing the County to enact a public campaign finance law requires the County
law to:
Prohibit a candidate who accepts public campaign financing from transferring
funds:
(I)
to the campaign finance entity established to finance the campaign for
county elective office from any other campaign finance entity established
for the candidate; and
(II)
from the campaign finance entity established to finance the campaign for
county elective office to any other campaignfinance entity;
See ©16.
Pursuant to State law, a qualifying contribution must
be
deposited directly into the
candidate's publicly funded campaign account in order to be eligible for a match and cannot be
transferred into this account from another account established by the candidate. Once the
candidate establishes a publicly funded campaign account and files a notice of intent with the
Board to seek public financing, the applicant candidate must cease all campaign finance activity
using any other authorized campaign committee affiliated with the candidate.
If the Committee wants to expand the opportunity to solicit and receive qualifying
contributions, the Bill could be amended to expand the qualifying period beyond one year. This
could be done by amending the defInition of the qualifying period on lines
88-91
of the Bill
as
follows:
Qualifying period
means the period of time beginning [[365 days before the primary]]
Januarv 1 following the last election for the offIce the candidate seeks and ending 45 days
before the date of the primary election. The qualifying period for
~
special election under
Section 16-17 must be set
Qy
Council resolution.
If the Council decides to expand the qualifying period, the Bill could also
be
amended to
restrict the distribution of matching funds to the one-year period before the primary election in
order to ensure that public funding is only used in the last year ofthe election cycle.
Some Committee members felt that restricting the qualifying period to one year would
benefit all candidates (and voters) by helping to limit the time a candidate needs to spend
soliciting contributions and campaigning.
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Committee recommendation (2-1, Councilmember Riemer wanted to extend the qualifying
period to 4 years):
do not extend the qualifying period.
13. Should in-kind contributions be eligible for matching funds?
The Bill is designed to encourage a candidate to solicit
small
dollar donations from
County voters by offering matching public funds for each qualifying contribution.
It
is unclear if
an in-kind contribution valued at less than $150 would also be eligible for a match. If the
Committee wants
to
prohibit a match for an in-kind contribution, it could be clarified in the Bill.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
prohibit a match for an in-kind contribution. See line 204
at©9.
14. Should the Bill expressly permit a candidate's designee to obtain a qualifying
contribution?
It
is unreasonable to require a participating candidate to personally obtain each qualifying
contribution. Council staff does not believe the Bill requires this.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
delete the requirement that a qualifying contribution be
obtained through efforts made with the knowledge and approval of the applicant.
See lines 83-85 at ©5.
15. How has public campaign financing worked in other States?
One of the goals of public campaign fmancing is to increase the participation of local
residents in elections by encouraging candidates to solicit small dollar contributions from local
residents. New York City has enacted a 6-to-1 match for the first $175 contributed by a city
resident to a City Council candidate who voluntarily participates in public funding. The Brennan
Center at New York University Law School and the Campaign Finance Institute jointly studied
the effect of the New York City public campaign finance law on the diversity of small donor
contributors. The study compared the contributors to City Council campaigns with the
contributors to State Assembly candidates where there is no public campaign financing. The
study found that small donors to City Council campaigns came from 90% of the City's census
blocks.
In
contrast, small donors to State Assembly campaigns came from only 30% of the
City'S census blocks. The Executive Summary for the Brennan Center Study is at ©54-59.
16. What are the various combinations of qualifying contributions that must be obtained
to be certified?
The Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) has developed a calculator that computes the
matching funds a candidate would receive under the provisions of Bill 16-14. Upon entering
data on the number and amount of contributions received by a candidate, the calculator returns
the total amount raised by the candidate and the amount of matching funds the candidate would
receive. The calculator performs different calculations for County Executive, At Large County
Council, and District County Council candidates based on the matching fund requirements
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specified in Bill 16-14. OLO can give a brief demonstration of the calculator at the Council
meeting.
17. Should a candidate be permitted to pre-pay expenses with other sources of income
before applying for certification?
The intent of the Bill is to prohibit a candidate from using campaign funds from a
campaign account other
than
the public campaign account set up to qualify for public funding.
However, the Bill does not expressly prohibit a candidate from pre-paying for goods and services
with funds from other sources before applying for certification. Using these pre-paid goods and
services after the candidate applies for certification would violate the spirit and intent of the Bill.
However, there are certain expenditures for services, such as creating a website, which may be
paid for before a candidate applies for certification yet still used after certification. The
Committee may want to provide for exceptions to this rule adopted by regulation.
Councilmember Riemer introduced an amendment to prohibit this practice.
Committee recommendation
(3-0): approve the Riemer amendment. See lines 250-254 at ©11.
18. Should the requirement that a qualifying contribution be from a registered voter of
the County be changed to a County resident or any individual?
The Bill would require all qualifying contributions to be received from a registered voter
of the County. The Committee discussed whether that was too restrictive. Opening up
qualifying contributions to any County resident may increase the likelihood that a candidate
would seek public funding since there are many County residents who are not eligible to vote or
who are not registered to vote. Opening up matches for small dollar contributions from any
individual would permit candidates to leverage small dollar contributions from outside the
County. However, expanding the pool of qualifying contributors beyond registered voters of the
County could result in public funding for a candidate that does not have significant support from
the people who are eligible
to
vote for the candidate. Matching contributions from non-County
residents could result in a candidate who has little support in the County receiving public
funding.
Jared DeMarinis told the Committee that the Board would not be able to verify County
residence without using the records for registered voters. Therefore, moving beyond registered
voters to County residents would result in no verification of residency before the money is
disbursed. The Board could still investigate a complaint that a candidate submitted a qualifying
contribution from a non-County resident after the fact. The Committee discussed this issue at
length.
Councilmember Riemer introduced an amendment that would permit a qualifying
contribution to come from any individual for matching, but require a candidate to receive the
required number of qualifying contributions for certification only from County residents.
Committee recommendation
(2-1,
Councilmember Branson opposed):
approve the Riemer
amendment. See lines 80 at ©4 and 130-142 at ©6-7.
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19. Should the $150 maximum contribution be in the aggregate for the entire 4-year
election cycle?
The Bill is unclear if the $150 maximum contribution applies in the aggregate to the
entire 4-year election cycle or only during the qualifying period. For
example~
can a candidate
accept a $150 contribution during the qualifying period from an individual who contributed $150
to the candidate the year before the qualifying period? Council staff believes the original intent
of the Bill was to apply the $150 maximum in the aggregate during the entire 4-year election
cycle. If the Council wants to clarify
this~
the Bill could be amended as follows:
Amend lines
78-79
at rf:J4 as follows:
QualifYing contribution
means
[[~]]
an aggregate donation in a 4-year election cycle of at
least $5.00 but no more than $150.00 in support of an applicant candidate that is:
Amend lines 207-208 at rf:J9 as follows:
A qualifying contribution must not exceed $150 from any individual in the aggregate
during [[an]) a 4-year election cycle.
Amend lines
279-281
at rf:J12 as follows:
®
accept
[[illJ
private [[contributionJ) contributions from an individual in an
aggregate greater than
~
or the maximum amount of
~
qualifying
contribution.:! as adjusted
Qy
Section 16-23(i1 during a 4-year election cycle:
20. Should a candidate have more than 15 days to return unspent money after an election?
After the last Committee
meeting~
Jared
DeMarinis~
Director of Candidacy and
Campaign Finance for the State Board of Elections, suggested to Council staff that
15
days may
not be a reasonable time period for a candidate to account for all expenses and return unspent
money after an election. Mr. DeMarinis suggested changing this to 30 days. This could be done
by the following amendment:
Amend lines
222-228
at rf:J10 asfollows:
ill
Within
[[1211
30 days after the County Board certifies the results of the primary
election,
~
participating candidate who is not certified to be on the ballot for the
general election must return any unspent money in the candidate?s publicly
funded campaign account to the Fund. Within
[[121]
3..0
days after the County
Board certifies the results of the general election,
£!
participating candidate must
return any unspent money in the candidate's publicly funded campaign account to
the Fund.
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Amend lines 260-262 at
©11
as follows:
@
Within
[~]
.3..Q
days after the County Board certifies the results of the general
election,
£!
participating candidate must return to the Fund any unspent money in
the candidate's publicly funded campaign account.
21. Should the Bill be amended to clarify that an applicant or participating candidate must
not pay for campaign expenses from any source other than the candidate's publicly
financed campaign account?
The intent of the Bill is to require a candidate who voluntarily enters the system to make
all expenditures for campaign expenses from the candidate's publicly funded campaign account.
Despite this intent, the Bill is subject to an interpretation that a candidate can use another source
of funds to pay campaign expenses. Councilmember Floreen may introduce the following
amendment to clarify this point:
Add a new paragraph after line
281
at
©12
asfollows:
(c)
must not pay for any campaign expense with funds from any camPWgn finance
account other than the candidate's publicly funded Call1paign account;
22. Should the Bill permit a participating candidate to solicit and accept qualifying
contributions up to the primary or the general election, instead of until 15 days before the
primary or general election?
The Bill would prohibit a participating candidate from soliciting or accepting a qualifying
contribution within 15 days before a primary or general election. The Board is unlikely to be
able to authorize a match during this IS-day period. However, a candidate may have incurred
campaign expenses that could still be paid through contributions and matching funds received
after the primary or general election. Councilmember Floreen may introduce an amendment to
permit contributions up to the primary or the general election
as
follows:
Amend lines 205-207 at
©9
as follows:
(£l
A
certified candidate may continue to collect gualifying contributions and receive
£!
matching public contribution
YQ
to
[[l2.
days before]]
£!
primary or
£!
general
election.
This packet contains:
Bill 16-14
Legislative Request Report
House Bill 1499 (excerpt)
Councilmember Andrews Memorandum
Summary of Bill
12
Circle
#
1
14
15
17
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Fiscal and Economic Impact statement
Testimony
Joseph Beach
Kate Waybright
Jennifer Bevan-Dangel
Toni Holness
William Roberts
Ronald Levin
Brian Doherty
Shelley Sherman
Tom Moore
Marc Korman
Evan Glass
Dan Funnansky
Natali Fani-Gonzalez
Armin Behr
Beth Allen
Alan Hyman
Ralph Watkins
SBOE Guidelines for Loans
SBOE Regulations
Brennan Center Study Executive Summary
Maryland Common Cause Cost Analysis
19
26
27
28
29
30
33
35
36
37
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F:\LAW\BILLS\1416 Elections - Public Campaign Financing\Action Memo.Doc
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Bill No.
16-14
Concerning: Elections
Public
Campaign Financing
Revised: September 23. 2014 DraftNo.18
Introduced:
February 4.2014
Expires:
August 4. 2015
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective:
-----c'------­
Sunset Date:
--,N,-"o",:n"",e-::--~
_ _ __
Ch, _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Councilmembers Andrews, EIrich, Berliner, Riemer, Council Vice President Leventhal,
Council President Rice, Councilmembers Navarro, Floreen, and Branson
AN
ACT to:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
establish a Public Election Fund
to
provide public campaign fmancing for a
candidate for a County elective office;
regulate certain campaign fmance activity of a candidate for County elective office
who voluntarily accepts public campaign fmancing;
authorize the Maryland State Board ofElections to administer and enforce the public
campaign fmancing system;
provide for penalties for violations of the public campaign fmancing system; and
generally amend the law governing elections for County elective offices.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 16, Elections
Section 16-17
By adding
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 16, Elections
Article IV, Public Campaign Financing
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface bracketsD
* * *
Heading or defined term
Added to existing law
by
original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law
by
original bill.
Added
by
amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill
by
amendment.
Existing law unaffected
by
bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL No. 16-14
1
Sec.!. Section 16-17 is amended as follows:
16-17. Council vacancy - election required.
2
3
4
*
(c)
applicable:
*
*
Except as otherwise provided in this Section, and to the extent
5
6
7
(1) The special election must be conducted in a manner consistent
with provisions of state law that govern special elections to fill
vacancies in the office of representative in Congress.
The
8
9
deadlines and time periods required under those provisions of
state law apply to a special Council election unless the Council,
acting under subsection (d) or subsection (e), expressly modifies
them.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (1), the general provisions of
state and County law that govern quadrennial elections for
Councilmembers apply to the special election conducted under
this Section.
(d) (1)
Within 30 days after a Council vacancy occurs, the Council must
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
adopt a resolution that:
(A) sets the dates of the special pnmary election and the
special general election;
19
20
21
ill)
sets the timeline for certification of
f!
candidate for public
campaign financing for the special primary election and
the special general election; and
[(B)]
(Q
22
23
24
25
takes any other action authorized by this Section or
state law.
If a Councilmember submits a resignation with a later effective date, the
vacancy occurs when the Council receives the resignation.
26
27
®
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BILL
No. 16-14
28
*
*
*
29
30
31
32
Sec. 2. Article IV of Chapter 16 is added as follows:
Article IV. Public Campaign Financing.
16-18. Definitions.
In this Article, the following terms have the meanings indicated:
~
~
33
34
Applicant candidate
means
person who is running for
covered office and
who is seeking to be
~
certified candidate in
~
primary or general election.
35
36
37
38
39
40
Board
means the Maryland State Board of Elections.
Campaign finance entity
means
~
political committee established under Title
II
ofthe State Election Law, as amended.
Certified candidate
means
~
candidate running for
~
covered office who is
certified as eligible for public campaign fmancing from the Fund.
Committee to Recommend Funding for the Public Election Fund
means the
Committee established in Section 16-27.
41
42
43
44
45
Consumer Price Index
means the Consumer Price Index for All Urban
Consumers: All items in Washington-Baltimore, DC-l\1D-VA-WV (CMSA),
as published
Qy
the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor
Statistics, or
~
successor index.
46
Contested election
means an election in which there are more candidates for an
office than the number who can be elected to that office. Contested election
includes
~
~
~
47
48
special election held to fill
vacancy in
covered office under'
49
50
Section 16-17.
Contribution
means the gift or transfer, or promise of gift or transfer, of money
or other thing of value to
~
campaign finance entity to promote or assist in the
promotion of the success or defeat of
~
candidate, political party, or question.
Contribution includes proceeds from the sale of tickets to
§;
51
52
53
campaign fund­
-0
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BILL
No. 16-14
54
raising event, as defined in Section 101 of the Election Law Article of the
Maryland Code, as amended.
County Board
means the Montgomery County Board ofElections.
Covered office
means the office of County Executive or County
Councilmember.
Director
means the Director of the Department of Finance or the Director's
designee.
Election cycle
means the primary and general election for the same term of
~
covered office.
Fund
means the Public Election Fund.
Noncertified candidate
means
who either:
~
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
person who is running for
~
covered office
65
66
67
ill
ill
chooses not to
.rum1Y
to be
~
certified candidate; or
applies to be
~
certified candidate but fails to qualify.
~
~
68
69
Non-participating candidate
means
office who is either
~
person who is running for
~
covered
noncertified candidate or
certified candidate who
70
71
72
declines to accept
~
public contribution.
Participating candidate
means
~
certified candidate who has received
~
public
contribution from the Fund for
~
primary or general election.
Public contribution
means money disbursed from the Fund to
candidate.
Publicly funded campaign account
means
~
73
74
75
~
certified
campaign finance account
76
77
established by a candidate for the exclusive purpose of receiving qualifying
contributions and spending funds in accordance with this Article.
Qualifying contribution
means
~
78
79
80
donation of at least $5.00 but no more than
$150.00 in support of an applicant candidate that is:
ill
made
Qy
[rn
registered voter of the County]] an individual;
- 4-
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BILL No. 16-14
81
ill
made after the beginning of the designated qualifying period, but
no later than 15 days before the election; and
82
83
84
85
ill
ill]]
[[obtained through efforts made with the knowledge and approval
of the applicant candidate; and
86
87
88
89
90
91
ill:
g receipt that identifies the contributor's name
and residential address and signed
ill:
the contributor directly or
acknowledged
by a digital signature using a method approved by the Board.
Qualifying period
means the period of time beginning 365 days before the
primary election for the office the candidate seeks and ending 45 days before
the date of the primary election. The qualifying period for g special election
under Section 16-17 must be set
ill:
Council resolution.
92
93
94
95
96
97
Slate
means a political committee of two ()r more candidates who join together
to conduct and pay for joint campaign activities.
16-19. Public Election Fund established.
(g)
The Director must create g Public Election Fund.
continuing and non-lapsing.
This Fund
IS
®
The Fund consists of:
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
ill
ill
all funds appropriated
to
it
ill:
the County Council;
any unspent money remaining in g certified candidate's publicly
funded campaign account after the candidate is no longer g
candidate for g covered office;
ill
ill
ill
any public contribution plus interest returned to the Fund
participating candidate who withdraws from participation;
all interest earned on money in the Fund; and
voluntary donations made directly to the Fund.
ill:
g
16-20. Collectinf! Qualifyinf! Contributions.
o
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BILL No. 16-14
107
108
109
ill
Before raising any contribution governed
1:?y
this Article, an applicant
candidate must:
ill
ill
file notice of intent with the Board on or before April
12.
of the
110
111
112
113
114
year of the election on
~
form prescribed
1:?y
the Board; and
establish
~
publicly funded campaign account for the candidate
for the purpose of receiving contributions and spending funds in
accordance with this Article.
®
Other than
~
contribution from an applicant candidate or the candidate's
spouse, an applicant candidate must not accept
~
qualifying contribution
from an individual greater than $150.
An
applicant candidate must not
accept a loan from anyone other than the candidate or the candidate's
spouse.
An
applicant candidate or the candidate's spouse must not
contribute or lend
~
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
combined total of more than $6000 each to the
candidate's publicly funded campaign account.
f9)
[[Annual]]
Consumer
Price
Index
adjustment.
The
Chief
Administrative Officer must adjust the contribution limit established in
Subsections
M
effective July
L
[[2016]] 2018, and July
1
of each
subsequent fourth year,
1:?y
the annual average increase, if any, in the
Consumer Price Index for the previous 4 calendar [[year]] years. The
Chief Administrative Officer must calculate the adjustment to the
nearest multiple of
[~
cents]] 10 dollars, and must publish the amount
of this adjustment not later than March
1
of each fourth year.
16-21. Requirements for Certification.
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
ill
To qualify as
~
certified candidate:
ill
~
candidate for Executive must collect from County residents at
least:
(A)
500 qualifying contributions; and
o
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BILL
No.
16-14
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
145
LID
ill
~
an aggregate total of$40,000;
candidate for At-Large Councilmember must collect from
County residents at least:
(A)
250 qualifying contributions; and
an aggregate total of $20.000; and
for District Councilmember must collect from County
LID
ill
~
candidate
residents at least:
(A)
125 qualifying contributions; and
an aggregate total of$10,000.
LID
ili}
An applicant candidate must deposit all qualifying contributions
received into the candidate's publicly funded campaign account. An
applicant candidate must deliver to the Board
~
fQJ2Y
of
~
receipt for
each qualifying contribution.
146
147
W
@
A candidate must
qualifying period.
illmlY
to the Board for certification during the
148
149
The Executive, after consulting with the Board, must adopt regulations
under Method
1
that specify:
150
151
ill
ill
ill
.8:)
how and when receipts for qualifying contributions from
contributors must
be
submitted to the Board;
the documents that must be filed with the Board for certification;
the allowable uses of money in
account; and
other policies necessary to implement this Article.
~
152
153
154
publicly funded campaign
155
156
157
158
16-22. Board Determination.
W
The Board must certify an applicant candidate ifthe Board fmds that the
candidate has received the required number of qualifying contributions
159
(j)
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BILL
No. 16-14
160
161
162
163
164
165
166
167
168
169
170
171
172
173
174
175
176
177
178
179
180
181
182
183
184
185
186
and the required aggregate total dollars for the office no later than 10
business days after receiving:
ill
§: declaration from the candidate agreemg to follow the
regulations governing the use of§: public contribution; and
ill
§: campaign finance report that includes:
(A)
§: list ofeach qualifying contribution received;
§: list of each expenditure made
Qy
the candidate during the
qualifying period; and
(ill
(Q
the
receipt associated with each contribution and
expenditure.
(hl
The decision
Qy
the Board whether to certify §: candidate is final.
A candidate may submit only one application for certification for any
election.
W
@
If the Board certifies §: candidate, the Board must authorize the Director
to disburse §: public contribution to the candidate's publicly funded
campaign account.
16-23. Distribution of Public Contribution.
ill
The Director must distribute §: public contribution from the Fund to each
certified candidate in §: contested election as follows:
ill
for §: certified candidate for County Executive, the matching
dollars must equal:
(A)
~
for each dollar of §: qualifying contribution received for
the first $50 of each qualifying contribution;
(ill
~
for each dollar of
~
qualifying contribution received for
the second $50 ofeach qualifying contribution; and
(Q
$2 for each dollar of §: qualifying contribution received for
the
[[third
$50]] remainder ofeach qualifying contribution.
®
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BILL
No. 16-14
187
188
189
190
191
192
193
194
195
196
197
198
199
200
ill
for
f!
certified candidate for County Council, the matching dollars
must equal:
CA)
$4 for each dollar of
f!
qualifying contribution received for
the first $50 of each qualifying contribution
@
$3 for each dollar of
f!
qualifying contribution received for
the second $50 of each qualifying contribution; and
(Q
$2 for each dollar of
f!
qualifying contribution received for
the [[third $50]] remainder of each qualifying contribution.
ill
The total public contribution payable to
f!
certified candidate for
either
f!
primary or
f!
general election must not exceed:
CA)
$750,000 for
f!
candidate for County Executive;
$250,000 for
f!
candidate for At Large Councilmember;
and
@
(Q
(Q)
$125,000 for
f!
candidate for District Council member.
201
202
203
The Director must not distribute matching dollars from the Fund to
f!
certified candidate for:
204
205
ill
ill
(9
f!
contribution from the candidate or the candidate's spouse; or
an in-kind contribution ofproperty, goods, or services.
A certified candidate may continue to collect qualifying contributions
and receive
f!
matching public contribution
yp
to 15 days before
f!
primary or
f!
general election.
A qualifying contribution must not
206
207
208
209
210
exceed $150 from any individual during an election cycle.
@
On or before July 1 of the year preceding the primary election. the
Director must determine if the amount in the Fund is sufficient to meet
the maximum public contributions reasonably expected to be required
during the next election cycle. If the Director determines that the total
amount available for distribution in the Fund is insufficient to meet the
211
212
213
@
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BILL
No. 16-14
214
215
216
allocations required
by
this Section, the Director must reduce each
public contribution to
£!
certified candidate
by
the same percentage of
the total public contribution.
217
218
219
W
Within
J.
business days after the County Board certifies the results ofthe
primary election, the Board must authorize the Director to continue to
disburse the appropriate public contribution for the general election to
each certified candidate who is certified to
be
on the ballot for the
general election.
220
221
222
223
224
ill
Within
U
days after the County Board certifies the results of the
primary election,
£!
participating candidate who is not certified to be on
the ballot for the general election must return any unspent money in the
candidate's publicly funded campaign account to the Fund. Within
225
226
227
U
days after the County Board certifies the results of the general election,
£!
participating candidate must return any unspent money in the
228
229
candidate's publicly funded campaign account to the Fund.
(g)
A certified candidate nominated
by
petition may receIve
contribution for the general election if:
~
public
230
231
232
233
ill
ill
(h)
the candidate's nomination is certified
by
the County Board; and
the candidate did not participate in
~
primary election.
~
A participating candidate must submit
receipt for each qualifying
234
235
contribution to the Board to receive
~
public contribution. The Director
must deposit the appropriate public contribution into
candidate's publicly funded campaign account within
after the Board authorizes the public contribution.
~
participating
days
236
237
J.
business
The
238
239
ill
[[AnnualJ]
Consumer
Price
Index
adjustment.
Chief
Administrative Officer must adjust the public contribution limits
established in Subsection (a)(3) and the qualifying contribution limit
240
®
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BILL No. 16-14
241
242
243
244
245
24(j
247
248
249
250
251
252
253
254
255
256
257
258
259
260
261
262
263
264
265
266
established in Subsection
{£1
effective July
1,.
[[2016]] 2018, and July
1
of each subsequent fourth year, by the annual average increase, if any,
in the Consumer Price Index for the previous
~
calendar [[year]] years.
The Chief Administrative Officer must calculate the adjustment to the
nearest multiple of
[[2.
cents]] 10 dollars, and must publish the amount
of this adjustment not later than March
1
of each fourth year.
16-24.
Use of Public
Contribution.
.cru
A participating candidate may only use the qualifying contributions and
the matching public contribution for
~
primary or general election for
expenses incurred for the election. A participating candidate must not
pay in advance for goods and services to
be
used after certification with
non-qualifying contributions received before applying for certification
unless the expenditure is permitted by Executive regulation adopted
uruLer Section 16-21.
®
(£}
A complaint alleging an impermissible receipt or use of funds by a
participating candidate must be filed with the Board.
A participating candidate must provide the Board with reasonable
access to the financial records of the candidate's publicly funded
campaign aGcount. upon request.
(dJ
Within
l.2.
days after the County Board certifies the results of the
~
general election,
participating candidate must return to the Fund any
unspent money in the candidate's publicly funded campaign account.
16-25. Withdrawal.
.cru
A certified candidate may withdraw an application for
~
public
contribution any time before the public contribution is received by the
candidate's publicly funded campaign account.
@
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BILL NO. 16-14
267
268
269
270
271
272
273
274
275
276
277
278
279
280
281
282
283
284
285
286
287
288
289
290
291
292
Qi}
A participating candidate may withdraw from participation if the
candidate:
ill
ill
files
~
statement of withdrawal with the Board on
~
fonn
prescribed
Qy
the Board; and
repays to the Fund the full amount of the public contribution
received, together with the applicable interest established
Qy
regulation.
16-26. Applicant and Participating Candidate Restrictions!
An applicant candidate or
~
participating candidate must not:
!ill
accept
~
private contribution from any group or organization, including
~
political action committee,
~
corporation,
~
labor organization, or
~
State or local central committee of
~
political party;
(Q)
accept
~
private contribution from an individual greater than $150, or
the maximum amount of
Section 16-23(i);
~
qualifying
contribution~
as adjusted
Qy
ill
be
~
member of
~
slate in any election in which the candidate receives
~
public contribution [[unless all members of the slate are participating
candidates]]~
[[Qr]]
@
aCcent a loan from anyone other than the candidate! or the candidate's
sQouse:or
(sU
transfer funds:
ill
ill
to the candidate's publicly funded campaign account from any
other campaign finance entity established for the candidate; and
from the candidate's publicly funded campaign account to any
other campaign [fiance entity.
16-27. Committee to Recommend Funding for the Public Election Fund
@
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BILL
No.
16-14
293
294
295
296
297
298
299
300
301
W
The Committee to Recommend Funding for the Public Election Fund
consists of 5 members appointed by the County Council for a four-year
term beginning on May 1 of the first year of the Council's term of
office. A vacancy occurring before the end of a term must be filled by
aopointment for the remainder of the term. The Council must ask the
County Executive
to
recommend within 30 days one or more qualified
applicants before making any appointment.
au
W
UU
Each member must be a resident of the County while serving on the
Committee. No more than 3 members must be of the same political
party. The Council must designate the chair and vice-chair.
Each member must serve without compensation. but may be reimbursed
for reasonable expenses.
The Committee must issue a report to the Council on or before March
1
gf each year estimating the funds necessary to implement the public
campaign finance system and recommending an appropriation to the
Public Election Fund for the following fiscal year.
302
303
304
305
306
307
308
309
310
311
W
The Council Administrator must provide staff support for the
Committee.
16-28. Penalties.
312
313
~
Any violation of this [[Section]] Article is
~
Class A civil violation. Each day
violation exists is
~
separate offense.
314
315
Sec. 2. Initial Regulations.
Th~
County Executive must submit the initial
regulations required by Subsection 16-21(d) to the Council for approval not later than
180 days after this Act becomes law.
Sec.
3.
Effective Date.
This
Bill
takes effect on January
L
2015.
316
317
@
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 16-14
Elections
-
Public Campaign Financing
DESCRIPTION:
Bill 16-14 would establish a Public Election Fund to provide public
campaign financing for a candidate for County Executive and County
Council. The Bill would also regulate the campaign finance activity
of a candidate who voluntarily accepts public campaign finance.
State law recently authorized a County to enact a public campaign
finance law for the election of County Executive and County
Council. Under current law, a candidate for County elective office,
who must raise significant amounts of private donations, will often
need large donations from businesses and other large organizations to
run a campaign.
The goal is to encourage candidates to seek out large numbers of
small donations from County residents and open opportunities for
more people to run for County elective offices.
State Board of Elections, Finance, County Attorney
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be researched.
Robert H. Drummer, 240-777-7895
Not applicable.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
Class A civil violation.
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HOUSE BILL 1499
(excerpt)
13-505.
SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, THE
GOVERNING BODY OF A COUNTY MAY ESTABLISH, BY LAW, A
SYSTEM OF PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING FOR ELECTIVE
OFFICES IN THE EXECUTIVE OR LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES
OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT.
(2)
WHEN ESTABLISHING A SYSTEM OF PUBUC CAMPAIGN
FINANCING FOR ELECTIVE OFFICES IN THE EXECUTIVE OR
LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT, THE
GOVERNING BODY OF A COUNTY SHALL SPECIFY THE
CRITERIA THAT IS TO BE USED TO DETERMINE WHETHER AN
INDIVIDUAL IS ELIGIBLE FOR PUBLIC CAMPAIGN
FINANCING.
(B)
A
SYSTEM OF PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING ENACTED UNDER
SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION:
(1)
SHALL PROVIDE FOR PARTICIPATION OF CANDIDATES IN
PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING ON A STRICTLY VOLUNTARY
BASIS;
(2)
MAY NOT REGULATE CANDIDATES WHO CHOOSE NOT TO
PARTICIPATE IN PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING;
(3)
SHALL PROHIBIT THE USE OF PUBLIC CAMPAIGN
FINANCING FOR ANY CAMPAIGN EXCEPT A CAMPAIGN FOR
COUNTY ELECTIVE OFFICE;
(4)
SHALL REQUIRE A CANDIDATE WHO ACCEPTS PUBLIC
CAMPAIGN FINANCINGTO:
(A)
(1)
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ESTABLISH A CAMPAIGN FINANCE ENTITY SOLELY
FOR THE CAMPAIGN FOR COUNTY ELECTIVE OFFICE;
AND
(II) USE FUNDS FROM THAT CAMPAIGN FINANCE ENTITY
ONLY FOR THE CAMPAIGN FOR COUNTY ELECTIVE
OFFICE;
(5)
SHALL PROHIBIT A CANDIDATE WHO ACCEPTS PUBLIC
CAMPAIGN FINANCING FROM TRANSFERRING FUNDS:
(I) TO THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE ENTITY ESTABLISHED TO
FINANCE THE CAMPAIGN FOR COUNTY ELECTIVE
OFFICE FROM ANY OTHER CAMPAIGN FINANCE
ENTITY ESTABLISHED FOR THE CANDIDATE; AND
(II) FROM THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE ENTITY ESTABLISHED
TO FINANCE THE CAMPAIGN FOR COUNTY ELECTIVE
OFFICE TO ANY OTHER CAMPAIGN FINANCE ENTITY;
(6)
SHALL PROVIDE FOR A PUBLIC ELECTION FUND FOR
COUNTY ELECTIVE OFFICES THAT IS ADMINISTERED BY THE
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER OF THE COUNTY; AND
(7)
SHALL BE SUBJECT TO REGULATION AND OVERSIGHT BY
THE STATE BOARD TO ENSURE CONFORMITY WITH STATE
LAW AND POLICY TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE.
(C)
A
SYSTEM OF PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING ENACTED UNDER
SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION MAY:
(1)
PROVIDE FOR MORE STRINGENT REGULATION OF
CAMPAIGN FINANCE ACTNITY BY CANDIDATES WHO
CHOOSE TO ACCEPT PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING,
INCLUDING CONTRIBUTIONS, EXPENDITURES, REPORTING,
AND CAMPAIGN MATERIAL, THAN IS PROVIDED FOR BY
STATE LAW; AND
(2)
PROVIDE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES FOR
VIOLATIONS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE
25A,
§
5
OF
THE CODE.
(I)
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
PHIL ANDREWS
COUNCILMEMBER - OISTRICT 3
MEMORANDUM
January 29, 2014
TO;
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Councilmembers
Phil Andrews, Councilmember
/J
.-
~
,
j
Public financing option for County Council and Executive candidates
Since 2001, the County Council has urged the General Assembly to provide Montgomery
County with the authority to adopt campaign fmance reforms. In 2013, the General
Assembly adopted a bill that enables counties to provide for the option of public
financing for county elections beginning with the 2015-18 election cycle. Participation by
candidates would be voluntary.
The goals ofBil116-14, which is attached, are to reduce the influence of big money in
County elections, encourage more voters to participate in County elections, and to expand
opportunities for more candidates to run for County office who do not have access to big
contributions from interest groups or individuals. The bill provides strong incentives for
candidates to seek small, individual contributions from County voters.
A summary ofthe bill's major provisions is attached.
The bill is scheduled for introduction on February 4. Please let me know if you would
like to co-sponsor the bill or have any questions or suggestions. I look forward to
working with you on this measure..
100
MARYLAND AVENUE, 6TH FLOOR' ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
20850
2.40-777-7906
TTY
240-777-7914
FAX
240-777-7989
COUNCILMEMBER.ANDREWS@MONTGOMERYCOUNTYMD.GOV
'f,
PFUNTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
@
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SUMMARY OF
Campaign Finance Reform
Public Election Fund Established
BILL16~14
Requirements for Qualifying
• Notice of Intent must be filed by a candidate prior to collecting qualifying money
• Publicly funded campaign account must be established
• Qualifying contribution - a donation of more than $5.00 but no more than $150 from a
registered voter in Montgomery County·
• Qualifying number of contributions - County Executive - 500; Council At-large - 250
Council- District - 125
Qualifying dollar threshold-$40,OOO County Executive; $20,000 Council At-large; $10,000
Council District
• Qualifying timing - beginning 365 days before the primary election and ending 45 days before
the primary election
Public Matching Fund Ratios
Matching dollars - County Executive - $6 for each dollar of a qualifying contribution received for
the first $50; $4 for each dollar for the second $50; $2 for each dollar for the third $50
• Matching dollars - County Council- $4 for each dollar for the first $50; $3 for each dollar for the
second $50; $2 for each dollar for the third $50
Maximum Limits on Public Funds to a Candidate
• County Executive - $750,000; Council At-Large - $250,000; Council District - $125,000 (matching
dollars are not distributed for self/spouse contributions)
• Funding for system from general revenues
Allowable Contributions for Participating Candidates
• System is voluntary for candidates, but candidates who participate must limit their fundraising
to individual contributions of $150 or less except for contributions from the candidate or
spouse, which are limited to $6,000 each. No PAC money, labor organization, corporate money.
Application to Slates
If a candidate is a member of a slate, all slate members must partiCipate in public funding
system for anyone ofthem to qualify
Other Provisions
• Unspent money must be returned to the fund
• Spending and contribution limits would be adjusted for inflation
Effective Date
• System would be effective beginning for the 2015-18 election cycle
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-'
'-\
\.p' \
~\
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
MEMORANDUM
March 6, 2013
TO:
FROM:
Craig Rice, President, County Council
Jennifer
A
Hughes, Director,
Joseph F. Beach, Director,
Departm~n~e
Offi:f~nt
and Budget
SUBJECT:
Council Bill 16-14, Elections - Public Campaign Finance
Please find attached the Fiscal and Economic Impact Statement for the above­
referenced council bill.
JAH:fz
c: Bonnie Kirkland, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Lisa Austin, Offices of the County Executive
Joy Nurmi, Special Assistant to the County Executive
Patrick Lacefield, Director, Public Information Office
Joseph F. Beach, Director, Department of Finance
Robert Hagedoorn, Department of Finance
Margaret Jurgensen, Election Director, Board of Elections
Rachel Silberman, Office of Management and Budget
Blaise Defazio, Office of Management and Budget
Alex Espinosa, Office
of
Management and Budget
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Fiscal Impact Statement
COBDeH
Bill
16-14, Elections - Public Campaign
Financinl
I. Legislative Summary:
The proposed legislation would:
-
-
-
-
establish a public campaign finance system for County Executive and
County Council elections;
regulate the campaign finance activity of candidates voluntarily accepting
public campaign finance;
designate the Maryland State Board of Elections to certify candidates and
administer the public campaign financing system;
direct the Department of Finance to establish a Public Election Fund and
distribute public contributions to certified candidates; and
- provides for penalties for violations of
the
public campaign system.
2.
An
estimate of changes in County revenues and expenditures regardless of
whether the revenues or expenditures are assumed in the recommended or
approved budget
Includes source of infonnation, assumptions, and
methodologies
used.
The bill would have no impact on County revenues. County expenditures will be
limited by the Public Election Fund balance. Demand for public campaign
financing is indeterminable at this time. Costs are estimated to
be
$33,700 to
administer and reconcile the Public Election Fund representing 0.5 contractual
FTE in the Department of Finance.
3. Revenue and expenditure estimates covering at least the next 6 fiscal
years.
County expenditures would be limited by the Public Election Fund balance.
Demand for public campaign Financing is indetenninable at this time.
Expenditures
to
support Public Election Fund administmtion would
be $33.700
in
FYl8 and FY19 to support the June 2018 primary and November 2018 general
elections.
4.
An
actuarial analysis through the entire amortization period for each bill that
would affect retiree pension or group insurance costs.
The bill would not affect retiree pension or group insurance costs.
S:\ADMNSTR\FEIS\Legislation\FY I 4\BilI 16-14, Elections· Public Campaign
Financing\BillI6-14, Elections - Public Campaign Financing.doc
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5. Later actions that may affect future revenue and expenditures ifthe biIl authorizes
future spending.
Not applicable.
6. An estimate ofthe staff time needed to implement the bill.
The Department of Finance
reports that
a 0.5 contractual
FfE
Accountant/Auditor
II during the election cycle would be required to administer and reconcile the
Public Election Fund, estimated at $33,700.
7. An explanation ofhow the addition of new stafirespoll8ibilities would affect
other duties.
As stated above. the Department ofFinance estimates that a 0.5 contractual
FfE
Accountant/Auditor II will be required to administer and reconcile the Public
Election fund. Staff respoll8ibilities outside the election cycle would be absorbed
within the existing personnel complement.
8.
An
estimate ofcosts when an additional appropriation is needed.
Not applicable.
9. A description of any variable that could affect revenue and cost estimates.
Factors affecting demand for public campaign financing include: the frequency of
special elections, the number oflocal candidates choosing to participate
in
public
campaign financing, the number of candidates running for contested seats. and the
ability
ofparticipating candidates to raise funds under the public campaign
financing system. The existence ofpublic campaign financing could result in an
increase in candidates for local public office. resulting in an increase in demand
for public campaign financing funds.
10. Ranges ofrevenue or expenditures
that
are uncertain or difficult to project.
While program expenditures are limited by the Public Election Fund balance,
demand for public campaign financing could range from SO in election cycles
S:\ADMNSTR\FEIS\Legislation\FY14\Bill16-14, Electioll8
~
Public Campaign
Financing\Bill 16-14, Elections - Public Campaign Financing.doc
@
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.'
where no candidates participate to $13.0 million (based on the 2006 election
cycle) assuming all eligible candidates participate and are able to raise the
maximum match (attachment
I).
11.
If a bill is likely to have no fiscal impact. why
that
is the case.
Not applicable.
12.
Other fiscal impacts or comments.
None.
13. The following contributed to and concurred with this analysis:
Joseph F. Beach and Robert Hagedoom, Department of Finance; Margaret
Jurgensen. Board of Elections; and Rachel Silbennan and Jed Millard, Office of
Management and Budget.
Date
S:\ADMNSTR\FEIS\Legislation\FYI4\Billl6-14. Elections - Public Campaign
Financing\Bill 16-14, Elections - Public Campaign Financing.doc
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:
Eeonomic Impact Statement
BiD 16-14, Elections - Publie Campaign Finaneing
Background:
This legislation would:
• Establish a Public Election Fund
to
provide public campaign financing for a candidate for
a County elective office;
• Regulate campaign finance activity of a candidate for County elective office who
voluntarily accepts public campaign financing;
• Authorize the Maryland State Board of Elections
to
administer and enforce the public
campaign financing system; and
• Provide for penalties for violations of the public campaign financing system.
Bill 16·l4 (Bill) would require the Director, Department of Finance, to establish the Public
Election Fund
and
to distribute the public contributions to certified candidates. The County
Council would appropriate funds for the Public Election Fund (Fund). The Bill also provides a
distribution formula for the public contribution from the Fund.
1. The sourees of information, assumptions, and methodologies used.
The Office of Management and Budget provided an analysis of the amount ofpublic funds that
may potentially be spent for public campaign financing based on the nwnber of contested
elections in prior primary and general elections.
2. A description of any variable that could affect the economic impact estimates.
• The nwnber ofcertified candidates
in
contested elections in both the primary and general
elections.
• The
total
amount appropriated and spent in an election cycle by the County Council
• The total amount ofqualifying contributions collected and spent by a certified candidate
3. The BiU's positive or negative effect,
if
any on employment, spending, saving,
investment, incomes, and property values in the County.
Based on an analysis provided by the Office ofManagernent and Budget, the total public
contribution could have
been
as high as $13 million based on the number of contested elections
in 2006. The actual amount will vary based on a nwnber ofvariables including the number of
certified candidates in contested elections.
The Bill will provide an increase in business income to those companies that provide campaign
consulting services and materials. However, because the funds are appropriated by the County
Council, there is an opportunity cost such that the amount of funding appropriated by the County
Council could offset or reduce spending for public programs. In addition, the additional public
funded expenditures may offset what were previously privately funded campaign expenditures.
Page 1 of2
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Economic Impact Statement
Bill 16-14, Elections - Publie Campaign Financiug
Because of these potential offsetting factors,
it
is
uncertain whether the bill will have a material
net economic effect.
4.
If
a
Bm
is
likely to have no economic impact, why
is
that the cue?
Please see paragraph #3
5. The following contributed to and conculTed with this analysis: David Platt and Rob
Hagedoom. Finance; Rachel Silberman, Office of Management and Budget.
Page 2 of2
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."
Modeline Demand
Bill 16-14, Elections - Public
campaign financing
2014
Election Cycle
Democratic
Candidates
3
Primary
Republican
candidates
Maximum
Match
General
Total
Maximum
Grand
Total
County Executive
Council at large
Council District
1
Council District
2
Council District 3
Council District
4
Council District
5
Total
6
2
2
4
1
5
1
3
1
2
0
0
0
Candidates
Match
2,250,000
TBD
TBD
1,500,000
TBD
TBD
250,000
TBD
500,000
TBD
500,000
TBD
o
TBD
625,000
TBD
5,625,000
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
0
5,625,000
2010
ElectIon Cycle
Democratic
candidates
County Executive
Council at large
Council District
1
Council District
2
Council District 3
Council District
4
Council District
5
Total
Primary
Republican
Candidates
Maximum
Match
General
Total
Maximum
Candidates
Match
Grand
Total
1
9
2
5
1
1
1
2 1,500,000
4 2,250,000
1
250,000
625,000
1
0
0
1
0
1
0
4,625,000
2 1,500,000
9 2,250,000
2 250,000
2 250,000
2 250,000
2 250,000
2 250,000
5,000,000 9,625,000
2006 Election Cycle
Primary
Democratic Republican Maximum
t;andidate~
Candidates
Match
County Executive
Council at large
Council District
1
Council DistricU
Council District 3
Council District
4
Council District
5
Total
Assumptions:
General
Maximum
Total
Match
can!:lidat~i
Grand
Total
3
13
1
2
2
2
2
1 2,250,000
4
3,250,000
0
1
2
500,000
SOO,OOO
2
2
500,000
2
500,000
7,500,000
3 2,250,000
8 2,000,000
2
250,000
2
2
2
2
250,000
250,000
250,000
250,000
5,500,000 13,000,000
1) All eligible candidates elect to participate in public financing.
2) All eligible candidates receive the maximum match.
Note:
2014
primary candidate counts posted on the State Board of Elections website as of February
28.
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Testimony
Bill 16-14,
Elections - Public Campaign Financing
(
Good evening, my name is Joseph Beach, Director ofthe County Department of Finance,
and I am here on behalf of County Executive Isiah Leggett to testify in support of Council Bill
16-14 Elections Public Campaign Financing. Based on authority granted in 2013 by the
Maryland General Assembly, Bi1l16-14 would establish a Public Election Fund and a voluntary
system of public campaign fmancing beginning with the 2015 elections. The County Executive
shares the Council's interest in creating a public campaign financing mechanism that would
encourage greater voter participation in County elections, increase opportunities for residents to
seek elective office, and reduce the irifluence of large contributions.
County Executive Leggett believes that certain amendments would clarify and strengthen
the law and streamline its administration. First, the bill should clarify responsibility for
investigation and enforcement of alleged violations of the law. The State Board of Elections
currently has the responsibility to address violations of the campaign financing laws; however,
the bill is silent on this issue, other than specifying that a violation is a Class A civil violation.
It
is important that investigation and enforcement be independent to assure that monitoring
compliance would be carried out objectively and to enhance public confidence in the results of
any investigation.
In
addition, an amendment to clarify the order of priority in disbursing County
contributions to certified candidates would clarify the Council's intent on administration of the
Fund, especially in the event of an insufficiency of funds. For example, ifmore candidates
participated in the Public Election Fund than anticipated in the amount appropriated to the Fund,
those candidates who applied for and were certified early in the process could receive more
funding than those candidates who applied later in the process.
Finally, it should be noted that, depending on the number of candidates in any contested
election who participate in public campaign financing, the law could have a material fiscal
impact. For example, the cost for the 2010 primary and general elections under the proposed
legislation would have been over $9.6 million and for the 2006 elections would have been as
much as $13 million, if all ofthe candidates participated in public fmancing and received the
maximum amount of public funds. Because the public contribution would be funded out of
general revenues, this allocation would compete with other general fund services including
education, public safety, and safety net services. Before a qualifying period begins, there should
be a public financial statement as to the total amount available for public fmancing ofthe
ensuing election cycle.
Thank you for affording me the time to address the County Council. The Administration
looks forward to working with the Council to refme this important legislation.
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State Headquarters
33 University Boulevard East
Silver Spring, MD 20901
www,ProgressiveMaryland,org
..
Baltimore Office
9 W, Mulberry St, 4th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 301,494.4998
Mailing Address:
P,O, Box 2181
Silver Spring, MD 20915
Contact@ProgressiveMaryland.org
__
__ __
_ - ­
.
..
....
---­
Testimony in Support of Montgomery County Council
Bill 16-14
Public Funding of Elections
TO:
FROM:
DATE:
POSITION:
Montgomery County Council
Kate Planco Waybright, Executive Director
March
4, 2014
Support
Thank you, Mr. President and Members of the Montgomery County Council, for the opportunity to testify tonight in
support of Montgomery County Council Bill
16·14.
Progressive Maryland is a grassroots, nonprofit organization of
more than
23,000
members and supporters who live in nearly every legislative district in the state, many of whom
reside right here in Montgomery County. In addition, there are
26
religious, community and labor organizations that
are affiliated with our work. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families in Maryland. Please note our
strong support for this bill.
Bill
16-14
would establish a Public Election Fund to provide public campaign financing for a candidate for a County
elective office. We are absolutely delighted that this longtime priority of Progressive Maryland has been introduced
here in Montgomery County and has your unanimous support.
Progressive Maryland began advocating for public financing of elections as a result of our efforts nearly a decade
ago to expand healthcare coverage and raise wages for all Marylanders. Organizationally, we noticed that the
playing field was tilted against us and it remains so today. The average middle class family isn't able to contribute to
a campaign in the same way a wealthy special interest entity is able. This creates a public opinion climate in which
people feel as if they aren't being heard.
But public funding of elections will change that public perception.
Public funding works because it shifts the focus of the campaign away from big dollar, wealthy donors and back to
everyday people. Investing in clean elections is an investment in our democracy. In states from Maine to
Connecticut, public funding has improved the election process. These programs allow more diverse candidates to
run for office, increase competitiveness in the process, and result in a more substantive legislative debate. These
bills have the potential to change the very nature of elections in Montgomery County and beyond and are essential
to a governing body that values enacting policies that build a strong middle class.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration of this critical legislation. We urge a favorable vote on
Bill 16-14.
@
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~
3
MaryLuul
Holding Pou.:-er Ac.coemt4ble
March
4,2014
"~
COMMON CAUSE
Testimony on BiD 16-1.... ­
Elections -Public
Campaign
Financing
Position: Favorable
Common Cause Mmybmd supports Bill 16-14" which would
create
a robust program
for
public
funding
for candidates
:fur
the
county
council or county executive.
Bill 16-14
is
shaped
by
the most recent models for public fimding Under
the
program
estab1isbed
in
this
bill, a candidate would
have
to
prove
he
or she
is
a viable
by
aggressively
mising
money
1iom
small
donoos
in
the
county.
The
candidate
would
then
be
able
to
match
individual donations ofless
than
$150
at
a
graduated
I3fe,
with a
greater
match for smaller
donations.
Public fimding
is
a
popular
tool
for improving our
elections.
In
a 2009
Gonzales poll"
100A,
of
Marylanders favored
using
public money
to
pay for political campaigns.
And
public funding
is
working
in
the
states
that
have
adopted
it.
Accmding
to
analysis of
the
Connecticut
program:
• 11%
of
state legis1ators who
were
elected
in
2012
I3Il
on public fimding;
• Latino
representation in
the
state
legislature
increased
33%
after
the program
was
implemented;
• Policies
adopted
after public financing
was
implemented
were
more
aligned
with
the
public'S
preferences..
1
Special
interest fimding
is
increasingly
detennining
the
outcome ofelections. Public:funding
gives candidates another choice: focus on constituents through
the
campaign and
keep
the focus
on constituents through
the
legisIati:ve
process..
Public :funding cannot fight
the
escalating
cost
of
dections;
only
the
Supreme
Court can
revenlC
that
disturbing
trend.
But
public
:fimding
can shift
the
focus
of
campaigns
away 1iom special interests
and
back
to
everyday caostituents. ,
Public
fundjng
strengtb.ens
our
democracy by
getting
special
interesas
out ofelections
and
voters
back
in.
We
urge
a fa:vornble
report
on Bill 16-14.
~
Cmrse
MtIrylaml
is
II
DOI1pOT'Iisan.
grassroots
orgtmiztltion
JediCllled
to
restoring
the
.core
liV.Ilues
of
~
~ ~
I/llIfI.
0J1ID'.
Ironest
and
accountable
grwenlihiiPl?l!lt
'lhat1ll'Ol'b
in
the]Jllblic
interest.
and
~
ordinmy
people to make
their
"IHJiceg
heord
121
CathedralSL,
Annapolis
MD21401*410-286-1410
.'fInftlI'..commom:ause.org/md .
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TONI HOLNESS
PUBLIC POLICY
ASSOCIATE
AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
of
MARYLAND
Testimony for the County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland
March
4, 2014
Bill
Number
16-14:
Elections-Public Campaign Financing
SUPPORT
AMERICAN CIVIL
LIBERTIES UNION
OF MARYLAND
MAIN OFFICE
&
MAiliNG ADDRESS
3600
CLIPPER MILL ROAD
SUITE
350
BALTIMORE, MD 21211
Tl410-669-8555
or
240·274·5295
F/41 0-366-7636
FIELD OFFICE
6930
CARROLL AVENUE
SUITE
610
TAKOMA PARK, MD 20912
T
1240-274-5295
WWW.ACLU-MD.ORG
OFFICERS AND
DIRECTORS
ALLI HARPER
PRESIDENT
SUSAN GOERING
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
C. CHRISTOPHER BROWN
GENERAL COUNSEL
The ACLU of Maryland supports Bill 16-14, which establishes a system of public
financing for candidates for County Executive and County Council of
Montgomery County. Public campaign financing enhances the accountability of
public officials to general voters, so they are thereby less obliged to the interests
of high-dollar contributors. Public campaign financing allows candidates and
officials to invest their time and energies into investigating and remedying the
concerns of the electorate, not seeking campaign contributions.
The election of public officials is an essential aspect of a free society and the
integrity of the electoral process is of critical concern. However, the ACLU of
Maryland is also concerned that election campaign reforms are sometimes
achieved by means that sacrifice other civil liberties values, especially freedom of
expression and rights of association.
Although free speech principles call for scrutiny of limitations on expenditures
and contributions, the current system of private campaign financing disadvantages
certain groups and individuals trying communicate their views. Such imbalances
tend to frustrate the goal of full political participation by all citizens and raise
concerns about the greater influence that some individuals and groups have on
political processes. The appropriate civil liberties response is to expand, not limit,
the resources available for political advocacy.
Public financing of campaign activity is a promIsmg way to facilitate the
opportunity for political participation by everyday citizens. Such approaches,
which are less drastic alternatives than government restriction of political
expenditures and contributions, also minimize the danger of heavy handed and
repressive governmental regulation of political speech and association.
The escalating cost of campaigns for public office restricts the breadth of political
expression in America. More and more, money, not political support, determines
who runs for office. Many candidates fail because they cannot garner the
requisite financial support to run a viable campaign, which deprives the public of
the full range of public debate. Public financing remedies this problem and would
advance a number of positive free speech values.
It
would facilitate candidacy
and significantly broaden the spectrum of campaign debate. Public financing can
also reduce the dependency of candidates upon private contributions regardless of
the extent to which such contributions may be permitted.
For the foregoing reasons, the ACLU of Maryland supports Bill Number 16-14.
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Prepared Statement of
William
J.
Roberts, Esq.
Vice President, Montgomery County Young Democrats
Before the Montgomery County Council Public Hearing on
Bill 16-14,
Public Campaign Financing
March 4, 2014
Thank you for allowing me to testify. I'm William Roberts, I live upcounty in the
Rockville-Gaithersburg area and I'm the Vice President of the Montgomery County
Young Democrats.
Why
The Young Democrats Support this Measure:
The Young Democrats stand in strong support of this legislation, which would
allow voluntary citizen funded elections for the County Council and County Executive.
We want to thank each of the members of the County Council for standing together to
universally support this legislation. We know all too well the power of special interests in
our public discourse. Whether it comes to advocating for more affordable housing, or
pushing efforts like increasing the minimum wage to support working families
our
county has powerful special interests on the other side of issues that we and many of your
other constituents care deeply about. And although these special interests won't get a vote
in our upcoming elections, we all know that they have an outsized voice
in
our political
process because of the amount of money they are able to pour into County elections.
We support this legislation because we know that ending excessive campaign
spending will remove a barrier and allow more members of middle class families, young
people, women, and minorities to run for office and contribute to campaigns. This
proposal also levels the playing field so
that
elections and the policy making process are
about bold ideas and not big checks. We believe in the power of small donor driven
public financing to shift the playing field and put the ownership of our electoral process
back in the hands of everyday constituents.
The Problem:
There exists near universal agreement on the problem. Across the country in
elections from County Council to President of the United States, there is just too much
money in our political process and it's drowning out the voices of everyday citizens. The
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cost of running for office is steadily increasing and too many special interests attempt to
and succeed at currying favor through giving massive campaign contributions.
Meanwhile, an ever decreasing number of average citizens feel like their concerns
actually matter to elected officials or that their voices actually count in the public
discourse.
Locally, . candidates are being forced to build up ever-growing war chests to
compete in elections. Millions were spent in the last truly competitive County Executive
race. You all know very well that it costs well over $200,000 to run for the County
Council, on average. Only a third of that funding came from small donors of $250 or less.
In the face of this money, many people are tuning out. They're fed up with politicians
who they perceive cannot or will not hear them over the deafening sounds of a river of
campaign cash.
Citizen funded elections can flip this paradigm on it's head. Reducing the primacy
of wealthy donors and special interests, clean election systems allow constituents to own
elections again. As a constituent, knowing that your small donation will be enhanced
through a matching fund and will really matter to the candidate of your choice empowers
you and changes your view of the process.
As
a candidate and an elected official,
knowing that you can spend your time discussing issues and reaching out to more voters
changes the way you can do your job.
Why Would This System Work in Montgomery County:
Public Financing holds special benefits for diverse populations as well. Research
conducted by Public Campaign - a national reform organization - shows that under the
New York City Public Financing System, low dollar donors tend to be women and
minorities from non-affluent communities.
As
a consequence, Public Funding systems
across the country are enabling a more diverse citizenry - women, minorities, and young
people - to become part of the political process as either candidates or donors.
Comparably, Montgomery County is now majority-minority and only growing
more diverse. We are also residents of a county stuck in an economic duality where many
people are prospering and flourishing and yet there are dramatic increases in the wage
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gap, the income gap, and the wealth gap. Enacting a public financing system will enable
all citizens, especially those at the margins, to participate fully in our electoral process
and allow our elected officials to spend more time studying the issues and connecting
with constituents in need instead of raising money.
Montgomery County is ready to lead our state on Public Financing, as we have on
countless issues before. The Young Democrats are ready to stand up beside you and we
urge you to pass Bill 16-14.
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SIERRA
CLUB
FOUNDED 1892
1
Testimony on Public Financing of Elections
Bill 16-14
Montgomery County, MD
March 4, 2014
I am Ron Levin. I am speaking on behalf of the 5 OOO
members of the Sierra Club of Montgomery County. The
Sierra Club endorses Bill 16-14.
J
Conventional wisdom holds that the states and cities are the
laboratories of democracy, but no longer is public financing
of elections an experiment. Fourteen states, including
Maryland, provide public financing. All that experience was
available to 16-14's drafters.
A poll of Maryland voters in 2009 found that 77% believe
political contributions have a corrupting influence. In the last
election cycle, two thirds of the donations to County Council
campaigns came from donors who gave more than $250.
Some donations were for thousands of dollars. Maryland's
citizens clearly want to reduce the influence of money on
who gets elected in our state. Public financing counteracts
public cynicism, cynicism that is toxic to our democracy.
Public financing results in better,
~re
objective government
decisions. It frees candidates to spend their time talking to
voters instead of to big contributors. It will free lawmakers to
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devote their attention to the full time work of legislating, not
fund raising.
Critics of public funding claim that it will produce a flood of
frivolous candidates. This bill, however, sets high hurdles to
qualify for public funding.
Critics have said that public funding does not work because
incumbents continue to be overwhelmingly re-elected. That
criticism is built on a myth because public funding is not
intended to be an incumbent removal scheme. At most, it
can only take away one of incumbents' many advantages.
Opponents of public financing may complain that it would be
a fiscal burden. But cost estimates range from only
$2
million
to $8 million an election cycle, depending on the number of
candidates. That's not $8 million a year, that's $8 million per
election cycle
-$2
million per year. Two million dollars is a
little more than
1%
of just the growth in revenue between
this fiscal year and the next as forecast by the Department of
Finance. Only a bit more than
1%
of revenue growth.
We can afford
16-14.
We can afford a measure that
delivers healthy government, fosters objective decision­
making and reduces public cynicism. Is there another
measure that can do so much so cheaply?
The Sierra Club of Montgomery County urges you to pass
Bill
16-14.
Thank you
Ron Levin
North Bethesda, Md
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Progressive Neighbors
Testimony on Bill 16-14 Eleetions-Publie Campaign Finaneing
Tuesday, Mareh 11,2014
Thank
you for the opportunity to testify
this
evening. My name is Brian Doherty, I'm from
Bethesda, and I am a co-chair ofthe organization Progressive Neighbors.
Our group is a Montgomery County-wide organization active since 2006, primarily at the state
.and county level, in a wide variety of progressive causes on issues related to progressive
taxation, education, affordable housing and tenant rights, labor, gender, health care, civil rights,
immigrant issues, democracy, environment, and transportation.
We are a democratic grassroots group
that
accepts no outside funding. We endorse candidates
and work on issue advocacy.
I am happy to report that our group strongly supports bill 16-14, a public financing option for
Montgomery County Council and Executive candidates. We commend Councilmember Phil
Andrews and his cosponsors for introducing this far-sighted legislation.
Action by the legislature in 2013 enables counties to provide a public financing option-a
longtime progressive goal-beginning with the 2015-2018 election. Montgomery County
has
the opportunity to lead the way on a 10ca1level, as it did a few years ago on the trans fat issue,
and as it did recently with its well-received move to raise the minimum wage. We're ready to
lead again.
This legislation, by favoring small contributions within the reach of the average voter, will help
to slow a profoundly disturbing trend in our County in which less
than
a third of donations in
County Council campaigns come from those making $250 or less. Under such circumstances,
while all voters are equal, some are clearly more equal than others.
The structure of this bill is reasonable and appropriate. Once candidates meet a modest
fundraising threshold, donations of $150 or less are matched with public funds, with smaller
donations receiving the higher match. With these changes in the law, candidates will still spend
time raising funds-you can't get around that. But the biggest "bang for the buck" in
fundraising will come from smaller donor, whose everyday concerns are more likely to be
addressed in the electoral process. This will mean a new
type
of voter and,
just
as assuredly, a
new type of candidate.
Again,
thanks to Councilmember Andrews and others for putting this bill on the agenda. Let's
make it law as promptly as practical, and let Montgomery County become a "laboratory for
democracy" in Maryland.
Brian Doherty.
4613
North Chelsea Lane, Bethesda 301-237-5282 bridoherty@aol.com
Web: progressiveneighborsmdnationbuilder.com Twitter: @progneighborsmd
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eTION
Testimony in support of Bill 16-14
By Shelley Sherman
March 4, 2014
Good Evening. My name is Shelley Sherman. I am representing over 1300 USAction
members in Montgomery County. USAction is a national progressive organization that
fights for working people to have a voice in democracy. We are proud of the leadership
of our affiliate, Progressive Maryland, in this fight for clean elections. I am here tonight,
because I have been a Montgomery County voter for over three years and care about
my county.
In my role of finance director at USAction, I deal with money every day. We are a non­
profit organization that relies on donations from average people. We have a lot of
contributors, but no matter how many doilars come through USAction, it is only a tiny
drop in the bucket compared to what the super wealthy and corporations spend in the
political world. It's harder and harder in this country and this county for the average
person to have a voice and representation. That's why we urge the Montgomery
County Council to pass Bill 16-14. Public funding works because it shifts the focus of
the campaign away from big dollar, wealthy donors and back to everyday people.
Investing in clean elections is an investment in our democracy. These programs allow
more diverse candidates to run for office, increase competitiveness in the process, and
result in a more meaningful legislative debate that matters to real people.
Change starts at the local level. We need an America, a Maryland and a Montgomery
County that works for all of us. And a Montgomery County that works for all of us starts
when everyone and anyone can afford to run for public office so that government
reflects who we are as a community.
Thank you for your time tonight.
Shelley Sherman
7333 New Hampshire Avenue Apt 617 Takoma Park, Maryland 20912
Main Office • 1825 K Street, NW, Suite 210 • Washington, DC 20006 • Tel: 202·263-4520 • Fax: 202-263-4530
E-mail: usaction@usaction.org • Web: www.usaction.org
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TESTIMONY OF
TOM MOORE
CANDIDATE FOR THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL
REGARDING BILL "16-14 - PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING
BEFORE THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL
MARCH 4, 2014
Good evening. My name is Tom Moore. I live at 11 Forest Avenue in
Rockville. I currently serve as a member of the Rockville City Council,
but I appear before you tonight as a private citizen who is currently a
candidate for the Montgomery County Council. I am therefore intimately
aware of the impact this bill would have if it becomes law.
As a candidate, I spend a lot of time knocking on people's doors. Going
door to door is something I enjoy, and I learn a lot about what's on the
community's mind every time I go out. But I also spend a lot of time as a
candidate calling for contributions - often calling businesses and people
who live outside the district or the county.
Those making corporate contributions have little more than a financial
interest in this county. Those making contributions who live outside the
county have no direct stake in the outcome of our elections or in the life
of Montgomery County. Yet our current campaign-finance system
requires me to spend far too much time focusing on these folks.
Instead of talking to corporations, I want to be talking to the moms and
the dads of Montgomery County, to the young people and the seniors. I
want to hear from them about the county they want to live in, raise their
kids in, retire in. I want to hear what I need to know to best govern our
county.
It's their voices and their stories that should be driving the messages of
our campaigns. A good bill that gives candidates and councilmembers
the ability to spend more time focused on their neighbors will produce
better governance for Montgomery County, and, in the end, will produce
a better Montgomery County.
Keeping corrupting money out of politics is why lied the fight on the
Rockville City Council to ensure that elected officials follow the highest
standards when disclosing financial interests. It is why I led the Rockville
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Mayor and Council to pass a tough ethics bill that went beyond the state
of Maryland's newly tough standards.
It is also a major part of what I do from day to day. In my day job, I work
for Progressive Majority, a national organization that works to recruit,
train, and support progressive champions to run for local and state office
in battleground states throughout America. Institutionally, we strongly
support the public financing of campaigns, as do most groups interested
in clean government, such as Common Cause and Progressive
Maryland.
But we do hear words of warning 'from elsewhere in the country that
poorly crafted public-financing laws create as many problems as they
'fix. I urge you to pay careful attention to the thresholds this bill
provides. The balance they establish is the key to creating an effective
system of public campaign financing. Set them right and they will enable
new voices to be heard. Set them wrong and they can give artificially
large megaphones to extremists on both ends of the spectrum,
megaphones paid for with taxpayer dollars.
Montgomery County has been graced by a long history of dedicated
public servants who have governed our county well and wisely. It is a
tradition I hope to join. This bill reflects priorities that I have pursued
throughout my career in public service.
j
This bill will allow candidates to connect with voters as we would want
them to - talking to people's hearts rather than their checkbooks.
This bill will allow those with deep roots but shallow pockets to compete
effectively.
This bill will allow those with the best ideas, and not the best Rolodexes,
·to guide Montgomery County into the future.
I urge that this Council pass Bill 16-14 and that the County Executive
sign it.
Thank you.
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Testimony of Marc Korman
Bill 16-14
March 4, 2014
Good evening. My name is Marc Korman. Although I hold several
affiliations with organizations in the County, I wish to emphasize that I
anl testifying today in my individual capacity and speak only for myself. '.
I applaud the County Council for taking up Bill 16-14. For many years a
delegate in my legislative district, Susan Lee, has fought to grant
Montgomery County the authority to enact this type of legislation. The
authority was granted in 2013 and the Council's quick action to
inlplement a public financing system is to its credit.
You have heard, and will continue to hear, tonight many important
points about the legislation before you. First, the system will reduce the
impact of special interests on our elections. Second, it will ensure that
serious candidates have the funds necessary to share their message and
ideas with voters. Third, it will reign in some of the costs of
electioneering. I agree with all of these important points, but wish to
emphasize one particular issue.
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I am optimistic that in a county like ours, public financing can become a
cultural norm. What do I mean by "cultural norm?" For constitutional
reasons and tortured interpretations of the Supreme Court, a public
financing system cannot be made legally mandatory. But I hope it
becomes mandatory as a matter of public relations and good
government. An analogy that has been made is to the use of union
printing by Democratic candidates, which is not required but is generally
done by any candidate running with a D next to their name. I hope the
cultural norm of public financing is not limited to Democrats, but
ernbraced by all candidates in the future.
. I also hope to see such a systenl expanded to our state elections as soon
as possible.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak on this important bill. I am
hopeful that a system of public financing will reduce the influence of
special interests, ensure serious candidates are heard, and, perhaps, free
up our elected leaders to spend more time on policy and less time on
political fundraising. Thanks.
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9
Testimony by Evan Glass on Bill 16-14, Public campaign Financing
Good evening. My name is Evan Glass and I am a candidate for the Council from the 5
th
District.
I'm here to bluntly state: raising money for political campaigns stinks.
The amount of time I've spent on the phone asking family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and
acquaintances for money to support my campaign is time' would rather
be
talking with voters
about the hopes and dreams they have for our community.
But in this age of politics where the amount of money in a candidate's campaign account is
more important than the ideas in a candidate's head, we have to acknowledge that the system
is broken.
And let's face reality - this is how politics is played in most jurisdictions - especially a few miles
down the road on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. I used to
be
a journalist covering national
politics for CNN and' know all to well how much time our Congressmen, Senators and
Presidents spend raising money. And all too often I covered a story that fell into the category of
"follow the money" - where the actions of an elected official were tied to financial contributions
he or she received.
Well, here in Montgomery County we are ready to set a new example. Now is the time to
create public campaign financing for candidates seeking office here in Montgomery County.
By providing matching funds for donations below $150, we are opening the doors of elected
office to individuals from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
And when the new system of matching funds is established, it will allow more individuals like me
to run for office - non-establishment candidates who represent the full spectrum of their
community. I grew up in a home with a single mother who worked two jobs. My modest
upbringing provided me with a set of values and experiences that I want to bring to the County
Council- values that promote social and economic justice for all of our residents.
By creating a system of matching funds for donations below $150, we are allowing the voice of
the people to prevail. Political action committees and corporations should not have the ability to
drown out the collective voice of the voters.
And by maintaining a qualifying period that begins 365 days before the primary election, we are
leveling the playing field for new candidates with new ideas by no longer allowing incumbents to
spend years raising funds regardless of the office they seek.
The best way for government to function is by having open debates about important issues that
affect our lives. Campaign finance reform is a way to encourage more residents from diverse
backgrounds to enter the political arena and truly bring about the progressive reform that our
communities need.
Let's elevate our public discourse and pass this legislation.
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Testimony in favor of Bill 16-14
Elections-Public Campaign Financing
Dan Furmansky
1524
Hanby
S1reet _
Silver Spring, MD 20902
March
4, 2014
I
want to thank Council Member Andrews for putting forth this proposal, which
I
know
you have championed since your days leading Common Cause Maryland.
And
I
want
to -thank
to
all
of
you on the County Counal for cosponsoring this
measure.
I
make
my
living
as a
political strategist, lobbyist, and organizer for organizations
'. focused
on achieving
social
justice.
I
am
very glad
to
be
here in support
of
public
financing
of
eledions because
I
understand this to
be
a
social
ju~
issue.
Public financing is a fundamental part
of
building a
s1ronger
democracy.
H
is
about ensuring
1hat
the voices
of
1hose
who have greater access
to
money do
not drown
out
the
voices
of
individual citizens.
H
is
about
allowing the interests
and priorities
of
working-and middle-class
constituents
to
be better
considered.
Public finance
of
elections
is also about increasing pubrlC confidence in
government, and elected officials, increasing public participation in the political
process. diversifying
who
runs for public office, and allowing incumbent
legislators
to
focus
their fundraising on
their
own
CQnstituems.
not special
interests, and to
free
up
more
of their time for lawmaking
and
policy.
Jurisdictions from Hawaii
to
Connecticut, and
from los
Angeles
to
New
York
City.
have successrul public financing programs.
According
to
a report
by
the Center
for
American
Politics
and
Citizenship. which
polled thousands
of
legislators across the country,
in
general. the average state
-legislative Candidate in a
state without
public financing
spends
28
percent
of
their
time fund raising. The average
state
legislative cand"ldate in a public financing
state spends just
11
percent
of
their time fundraising.
-
-
-
In Connecticut
in
2012, 77 percent
of
successful candidates were publicly ­
financed. and an analysis by the DEMOS has shown that public financing in
that
state
has
inaeased
representation
by
both
women
and
minorities, as
well as
voter participation in general.
.
Or bike the
exainple
of New
York
City
Council
races (where
there
is
a
small'~'
dollar, matching
program) vs.
races for the
New
York Assembly,
which
does
not
tmve pubrlC financing.
Data
shows that small donors
to
City
Council candidates
-come
from
a rriuchbroader
array
of
city
neighborhoods than do
the
city's smaU
donors
to
state
Assembly
candidates. Small donor matching funds help bring
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participants into the political process who are traditionally
less
likely to
be
active,
and
strengthens the connection between public officials and their constituents.
It
was
Theodore Roosevelt who said, in 1907. "The need for collecting large
. campaign funds would vanish
if
Congress
provided
an
appropriation for the proper
and
legitimate expenses ofeach
of
the great national parties." This was one
of
the
first pubrlC calls for public financing of campaigns
iri
our country. Today, the
.
challenges
of
building a perfect democracy are ongoing. That is why your leadership
on this issue is so noteworthy. and so appreciated by your constituents
in .
Montgomery
County..
I hope
Montgomery
County will
be the
first
of
many local jurisdictions in Maryland
to
paSs
public financing, and that this move will spur the state
to
follow suit for
state
legislative elections.
[
L
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\
\
Testimony presented to the Montgomery County Council
in favor ofPubJic Campaign Financing, Bill 16-14
Submitted by Natali Fani-Gonzalez, Candidate for State Delegate in District 18
tb
NataliFaniGonzaleZ@gmail.com 301.442.8459
March 4,2014
Good evening President Rice and members of the County Council. My name is Natali Fani-Gonzalez and
I'm from Kensington. I'm here before you to testify in favor of Bill 16-14, which establishes a Public
Election Fund to provide public campaign financing for a candidate for a County elective office, among
other regulations.
As most of you know, I'm a candidate for the House of Delegates in District 18th, hence your bill won't
affect me. With that said,
I
think:
my situation can shed some light on why it is important to create a Public
Election Fund.
This is about building an opportunity for people who have never
run
for office due to the fear of not having
enough money to
run
a successful campaign.
I
grew up in a low-income family, just like it happened to my closest friends.
I
share this because my
childhood friends represent my closest network. They
are
the ones who without hesitation contribute and
volunteer to my campaign. They do it because they share my values, and also do it because they feel so
proud of seeing someone coming from their community
run
for office. It's a big deal not just for me, but also
for them.
Due to their financial pressures, my average friend can only contribute up to $50 towards my campaign. It's
just my reality. That's the reality of candidates like me who come from low-income neighborhoods.
I
know not everyone has the courage
I
have to run for office knowing very well that
I
will not raise as much
money as other candidates. Yet,
I
doubt that other candidates could gather the enthusiasm that my campaign
brings. These are folks who are not super-voters; some of my friends have only voted for President Obama.
It's a community who feels disenfranchised; voting it's just not in their radar. Again, my network does not
contribute with large amounts of money, however they do extremely well in canvassing efforts.
Having access to a Public Election Fund could drastically change my situation.
I
could focus more on voter­
contact and less on how to pay for everything.
Nowadays when we ask why we have only
6
Latino elected officials throughout the state of Maryland, it's
hard not to ponder on the fmancial constraints that exist within the Latino population in order to seek an
elected position. It's not just about motivating Latinos to vote for a Presidential election as we have done
very well in the past, but also to vote in large numbers in local elections. For that to happen, we need more
candidates who reflect the popUlation.
I
strongly believe that having access to a Public Election Fund will produce more diverse candidates and
more community members participating in our local elections. That is what is happening to me, with the
exception that
I
don't have access to a Public Election Fund and, therefore, have to end up self-financing a
significant portion of my campaign, which most people coming from low-income communities just cannot
do.
I
thank
you for cosponsoring this measure and serving as a model elected body for the rest of the state. I
hope this will give a needed push for the General Assembly to move forward with public financing of state
legislative campaigns.
®
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STATEMENT TO MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL ON BILL 16-15
Public Financing of Campaigns March 4, 2014
Ii
My name is Armin Behr. I live at 6310 Swords Way in Bethesda and have been a
resident of Montgomery County for the past 49 years. I am a retired Federal
employee.
Our national government is not working well. The reasons for this can be debated,
but there is little doubt that one of the main reasons is the vast and continually
increasing amounts of money spent on campaigns. Members of Congress are forced
to spend a large proportion of their time raising funds, much of it from large
donors who expect a return on their investments. Distinguished, long serving
legislators have retired rather than face the fund raising necessary for re-election,
not to mention the countless others with great potential who are deterred from
even making a run.
For State offices, the costs of campaigning have also risen to an alarming level.
County offices don't yet require huge campaign chests, but many candidates for
county offices do receive substantial contributions from real estate, construction
and other development-related businesses which stand to benefit from decisions of
the County government This makes it difficult for those candidates to compete who
choose not to seek such contributions because they want to represent all of their
constituents fairly.
There are only two ways to counteract the malicious effect of money on our
electoral process. One is to regulate contributions in order to reduce spending.
This has been attempted through federal and state legislation, but these laws have
been largely struck down or rendered ineffective by Supreme Court decisions. As a
result, campaign spending is growing at an accelerated rate.
The tool that is left is public financing. The existing program for presidential
campaigns worked well for several election cycles by leveling the playing field and
freeing the presidential candidates from having to spend their time raising money.
In recent years, so much money has been available from private sources that
candidates of both parties have decided they could do better by waiving public
funding. However, public financing is working reasonably well in several states.
The legislation being considered by the Montgomery County Council would make it
possible for candidates to campaign with small contributions supplemented by
public funds, provided they do not accept any large contributions. This should go a
long way toward placing and keeping power in the hands of the voters and reducing
the power of special interests. The cost to taxpayers seems reasonable and by
reducing corruption and spending which is not in the public interest, will likely
more than be repaid.
@
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Testimony in Support of Bill
16-14.
Elections - Public Campaign Financing
Beth Allen
I am speaking today in support of Bill
16-14,
which would provide public campaign financing for
candidates for Montgomery County elective office. I live in Takoma Park, and have been a
resident of Montgomery County for almost 12 years.
It's no secret that Americans are fed up with the influence of money in politics. Recent national
polling indicates that more than 70% of voters think that the U.S. election system is biased in
favor of the candidate with the most money and more than half of all voters believe that most
politicians are corrupt
1
Think about that. Conventional wisdom is that elections are bought and politicians are corrupt.
And, I must admit, my opinions are no different. As a result, while I am a faithful voter, I rarely
make individual political contributions any more.
When I talk to people about campaign finance reform there's a lot of cynicism about whether bills
like this one will make a difference. They think that special interests will find and exploit loopholes
and that public money will go to waste. I disagree. I think that bills like this, especially at the local
level, are critically important to restoring the health of our electoral system because they:
• Enable potential candidates with broad community support to run credible campaigns for
office.
• Serve as a test bed for creating strong campaign structures within the public financing
framework without relying on corporate contributions. Ideas pioneered and perfected at
the local level will, over time, have a beneficial effect on state and federal campaigns.
• Allow elected officials to spend less time fundraising and courting a sma" group of
wealthy donors and more time interacting with larger numbers of constituents.
• Most importantly, perhaps, public finanCing will change voter expectations for how
campaigns are run. In some cases in Montgomery County, a single special interest has
contributed more than half of a candidate's campaign funds. Thars just not acceptable,
and we cannot allow it to become the norm.
The same polling I mentioned earlier found that an overwhelming 92% of voters say it's important
for elected leaders to reduce the influence of money in elections. I have been proud that my
county has been leading the way in issues that are important to me - including, recently, raising
the minimum wage. I urge you to take the lead in restoring faith in our democracy by passing this
important public financing legislation. And I promise, that when public financing passes, I will
happily put my money where my mouth is and make contributions to candidates who participate
in the public financing system.
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