It is that time again…a chance to review the campaign finance reports (Pre-General Report 2) of candidates running for Howard County Board of Education. These reports cover campaign transactions from 8/19/20 to 10/18/20. This is the second campaign finance report for the 2020 General. Here is a basic summary of money received, spent and cash on hand for each candidate in each district:

Here are some highlights:

Most money on hand: Yun Lu (D5)

Raised the most money: Sezin Palmer (D4)

Spent the most money: Christina Delmont-Small (D1)

Here is my listing of notable items on the reports for this reporting period. Things I am looking at as notable include: donations over $500, donations from elected officials in Howard County, PAC money, money from other political campaigns or other candidates for office and other stuff I think is significant:

District 1:

Christina Delmont-Small:

  • Lisa Daily – $500
  • Mahesh Kukata – $500
  • In Kind Contribution:
    • The Peoples Voice LLC PAC – $51.29
  • TV ads
    • Comcast – $5,497.80

Note – I listed the TV ad because I am used to seeing money for mailers but TV ads is kind of new for these races.

Matthew Molyett:

  • Rich Gibson (Howard County States Attorney) – $50
  • Clarence Lam (State Senator District 12) – $100
  • Paula Seabright – $500
  • Political Clubs:
    • Columbia Democratic Club – $500
    • Ellicott City & Western Howard Democratic Club – $200
  • In-Kind Contribution:
    • Vote Yes on Question 2 – $430.92

Note – there are also a number of individual contributions from members of the Howard County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC) listed in this report…not a few…a bunch. I may have more on the HCDCC involvement in BOE races in a future article as there is an image of a very interesting email floating around social media.

District 2:

Antonia Watts:

  • In-Kind Contributions:
    • MSEA’s Fund For Children And Public Education PAC – $206.16
    • Vote Yes on Question 2 – $430.92
  • Candidate Loan to the campaign – $295.67

Larry Pretlow:

  • No notable items on the report

District 3:

Jolene Mosley:

  • Transfer from elected officials finance entities:
    • Guy Guzzone (State Senator District 13) – $750
  • In-Kind Contribution:
    • Vote Yes on Question 2 – $430.92

Tom Heffner:

  • N/A – filed an Affidavit of Limited Contributions and Expenditures (ALCE)

District 4:

Sezin Palmer:

  • Bradley Bloodworth – $500
  • Mahesh Kukata – $1,000
  • Sheridan Phillips – $2,000
  • In-Kind Contribution:
    • The Peoples Voice LLC PAC – $153.38
  • TV ads:
    • EffecTV East – $7,436.65

Note – I listed the TV ad because I am used to seeing money for mailers but TV ads is kind of new for these races.

Jen Mallo:

  • Deb Jung (Howard County Council – District 4) – $250
  • Sang Oh – $500
  • Paula Seabright – $500
  • Political Clubs:
    • Columbia Democratic Club – $500
  • Transfer from elected officials finance entities:
    • Clarence Lam (State Senator District 12) – $500
  • Refund / destruction of property:
    • The Columbia Association – $140 (READ MORE)
  • In-Kind Contribution:
    • Vote Yes on Question 2 – $430.92
  • Loan to the campaign – $7,000

Note – I provided a link about the Columbia Association money noted in the report…plus there is a lot of stuff to this report.

Julie Hotopp:

  • N/A – filed an Affidavit of Limited Contributions and Expenditures (ALCE)

District 5:

Yun Lu:

  • Timothy Dull – $500
  • Qing Li – $1,000
  • Sheridan Phillips $1,000

Cindy Vaillancourt:

  • In-Kind Contributions:
    • MSEA’s Fund For Children And Public Education PAC – $4,106.78

Hopefully I got all of the notable items mentioned at the top of this article for each report. There were 11 reports to review in a short period of time. If you think I missed anything of note – let me know in the comments.

Here are some of my overall comments on the reports:

  • Two candidates chose to run TV ads (Delmont-Small and Palmer). I will be very interested in seeing the return on investment (ROI) of TV ads vs the ROI on mailers in a local race.
  • Four candidates listed In-Kind contributions from Vote Yes on Question 2 for a mailer. Many have seen this mailer floating around on social media. The authority line on that mailer says “paid by” a number of entities…including these four candidates. Not being a campaign finance expert…I have a number of questions about that authority line now that we know that these candidates did not “pay” for that mailer but was gifted it. If you have any expertise in this area please feel free to weigh in on the comments.

Article Update: Here is information noted from the comments section below:

If an individual or an entity pays for campaign material with the candidate’s cooperation, knowledge and coordination, the campaign material in question should have the authority line of the candidate’s campaign finance entity.

So that answers this question for me this morning.

  • MSEA’s Fund For Children And Public Education PAC apparently provided significantly more money (In-kind) to Vaillancourt vs Watts. I believe this was for mailers for the candidates.
  • Political influence remains in these races and you can see that from what I have listed above in my notes. Political clubs, elected officials and Central Committees are heavily invested in two of these races (District 1 and District 4) particularly on one side of the political spectrum.
  • More than $70,000 was noted in expenditures in this latest round of campaign finance reports form the 11 candidates. Remember when we all thought that running by district would make it easier (and less expensive) for candidates to run local campaigns. Yep…that is out the door now.

Here is a link to my Google Drive folder with all of the reports from October 2020 if you would like to review those: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1jbzP7fkT9ybArE-UQ1s6fpclSgdfSF_V?usp=sharing

I added campaign finance reports from PACs and other entities participating in this election process (CAPA, The Peoples Voice, Yes on Question 2, Howard Progressive Project). I thought you might find those interesting as well.

Here is the summary article from August 2020:  https://scotteblog.com/2020/08/26/summary-from-the-campaign-finance-reports-of-candidates-running-for-howard-county-board-of-education-august-2020/

Here is the summary article from May 2020:  https://scotteblog.com/2020/05/23/summary-from-the-campaign-finance-reports-of-candidates-running-for-howard-county-board-of-education-may-2020/

Here is the summary article from April 2020:   https://scotteblog.com/2020/04/29/summary-and-notable-items-from-the-campaign-finance-reports-of-candidates-running-for-howard-county-board-of-education/

Here is the summary article from January 2020:  https://scotteblog.com/2020/01/16/campaign-finance-reports-for-howard-county-board-of-education-candidates-and-elected-officials/

Be sure to learn more about the candidates on Scott E’s Blog HoCoBOE resource page:  https://scotteblog.com/hocoboe-in-2020/

You can lookup campaign finance reports here:  https://campaignfinance.maryland.gov/Public/ViewFiledReports?theme=vista

Scott E

7 COMMENTS

      • “Paid for” isn’t actually official part of an authority line and doesn’t really have any significance. The state doesn’t really see a difference between someone giving money to a campaign and then that being used for a mailing vs. the donor just doing the mailing themselves in coordination with campaign.

        • Thank you. The two examples you give in your last sentence are two different things, and are recorded differently. It has not been my experience, over the years, with the MD Board of Elections that they do not expect the proper reporting and notation of different actions in this regard. You are right that the appearance of an authority line, is just that, authority, and saying Paid for in addition to authorized, adds the statement of financial sourcing of payment, which should only be noted when accurate.

          • Didn’t claim they were reported the same… My point is that there is nothing wrong with the reports. Also, that “paid for” on a mailer means nothing legally. The mailing was still paid for under the authority of the listed campaigns

          • To put more clearly. From the perspective of SBE, the campaigns authorized money to be sent for there benefit.

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