COUNTY SEEKS FAIR ELECTIONS

COUNTY SEEKS FAIR ELECTIONS

HYATTSVILLE — The Prince George’s County chapter of Our Revolution held a meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 3 to discuss the importance of and how to gain support for the county council to pass Fair Elections legislation. Read more
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Baltimore Mayor Pugh signs off on two charter amendments for November ballot

Baltimore Mayor Pugh signs off on two charter amendments for November ballot

Baltimore voters will decide this fall whether the city should allow public funding of local election campaigns and create an independent inspector general’s office. Mayor Catherine E. Pugh signed the two charter amendment proposals on Monday. Voters will be asked whether they support the measures at the polls in November. The City Council voted unanimously this month to place the amendments on the ballot. Supporters say the public financing amendment would limit the influence of wealthy donors and special-interest groups on Baltimore politics. If voters support it, the city will create a Fair Elections Fund and a commission to control it. Read more from the Baltimore Sun.
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Baltimore City Council passes public financing charter amendment

Baltimore is one step closer to allowing public financing of local election campaigns. The City Council unanimously passed a charter amendment Monday that supporters say is designed to limit big money’s influence in Baltimore politics by offering candidates a way to leverage the money they raise in smaller amounts from citizens. The bill’s approval means the council has cleared a major hurdle in creating a “Fair Elections Fund” and a commission to control it. The legislation still needs the mayor’s support before it can be placed on the ballot in November’s general election. All amendments to the City Charter must be approved by voters. Read more from the Baltimore Sun.
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Editorial: Baltimore needs a fair elections fund

Montgomery County became the first jurisdiction in Maryland to employ a voluntary system of public campaign financing in this year’s elections, and the results in the Democratic primaries show just how effective it is. Six of the nine Democratic nominees for County Council used public financing, as did Mark Elrich, who has a razor-thin lead in the Democratic primary for county executive over businessman David Blair, who spent $3 million of his own money on the race. Candidates who use public financing aren’t beholden to deep-pocketed campaign contributors. They can spend time talking to voters, not begging for money. And the voters clearly responded. Read the full Editorial from the Baltimore Sun.
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Groups call on Mayor Pugh to support public financing of Baltimore elections

Groups call on Mayor Pugh to support public financing of Baltimore elections

More than 30 groups sent letters Friday asking Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh to support a City Council bill that would provide public financing for local campaigns. The council on Monday is set to pass an amendment to the City Charter to establish the “Fair Elections Fund” and a commission to govern it. If approved, the bill would be sent to Pugh. With her support, it would be put to the voters in November. Jews United for Justice, the League of Women Voters of Baltimore City, Maryland PIRG, Maryland Working Families and more than two dozen other groups called on Pugh to help set up a small-donor campaign finance system. Read more from the Baltimore Sun.
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OpEd: Baltimore Fair Elections Fund gives political power back to the people

OpEd in the Baltimore Sun from Emily Scarr and Jay Hutchins: With a mailbox full of attack ads and too many candidates who are funded by big-donors, corporations and out-of-staters, it’s easy to feel that government doesn’t work for us. But, there is a reason to be optimistic about the future of Baltimore’s democracy. Last week, the Baltimore City Council cast a preliminary vote to put the Baltimore Fair Elections Fund and commission on November’s ballot. This unanimous vote struck a blow to politics as usual and is step No. 1 toward fixing our broken democracy. The Baltimore Fair Elections Fund would provide matching funds for small donations to qualifying candidates who reject all large and corporate contributions. This would enable candidates to run competitive campaigns based on support from…
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Baltimore City Council backs public financing of campaigns

End big money’s dominance of Baltimore politics. That was the message the Baltimore City Council sent Monday night when its 15 members voted unanimously to create a fund to provide public financing for local campaigns. The public financing bill is designed to diminish the influence that wealthy political donors — such as developers, law firms and corporations — have over races for Baltimore mayor and City Council, said its lead sponsor, Councilman Kris Burnett. The legislation would create a fund that would provide matching public money for small-dollar contributions to candidates to create a more-even playing field against better-financed opponents. Read more from the Baltimore Sun.  
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Broad Coalition forms in support of Fair Election Fund ahead of Baltimore City Council Hearing

WHAT: Press Conference announcing formation of the Baltimore Fair Elections Coalition, ahead of Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee vote on Fair Election Commission Charter Amendment WHEN: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 ~ 4:00 p.m. (hearing at 5:00) WHERE: Baltimore City Council Lobby ~ 100 N. Holliday Street (4th Floor) WHO: The Baltimore Fair Elections Coalition, Councilman Kristerfer Burnett, Emily Scarr (Maryland PIRG), Mr. Hassan Giordano, Baltimore City Council Co-sponsors WHY: To call on members of the Baltimore City Council to pass CB 18-0229, establishing a Fair Election Commission in order to reform campaign finance laws in Baltimore City. BACKROUND: Baltimore, Maryland – On Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at 5:00pm, the members of the Baltimore City Council’s Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee will hold a public hearing regarding CB 18-0229 which would…
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Baltimore City Council to consider public financing of city elections

Baltimore City Council to consider public financing of city elections

In an attempt to diminish the influence of wealthy political donors and force candidates to spend more time talking to voters, a Baltimore City Council member introduced legislation Monday to establish a system of public financing for city campaigns. Councilman Kristerfer Burnett’s charter amendment bill is the first step toward creating a fund that would provide matching public funds for money individual donors contribute to candidates. Read more from the Baltimore Sun!
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