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Sunday, February 04, 2018

CB-4-2018, the Fair Elections Bill!

As with the rest of the NATION, if you do not have the CASH, YOU are not eligible to run for elected office -- municipal, county, state or federal.  MONEY really does talk, and if you do not have any, YOU have no "real" say in your government on any level.

Good, qualified, honest, broke/ middle-class people can't afford to run for office, and most are disgusted with those in office.  Well, once again, someone is sticking their necks out to change the rules and give the power back to the PEOPLE.    Check out the following and then contact your COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES.

FYI

From: Sierra Club - Prince George's County Group <janis.oppelt@mdsierra.org>
Sent: Saturday, February 3, 2018 7:47 AM

Last Tuesday, County Councilwoman Mary Lehman introduced the Fair Elections Bill, which would reduce the power of big money in county elections and give everyday people a stronger voice in their local democracy. The bill (CB-4-2018) would enable qualifying citizens to run for County Council and County Executive on the strength of their ideas, supported by small donations from ordinary people and matching funds from a Fair Election Fund.

How the program works 

The Fair Election Fund allows qualified candidates to win elected office without accepting large or corporate contributions to fund their campaigns. Participating candidates agree to only accept small contributions from everyday residents.

For example, a participating candidate may not accept contributions of more than $150 per individual during a 4-year election cycle; may not accept private contributions from a group or organization, including a political action committee, corporation, labor organization, or State or local central committee of a political party; or be a member of a slate.

To demonstrate viability, a candidate must collect a specified amount of funding through small donations from County residents. For example, a candidate for County Council running in a District must collect from County residents at least 150 qualifying contributions totaling $7,500. A candidate for an At-Large County Council seat would have to collect from County residents at least 250 qualifying contributions totaling $15,000, and for County Executive at least 500 qualifying contributions totaling $40,000.

Once candidate proves they have significant community support, the small donations to their campaign are amplified with matching funds through the Fair Elections Fund. The smallest contributions are matched at the highest rate. For example, the first $25 of each qualifying contribution is matched at a ratio of 7 to 1, for the next $50 at a ratio of 5 to 1, and for the next $75 at a ratio of 2 to 1. There's a cap on the total public funding for candidates, depending on the race, and unspent funds at the end of the campaign must be returned.

Implementation and oversight 

The Maryland State Board of Elections would administer and enforce the public campaign financing system. The program would regulate certain campaign finance activity of participating qualifying candidates and provide penalties for violations. The program is estimated to cost about $1.50 per capita per year -- less than a cup of coffee -- to allow candidates to remain true and accountable to their community base and to compete effectively against candidates supported by large donors and corporate special interests.

The goal is to fully fund the program for the 2022 elections to allow candidates to run free of big money and encourage small-donor participation in local elections.But to get there, we need the support of more Council members to pass CB-4-2018, the Fair Elections Bill!

Please contact your County Council member today! 

Tell him/her to support the Fair Elections Bill for Prince George's County (CB-4-2018) that will make it possible for everyday Prince Georgians who qualify to wage a viable campaign without the influence of large donors! 

District 1: Councilwoman Mary Lehman* (malehman@co.pg.md.us,301-952-3887)
District 2: Councilwoman Deni Taveras* (dltaveras@co.pg.md.us301-952-4436)
District 3: Councilwoman Danielle Glaros, Chair (dmglaros@co.pg.md.us301-952-3060)
District 4: Councilman Todd Turner, Vice-Chair (tmturner@co.pg.md.us301-952-3094)
District 5: Councilwoman Andrea Harrison (councildistrict5@co.pg.md.us301-982-3864)
District 6: Councilman Derrick Leon Davis (councildistrict6@co.pg.md.us301-952-3426)
District 7: Councilwoman Karen Toles (krtoles@co.pg.md.us301-952-3690)
District 8: Councilman Obie Patterson* (opatterson@co.pg.md.us,301-952-3860)
District 9: Councilman Mel Franklin* (mfranklin@co.pg.md.us301-952-3820)
*A sponsor or co-sponsor of the bill

Mailing address: 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20744 


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