Who Pays for Elections?
With all the competitive races in Maryland this election season and the requisite fundraising, advocates for the public financing of political campaigns believe their chances are greatly improved this session.
Groups, such as Common Cause and Progressive Maryland, are starting small with legislative races. A bill, sponsored by Sen. Paul Pinsky (D-Prince George's) and Del. Jon S. Cardin (D-Baltimore County) would create a voluntary system paid for with proceeds from the state's sale of unclaimed property.
Most lawmakers, said Tom Hucker of Progressive Maryland, don't like fundraising. The measure would allow them to "spend more time with voters and less time at cocktail parties with lobbyists raising money."
To qualify, candidates would have to collect $10 or more from about 280 registered voters in their district or one-quarter of 1 percent of the district's population. In general, qualified candidates for the House would receive $40,000 for a primary and another $40,000 for the general election. Senate candidates would receive $50,000 for each contest.
The cause also has a champion this session in Sen. Paula Hollinger (D-Baltimore County), who speaks from personal experience. Hollinger is running for the 3rd District Congressional seat held by Ben Cardin, who's running for the U.S. Senate.
"The time has come," Hollinger said before a hearing on the bill Friday. "The fundraising has gotten ridiculous for all offices."
Posted by: a former lobbyist | March 4, 2006 6:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kendrita | March 6, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Patrick | March 14, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.