Note: “The following is attributed to Mark Miller, Administrator to the Office of Public Information” sent to Scott E’s Blog on January 11th:
“We are aware of restrictions identified by the Citizen’s Election Fund (CEF) Commission in the County Code impacting when the Director of Finance may legally distribute public financing, a subsequent request by a participating candidate for public contributions that is currently prohibited by the Code, and the Director of Finance’s denial of the participating candidate’s request based on the restrictions identified by the CEF commission.
On October 19th, following announcements by several candidates regarding their intention to participate in the Citizen’s Election Fund (CEF), our office and all five (5) members of the County Council received correspondence from the CEF Commission raising concerns related to the timing of disbursement of public contributions to participating candidates. Specifically, the October 19th letter from the CEF Commission provides that “Section §10.306(a)(3) of the law generally provides that the Director of Finance cannot disburse a public contribution to a candidate unless it is a contested election. However, paragraph (a)(3)(i) specifically states: “For the purpose of this paragraph, whether an election is contested shall be determined on the first Tuesday in August preceding the election.”
On December 16th, two months after receiving notice of the concerns of the CEF commission regarding the timing of disbursement of public contributions, a representative from the Committee to Re-Elect Deb Jung contacted the State Board of Elections seeking confirmation that an opposing candidate had filed to seek election in Council District 4, and for approval to seek public contributions from the County Department of Finance. Following confirmation of an opposing candidate filing from the State Board of Elections on January 4th, the Director of Finance notified the Committee to Re-Elect Deb Jung that he was prohibited from disbursing public contributions until the first Tuesday in August as noted in the October 19th letter from the CEF Commission. We are aware that Councilmember David Yungmann has filed legislation mid-election cycle seeking to amend the rules of the CEF by striking Section §10.306(a)(3)(i) from the County Code, and are currently monitoring that legislation.”
Here are past articles on this topic:
Coalition Calls on Howard County Executive and Council to Save Fair Elections Program
Howard County is not currently releasing funds from Citizens’ Election Fund to candidates that have qualified