Frederick's law regarding how much business owners can donate to candidates in elections should mirror the state's law, the city's Board of Supervisors of Elections decided Wednesday.

The board will recommend to the mayor and Board of Aldermen that they pass an amendment to the city's election law that limits the amount a person who owns multiple business entities, such as limited liability corporations, is able to donate to each candidate.

Anne Leffler, the board's president, said the change is long overdue.

The business owner would be limited to the same amounts allowed to a resident or corporation — $2,500 to one mayoral candidate and $1,000 to one aldermanic candidate — no matter how many business entities that person owns or is making donations from.

The mayor and board may consider the proposal during a public hearing in October.

Residents raised concern about the issue after The Frederick News-Post published an article on the topic, said Saundra Nickols, the city's attorney.

The article outlined how, before the first filing campaign finance deadline, Delegate Galen Clagett received about half of his $60,000 in donations from businesses associated with two people. Alderwoman Karen Young, one of his rival mayoral candidates in the Democratic primary, received about 15 percent of her $49,000 in donations from businesses associated with one person.

Legislators voted in the General Assembly this year to change the law in the state to limit the business owners to the same rules as others. The change will take effect in 2015.

Alderwoman Carol Krimm suggested that the city take a look at an ordinance regarding the law.

If passed, the city's law will not change until the next election cycle.

(8) comments

darththevader

Those Republicans again with thier Big Corporate sketchy donations...wait...what? They're both Democrats??? Never mind then. This must explain why there aren't 100the comments

rzak21703

I'm guessing NOBODY would have taken notice until the Frederick News Post published an editorial complaining they had to do too much work to filter data from candidate financial reports and they want an "automatic" system that wouldn't encumber them by making them break a sweat. As an unintended consequence I'm guess many people, besides myself, went to scour the financial reports to see why the FN-P made a big deal out of it only to see many contributions all made from the same address to one candidate. It didn't take long to find out it was two developers using a loophole in the system but the point is the FN-P probably had absolutely no intention of actually practicing journalism because I'm sure those people are FN-P advertisers. Evidently enough "regular people" scoured the financial disclosures because of the FN-P editorial and saw the totally legal but troubling donations being funneled to a candidate which does seem to support a candidate being "owned." So if Mr. Regular Citizen donates $50 or $100 but then has a beef with Mr. $10,000+ deep pocket developer donation and the issue goes to the Mayor, who do you think would win?

rscott25

While a start, all our elections, top to bottom, should be government financed, at a much reduced level. I mean, Obama spent his whole first 4 years in the WH raising $1 billion to run for re-election. And I would say they can't use their own money either (Romney, Bloomberg). Then they might be a lot more genuine in what they promise and legislation passed, instead of being beholden to any corporation or individual (think Murdauch and Soros). It the one thing I would actually not mind seeing my taxes go up for.

president8444

let ausherman spend the money he made overpricing homes here.

rscott25

Especially when a lot couldn't pass the same inspections that my father had to when he built our house independently.

alovelyplace

Thank you Board of Supervisors of Elections!

wmpratt2010

If we had an actively informed electorate; the amount of money a candidate received would be meaningless.

armillary

Yet you have no problem remembering advertising jingles from 50 years ago. Advertising is powerful stuff, and is what candidates spend most of their money on. .

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