Howard County Councilmember Deb Jung’s Full Remarks on the Emergency Legislation to correct the Citizens’ Election Fund

The following is text of the remarks made by Howard County Councilmember Deb Jung at the County Council Emergency Legislative Session on January 26th (dealing with fixing the Citizens’ Election Fund):

Howard County Councilmember Deb Jung’s Full Remarks on the Introduction of Emergency Council Bill 11-2022

This evening, Howard County Councilmember Deb Jung delivered the following remarks on the introduction of Emergency Council Bill 11-2022.

“There is an old saying that ‘without will nothing is possible but that with will anything is possible’.

“Introduction of this emergency bill will give our County Council the possibility to fulfill the will of the over 76,000 voters who amended our Charter in 2016 to provide for public financing of elections as an alternative to traditional big money campaign financing.

“It will give us the possibility to further the legislative intent of the prior County Council that the Citizens’ Election Fund (CEF) apply to the Primary Election in this 2022 election cycle in the manner that was understood by all and represented by County and State officials as the program was launched this year.

“If this bill passes quickly, and I am optimistic that it will, the real winners will be the residents of Howard County who will see now that campaign finance reform can work – and is possible – even in the midst of a pandemic.

“I want to thank all of my fellow councilmembers for co-sponsoring this bill. This is what should have happened in the first place. I particularly want to thank Councilmember David Yungmann for his efforts in getting us to this point. I am a staunch Democrat and he is a staunch Republican. We disagree on many policy issues. But Councilmember Yungmann is a man of goodwill and his efforts are truly appreciated.

“I also want to thank the many Howard County residents who communicated their outrage to the Administration and the County Council about the blocking of State-approved CEF funds, and who testified at the public hearing. It is our Howard County residents who have made this happen and deserve the most thanks.

“Simply put, our residents don’t want politics injected into the Citizen’s Election Fund. When it comes to elections, and really to most other local issues, our residents expect their local elected officials to be on Team Howard County – not on a Team Red or a Team Blue.

“It has been a whirlwind for me since the close of business on Friday, January 7, when the Administration cut off funding for my campaign. We have all learned some lessons from this unfortunate episode.

“For me, the main take-away is the need for each of us to stay engaged. Democracy is a very fragile thing at every level of government, including right here in Howard County. I have been a resident of this wonderful County for 33 years and it takes vigilance to preserve democracy at every level, including the local level. We must stand up and fight for our core values.

“The silver lining from this unfortunate situation is clear. People of good will, of all ages, and of all political stripes, stood up for the values and goals underpinning the Citizens’ Election Fund. I believe that is a very positive development for our Howard County civic space.

“The time to act is now – no more ifs, ands, or buts. Let us pass this bill unanimously, look beyond this distraction, and continue to do the people’s business. That’s the best way to serve the people of Howard County. That is what I believe.

Thank You”

Background:

Citizens Election Fund Technicality Spurs Calls for Reform in Howard County

Howard leaders, residents call for emergency legislation to allow for disbursement of monies from Citizens Election Fund

CEF Commission Statement

###

View the remarks in PDF format here: CEF Statement

You can watch the video of the Council Session on January 26th here (as live streamed via Scott E’s Blog social media channels):


OK…the next step is on February 7th:

The required Public Hearing for this bill will be held on Monday, February 7th, 2022 at 6:00 pm, immediately followed by a Special Legislative Session for final action. The anticipated passage of CB11-2022, which requires the support of at least four out of five Councilmembers, will become immediately enacted once signed by County Executive Ball.

Hopefully all goes smoothly on the 7th.

I may try out the live streaming via social media again on February 7th. If I am able to make that happen you can watch on these channels:

Here are the locations for the live stream:

Scott E

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