Howard County Executive Calvin Ball released the following statement regarding the Citizen’s Election Fund and Council Bill 6:
“Throughout my career, I have been a demonstrated and steadfast supporter of publicly funded political campaigns. As a member of the County Council, I supported ballot question A, voted in favor of CB30-2017 which created the Citizens’ Election Fund, and voted to override the veto of then-County Executive Allan Kittleman. As County Executive, I established the fund administratively in my first year in office, and have dedicated $1.25 million to the fund over our last two budgets, during uncertain fiscal times, when it would have been easy to allocate money elsewhere, to ensure the viability of the Citizens’ Election Fund for all County Executive and County Council candidates.
I am wholly supportive of any measure that clarifies the process through which the Citizens’ Election Fund program is administered that is done in a manner that is consistent with the intent of the legislation that created the fund. I fought to make this program a reality and will continue fighting to make it succeed.
Allan Kittleman, who vocally opposed Ballot Question A, vetoed CB30-2017, and refused to take any action to establish the fund for nearly 18 months after the Citizens’ Election Fund became law in Howard County, testified in support of a legislative fix to the administration of the Citizens’ Election Fund program on Tuesday night. Was it only when Republican candidate Allan Kittleman saw an opportunity to benefit himself that his belief that “Our taxes should not go to boost the campaign coffers of any political candidate” subsided, and his efforts to “max out” the use of taxpayer funds to boost his own campaign coffers began?
I watched the Howard County Council public hearing, and the recounting of those who testified of continuing efforts in Montgomery County to fix issues related to the rules governing the fund through the legislative process. I believe that we can do the same in Howard County, and look forward to working with our Council to calmly make the adjustments needed to ensure the long-term success of the program. While we collectively wish we had been alerted of this issue sooner, I am pleased that we are now engaged in our legislative process and can resolve issues as they arise as has been accomplished in our peer jurisdictions that have successfully implemented the program.”
I am happy to see this statement from Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. Let’s all hope that Councilmembers Jones and Rigby hear the same statement and approve CB 6-22 as emergency legislation.