Cumberland Times-News


July 14, 2014

Heard it all

What don’t they understand about filing?

— Pesky thing, this requirement that political candidates file campaign finance reports.

What business is it of ours, anyway, where, when and how they stock their campaign war chests? You know, right to privacy, freedom of speech and expression, that sort of thing.

The list of politicians who have wound up in hot water because of campaign financing irregularities is long, indeed. An official in Massachusetts was indicted for allegedly siphoning $1.65 million from the state’s lottery advertising funds to use in his campaign. He eventually paid a $100,000 fine.

One of the more notorious cases in recent years involved former Texas Rep. Tom DeLay, who was convicted in 2010 of money laundering and conspiracy charges related to illegal campaign finance activities allegedly committed on behalf of Republicans. An appeals court ultimately overturned his conviction.

Jared DeMarinis is director of candidacy and campaign finance for the Maryland State Board of Election, and he’s the one our politicians call with excuses when they find out the state is fining them for not filing campaign finance reports on time. He told The Daily Record he’s just about heard it all.

Last week, the state election board approved 33 requests for waivers, some because there was a death in the family or other personal problem.

The most popular excuse is that campaign officials didn’t understand how to use the computer software. (In some cases, the failure involved neglecting to hit the button that sends the report on its electronic way to Annapolis.)

Often, the waiver is requested on grounds that having to pay the fine will pose an undue financial hardship. (We wonder how well that one would go over in traffic court.)

Most of the waivers are granted to the campaigns of people who simply ran for office and had no idea of what they were doing or were required to do.

Based on our observations, that description could apply in more ways than one to many of those who decide to run for office.

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  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Legion honor guard available to honor veterans at their funerals

    We in the honor guard of Fort Cumberland Post 13, American Legion, performed 196 veterans service in 2013.

    July 22, 2014

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Remember, we’re not immune to extinction

    I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.

    If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”

    July 21, 2014

  • America has three branches of government for good reasons

    “Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tell legislators to do what is right for America’s vets

    Without our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, where would America be today? It is anyone’s guess, however certainly not the Freedom and Liberty we enjoy.

    July 18, 2014

  • Opposition and inclusion understood

    Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.

    July 17, 2014

  • Move over Move over

    Have you noticed, in your travels, that the front end of a police cruiser usually protrudes a bit more than you would expect when the officer has it parked behind another vehicle on the side of the road?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Use local workers in building new Baltimore Pike travel stop

    As a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly representing Allegany County, and specifically the City of Cumberland, I welcome you to our community as you prepare to construct a Love’s Travel Stop at the above referenced location (on Baltimore Pike).

    July 17, 2014

  • Northern Garrett Rescue Squad raising funds, seeks members

    The Northern Garrett County Rescue Squad recently conducted several fund raising events to raise funds for new Lifepak 15’s, which are EKG monitors with AED / defibrillator.

    July 16, 2014