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MD. CAMPAIGN FINANCE FUND IS ALMOST BROKE

Maryland’s Fair Campaign Finance Fund (FCFF) has lived a long and tumultuous life since its creation in the 1970s, and members of the legislature, along with Gov. Larry Hogan (R), are looking to restore the fund to its former glory. In 2014, Hogan was the first gubernatorial candidate in Maryland history to be elected using public funds through the FCFF. The program provides candidates with state funds if they agree to certain spending limits. Only gubernatorial candidates are eligible to receive public dollars. Read more on Maryland Matters!
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Term limits, public financing, ‘Trump effect’ propel candidates in Montgomery

Term limits, public financing, ‘Trump effect’ propel candidates in Montgomery

As of Sept. 30, 18 at-large candidates had filed a notice of intent to the State Board of Elections to participate in public financing. Dang said another factor that might encourage people to enter the race could be tied to a “snowballing effect.” “If there’s 25, and there could be as many as 40 candidates, then more people start to think, ‘Well, I need a smaller percentage of votes,’ so they jump in,” Dang said. Then there are motivators stemming from beyond Montgomery County, a mostly liberal enclave that has not elected a Republican official in recent memory. Bill Conway, an electricity attorney who is seeking one of the Democratic at-large nominations, said Trump’s election was what “pushed me over to running,” adding that “Trump in the background has shocked…
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Howard County campaign finance back in the spotlight at panel event

Months after the Howard County Council passed public campaign financing legislation, political activists will gather on Sunday to discuss campaign finance reform at an event hosted by the group Together We Will Howard County. The event, Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center in Columbia, will include discussion of the county’s new public campaign financing law, which was passed in June. The legislation allows those who turn down large donations to accept money gathered from government appropriations; it will take effect in 2022. Read more on The Baltimore Sun!
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PG County officials hope to create small donor matching program for local elections

PG County officials hope to create small donor matching program for local elections

Several officials from Maryland, Prince George's County and other jurisdictions gathered Thursday at College Park's City Hall to discuss public financing for county elections. Prince George's officials said they hope the county will adopt a campaign funding system similar to Montgomery County's, which gives candidates the option to receive smaller individual donations, but then offers matching funds to eligible candidates, said Phil Andrews, a former Montgomery County councilman for District 3. Read more on The Diamondback!
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Several MoCo lawmakers choose traditional campaign financing over public funding

Several MoCo lawmakers choose traditional campaign financing over public funding

Several candidates who voted to support public campaign financing in local elections are opting not to use the funding mechanism for their own campaigns, as they run for local office in Montgomery County. Public campaign financing can be used for the first time in 2018 when Montgomery County voters go to the polls to elect a new county executive and a new nine-member County Council. Read more on the Maryland Reporter!
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County-by-county public financing for races is legal, Md. attorney general’s office says

An attorney from the Maryland attorney general's office says it would be legal for the state to allow public financing for candidates on a county-by-county basis, clearing the way for the drafting of such a bill in the 2018 legislative session. Del. Marc A. Korman (D-Montgomery) contacted the attorney general's office in May for guidance on whether a localized approach to public financing — as opposed to a statewide option — would hit constitutional roadblocks. A county-by-county approach was so novel that it left certain questions, such as how to handle legislative districts that don't match up with county lines, unanswered. Read more on The Washington Post!
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