Kittleman vetoes CB30

Call county executive Allan KIttleman’s office and protest his veto of the Fair Election process approved by 70,000 Howard County voters last November and approved by the county council 4-1 on June 5.

Although the council is expected to override that veto at it’s July 3 meeting, Mr. Kittleman needs to know that defying the voters is not good government, especially when it is defense of keeping big money politics in Howard County.

Interestingly, Kittleman did not issue a statement explaining his action Wednesday, June 14, according to the county public information office. He has previously opposed the program because he and other Republicans object to using tax money to subsidize election campaigns.

What he ignores, of course, is that setting aside roughly $600,000 a year for this purpose has a huge public benefit for everyone: it keeps special interest money from developers, builders, zoning lawyers, unions and PACS out of county politics, starting in 2022.

Under the legislation passed by the council, candidate for county executive and council who want to participate first have to raise a preliminary amount from small donations, and may not take more than $250 from any donor over a four-year cycle

The county, using tax dollars, will match donations up to $150 by varying proportions, starting with a 6-1 match for the smallest donations and lessening that as the amount increases.

Kittleman’s argument makes no sense. We spend taxpayer dollars to achieve a public good. What is a better result that eliminating county executive races that cost far over $1 million and rising? This program, adopted by Montgomery county for 2018’s elections, will encourage more people to participate in democracy and more varied candidates to run for county offices.

The Fair elections Howard Coalition that backed the referendum last year issued a statement after the veto.

“Marylanders from all political parties and backgrounds agree that big money (up to $6,000 is allowed now), has thrown our democracy way out of balance. A few wealthy donors, corporations, unions and PACS have too much influence.”

I agree. CALL your executive and protest, and call your county council member and urge them to vote to override the veto!

Larry Carson



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