There have been some discussions about out of state money contributed to candidates running for Howard County Board of Education in 2020. I thought I would look at the various contributions received on the last 2 campaign finance reports (January and April 2020) and see how much of that money has come from out of state.

Here is a summary of total contributions (Contributions – Schd 1, Col A), in-state money, out of state money and % of out of state money by candidate on the finance reports from January 2020:

Notes:

  • Not all of the current candidates had entered the race by the time the January reports were filed (or required to be filed) which is why you see so many $0 listings
  • Only $410 (or less than 1% of contributions) of out of state money was noted on the reports filed in January

Here is a summary of total contributions (Contributions – Schd 1, Col A), in-state money, out of state money and % of out of state money by candidate on the finance reports from April 2020:

Notes:

  • Tom Heffner filed an ALCE and Cindy Vaillancourt did not report any contributions- that is why you see $0 in those columns
  • Over $8,000 (or more than 10% of contributions) of out of state money was noted on the reports filed in April
    • $5,000 of out of state contributions was from one donor in California to 5 different campaigns (Pretlow, Alfeo, Palmer, Rehman and Lu)

Here is a summary of total contributions (Contributions – Schd 1, Col A), in-state money, out of state money and % of out of state money by candidate on the finance reports from January and April 2020 combined:

Notes:

  • Almost 7% of contributions noted on the January and April finance reports to the 16 active candidates came from out of state donations
  • Antonia Barkley Watts took in the most out of state money (more than $1,900) followed by Yun Lu ($1,240) and Sezin Palmer ($1,200)

Keep in mind there is nothing illegal or even wrong with taking out of state contributions. Many people living here have friends and family out of state. I know if I ran for office I would guess I would get a decent amount of funding from Tennessee (because if I did not my family and I would have a conversation…LOL).

I have seen more than a few posts and comments on the $5,000 coming from the one donor in California. I have seen posts noting that donor has a connection to Howard County (either actually lives here in HoCo and still has an address in CA or that person in CA has a family member that lives here in HoCo…it is unclear to me at this time which scenario it is). That being the case I see no big issue with the contributions…other than it is a lot of money to put into a local BOE race…but again…nothing illegal and nothing wrong with it in any way.

If you want to double check my work to make sure I did not make any mistakes (I put this together kind of quickly) you can look over the campaign finance reports here:

Here is a link to my Google Drive folder with the reports from January:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZivWeXoh_7GNmk3qQcMr7_W3CFX1fvrM

Here is a link to my Google Drive folder with all of the reports from April:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OpwSyizR3DJQ7Ghss6huXYhleQ2xf4o1

If you do see any mistakes please let me know and I will update the charts ASAP.

Here is the other article I have written about campaign finance reports recently: Summary and notable items from the campaign finance reports of candidates running for Howard County Board of Education

I may break out the in-county vs out of county numbers in a future post or maybe even an in-district vs out of district look at those incoming contributions. Anyone that wants to lend a hand (it takes a decent amount of time to go through each and every contribution in those finance reports) let me know. I would love the help.

Scott E

2 COMMENTS

  1. Tom Harriman, Sr. Is my father in law who lives in California. He asked me how he could help with my anti-redistricting work and I suggested that he could help to fund the campaigns of people I thought were the best candidates. God bless the lovely man, he did so. Hence the out of state contributions from California.

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