Howard needs campaign reform
I support Question A on the Howard County ballot and urge everyone to vote in favor of publicly funded political campaigns.
I attended a Question A house party and learned that participating candidates cannot accept contributions over $150 or corporate contributions. Past president of the NAACP, Ben Jealous, also spoke at the house party about two political forces, organized money (for example, PACs and corporations) and organized people (grassroots). In Fatimah Waseem’s very fair article (“Voters will decide if Howard County will have publicly funded campaigns,” Oct. 19), she mentions a disturbing fact — “Less than one-third of donations for all local races in 2010 and 2014 came from Howard County residents.” Publicly funded campaigns allow organized people to be heard over the megaphone of organized money.
Question A will also expand opportunities to run for office. This is already true at the state level where Gov. Larry Hogan was the first candidate in Maryland history to win using public funds. I think Laurel lawyer Dave Loeffler misses the point of when he opposes Question A stating, “that someone could be giving their hard-earned tax dollars to someone they fundamentally disagree with.” As Kurt Vonnegut says, “If you are an American, you must allow all ideas to circulate freely in your community, not merely your own.”