The Montgomery County Council last week passed legislation that will “put ordinary folks back in charge of elections, and put Montgomery County at the forefront of the fight against big money influence,” said Jos Williams, AFL-CIO Metro Washington Council President...
The landmark fair elections law, Bill 16-14, empowers small donors by allowing candidates to raise low-dollar donations from individuals in their district to qualify for matching funds. Once a candidate meets the threshold to qualify, donations of $150 or less will be matched with public funds, with smaller donations receiving a higher match. In exchange, candidates agree to turn down large donations from special interests. “Voters expect public officials to make decisions that advance the public interest,” said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, Common Cause Maryland Executive Director. “But the hard truth is that special interests too often get special attention from candidates and officeholders.” Supporters called the bill’s passage a major victory for fair elections and said it’s the first passed by a local government in Maryland since the state legislature allowed them in 2012. Click here to read more from Democracy Initiative partners.