I know western Maryland is a bit outside of my normal writing…that is more the territory Ryan Miner (A Miner Detail) covers during elections. I saw this information and thought it would be a good article for the afternoon.

Danielle Gaines wrote an article today for Maryland Matters titled “Trone Boosts Campaign With $4.5 Million From His Own Pocket“. In that article she states:

Trone (D) donated $1.5 million to his campaign and loaned it an additional $3 million during the last quarter, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday night. Trone, the founder and CEO of Total Wine & More, has given or loaned his campaign for the 6th District congressional seat just under $16 million this election cycle, according to campaign filings.

Read the full article here:  https://www.marylandmatters.org/single-post/2018/10/16/Trone-Boosts-Campaign-With-45-Million-From-His-Own-Pocket

So the “just under $16 million his election cycle” plus the “$13 million two years ago”…and you get nearly $29 million over two election cycles attempting to become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland.

Locally, there was a lot of negative talk about candidates self financing local campaigns (I remember a lot of chatter about candidates running for Board of Education, Howard County Council and Maryland State Delegate just off the top of my head).

I am curious what my readers think of this type of self financing in that type of race? Is it excessive…or is it his own money and it is legal so why should I care?

I am SUPER interested in the thoughts from U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes on this type of money in elections. Congressman Sarbanes is a champion of campaign finance reform and removing BIG money from elections (https://www.johnsarbanes.com/landing/Working-Citizen-Owned-Elections) but does his plan address this type of money from the super rich? He does mention the following in that link:

We need a return to government of, by and for the people — not government bought and paid for by the PACs and Super PACs

But does this mean when the super rich run for office that there should not be a balance to that in some way? As great as “small donor matching systems” are…they can never bring in the type of money that is being spent by David Trone over the past two elections.

I hope to hear from Congressman Sarbanes on this topic. I live in District 3…so he represents me…and therefore I am even more interested in what his thoughts are on this subject. If I do hear back…I will be sure to post a follow up to this article.

I don’t know what the right answer is…but I do have my own feelings on this topic. I am curious on your thoughts. Let me know in the comments or in the comments on Facebook.

Scott E

On a side note – Maryland Matters is just outstanding and has been one of my favorite reads for months now.