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Statement by Executive Kittleman regarding CB-30

June 6, 2017

Media Contact:
Deidre McCabe, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman released the following statement regarding the County Council’s passing of CB-30, a bill that would permit taxpayer dollars to be spent on political campaigns.

“I have always been in favor of public financing of elections, as long as donations are made voluntarily and not from taxpayer funds. For years, I have made these donations myself by checking off a box when filing my tax returns.

What the Howard County Council did in passing CB-30 Monday night was different. The Council has authorized the funding of campaigns with money collected from taxes, diverting money from our collective priorities of education, public safety, infrastructure improvements and recreational facilities to finance someone’s political ambitions, including candidates that a taxpayer may be diametrically opposed to supporting.

No one less than Thomas Jefferson agreed when he wrote that: ‘to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.’

Claims from the bill’s supporters that this measure will get big money out of politics are misguided as well. Candidates need not take part in the program, meaning that it changes little to the election process except for funneling more money into it.

Shortly after the bill was introduced, I let the members of the County Council know that I would be open to supporting legislation that would create public funding that was voluntary and didn’t use taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, four of the five members did not agree with me.

I ran for office on a platform of fiscal responsibility and to safeguard the money the residents entrusted to Howard County government. I don’t believe this is how our residents’ hard-earned tax dollars should be spent. Consequently, I will veto this bill when it reaches my desk.”