I recently wrote an article about the money raised by Howard County State Senators and State Delegates as reported in the latest campaign finance reports in January 2017 (READ HERE). So I decided to go a little deeper in the reports and focus on where some of that money is coming from for the elected officials (because I was truly interested in the high amount of money Delegate Shane Pendergrass raised in her latest report).
My research turned up something very interesting (or at least I think so)…Delegate Pendergrass (District 13) raised over $84,000 in total with over $34,000 of that money coming from PACs (Political Action Committees) – or around 40% of total funds raised. Want to read the report – CLICK HERE.
Now let me be very clear, there is nothing wrong or any other negative connotation relating to PACs supporting Delegate Pendergrass or any other candidate for office (except maybe in the context of taking big money out of politics). After the big push locally that passed the new “citizen funded campaign system” in Howard County – I thought this would be good information to know (and yes, I know that bill has nothing to do with those elected officials in Annapolis – but in the context of big money in politics and campaign finance reform, I thought it was worth looking into just a little bit).
Given the numbers above, I decided to check out who else was getting PAC money (focused only on elected officials from HoCo in Annapolis who raised more than $20,000 in total). Here is their PAC hauls in the latest reports:
State Senator Bates (9): $0 in PAC money
State Senator Kasemeyer (12): $21,500 in PAC money (around 36% of total raised)
State Senator Guzzone (13): $14,375 in PAC money (around 19% of total raised)
State Delegate Ebersole (12): $7,600 in PAC money (around 37% of total raised)
State Delegate Lam (12): $4,880 in PAC money (around 24% of total raised)
State Delegate Atterbeary (13): $6,450 in PAC money (around 24% of total raised)
And just because I was interested in how much of the Kittleman funds and others were from PACs…
County Executive Kittleman: $16,015 in PAC money (around 4% of total raised)
I only discovered around $8,100 of PAC money for all of the current County Council members.
(note – if I made a mistake in any of the numbers above – please contact me and I will correct the information ASAP. My specialty is technology and social media outreach so I apologize in advance if anything above is not correct).
It takes a lot of money to run for office at just about any level and individual contributions do not always cover expenses in a campaign season. As you can see, many current elected officials utilize PAC contributions to build up their coffers to run for office. I am not writing this in the context as this is a bad thing…just sharing information that I thought was interesting and thought you might find helpful in future discussions.
A bit of recent news concerning Delegate Pendergrass: (Excerpts via Maryland Reporter)
Third try for the right to die legislation
After two years of dead ends, Maryland lawmakers have again introduced measures to give terminally ill Marylanders the right to die using doctor prescribed medications.
The Senate Bill, SB354, sponsored by Sen. Guy Guzzone, D-Howard, has 14 co-sponsors, all Democrats. The House version, HB370, sponsored again by Del. Shane Pendergrass, has 44 co-sponsors, only one a Republican, Delegate Chris West, R-Baltimore County.
This is the third year in a row Pendergrass has sponsored the legislation, and she now chairs the House Health and Government Operations Committee that will hear it again.
A Senate version last year received an unfavorable report from the Judicial Proceedings Committee and was withdrawn by the sponsor, Sen. Ron Young, D-Frederick.
The House committee never took a vote on the measure after the Senate panel killed the bill.
In 2015 House and Senate versions also failed to clear their committees.
Will the third time be the charm that gets this legislation passed? I guess we will all have to wait and see.
One last item – I know Delegate Pendergrass is not on any social media channels (I have reported that many times) but she did have a website at one time…and I can not seem to find it today. Does anyone know what is going on with that? She did spend a little more than $100 on “Website Development” in 2016…but I can’t find a website out there for her. If you have any information you can share…let me know.
Have a great weekend everyone…