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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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22 of the 38 candidates competing for a Montgomery County Council at-large seat have filed to use the small donor public financing program! Check out Bethesda Magazine to learn more about the candidates using the program.
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P.G. County campaign finance bill introduced

P.G. County campaign finance bill introduced

hen Prince George’s County Council member Mary Lehman (District 1) first ran for an open seat on the council in 2010, she didn’t know the first thing about funding a campaign. She figured she could reach out to family members and friends for the money she needed to run. “I really didn’t think beyond that what my strategy would be,” she said. She was told she’d probably need $45,000-$50,000 for the election, a figure that seemed “daunting” to her. Because she didn’t want to feel beholden to big contributors, she wound up spending about $20,000 of her own money to get elected. But she understands that’s not an option for a lot of people. So, she’s introducing legislation this week to establish a “Fair Election Fund” that would enable political…
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PUBLIC FUNDING CANDIDATES ARE TOP FUNDRAISERS IN COUNTY COUNCIL AT-LARGE RACE

In the race for the at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council, the County’s new public campaign financing system appears to be fulfilling its promise of eliminating the financial advantage of incumbency as most of the top fundraisers in the race are using the new system, according to the year’s first round of campaign finance disclosures. Thirty-four candidates: 30 Democrats, three Republicans, and one member of the Green Party – are vying for three open at-large seats on the nine-member Council this year. Twenty-two of those new candidates have signed up for public financing, as well as incumbent Hans Riemer, who is running for re-election after his second term as an at-large Council member. Read more on The Sentinel!
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TOWN HALL MEETING ADDRESSES FAIR ELECTIONS BILL FOR COUNTY

FORT WASHINGTON – A more accessible campaign system may be in the future for Prince George’s County. County Councilmembers Mary Lehman, Mel Franklin and Obie Patterson joined members of the Fair Elections Maryland Coalition at a town hall on Dec. 7 to discuss an upcoming council bill that would pass a Fair Elections Act for the county. The bill would enable candidates for county council and county executive who receive small-dollar donations to qualify for limited matching funds if they refuse large contributions and those from corporations, political action committees (PACs) and other non-individuals. Lehman plans to introduce the bill, which she described as her “number one legislative priority in 2018,” during the council’s first week back in January. “It opens up the whole process, encourages grassroots campaigns,” Lehman said.…
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Small Dollars, Big Change: Public Campaign Financing’s Effect On Montgomery County Races

Small Dollars, Big Change: Public Campaign Financing’s Effect On Montgomery County Races

Montgomery County is now offering public funds to candidates running for local office, becoming the first jurisdiction in Maryland — and the Washington region — to do so. Nearly three-quarters of candidates for county council and county executive have applied for public funding. The law encourages them to appeal to a large number of voters for a relatively modest amount of money. Read more on WAMU!
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Small donor matching legislation will be introduced in Prince George’s County Council

Small donor matching legislation will be introduced in Prince George’s County Council

After months of lobbying for campaign finance reform in Prince George's County, some activists said they have enough support from county council members for a bill to create a small-donor matching program. The program would create a system similar to the one already in effect in Montgomery County, which matches donations for candidates for county executive and council if their campaigns meet certain requirements, said Jennifer Dwyer, a legislative and policy coordinator at Progressive Maryland, a nonprofit that advocates for social, economic and racial justice. These initiatives encourage candidates to ask potential constituents for donations — with the smallest contributions matched at the highest rate — and exclude candidates from donation matching if they've accepted contributions that are too large or are from political action committees or other specified groups.…
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