Cindy Walsh for Mayor of Baltimore
- Mayoral Election violations
Questionnaires from Community
- Education Questionnaire
- Baltimore Housing Questionnaire
- Emerging Youth Questionnaire
- Health Care policy for Baltimore
- Environmental Questionnaires
- Livable Baltimore questionnaire
- Labor Questionnnaire
- Ending Food Deserts Questionnaire
- Maryland Out of School Time Network
- LBGTQ Questionnaire
- Citizen Artist Baltimore Mayoral Forum on Arts & Culture Questionnaire
- Baltimore Transit Choices Questionnaire
- Baltimore Activating Solidarity Economies (BASE)
- Downtown Partnership Questionnaire
- Streets and Transportation/Neighbood Questionnaire
- African American Tourism and business questionnaire
- Baltimore Sun Questionnaire
- City Paper Mayoral Questionnaire
- Baltimore Technology Com Questionnaire
- Baltimore Biker's Questionnair
- Homewood Friends Meeting Questionnaire
- Baltimore Historical Collaboration---Anthem Project
- Tubman City News Mayoral Questionnaire
- Maryland Public Policy Institute Questionnaire
- AFRO questionnaire
- WBAL Candidate's Survey
- Trans Pacific Pact (TPP)
- Progressive vs. Third Way Corporate Democrats
Financial Reform/Wall Street Fraud
- Federal Healthcare Reform
- Social Security and Entitlement Reform
- Federal Education Reform
- Government Schedules
State and Local Government
- Maryland Committee Actions
- Maryland and Baltimore Development Organizations
- Maryland State Department of Education
- Baltimore City School Board
Building Strong Media
Media with a Progressive Agenda (I'm still checking on that!)
- "Talk About It" Radio - WFBR 1590AM Baltimore
- Promethius Radio Project
- Clearing the Fog
- Democracy Now
- Black Agenda Radio
- World Truth. TV Your Alternative News Network.
- Daily Censured
- Bill Moyers Journal
- Center for Public Integrity
- Public Radio International
- Baltimore Brew
- Free Press
- Far Left/Socialist Media
- Media with a Third Way Agenda >
- Media with a Progressive Agenda (I'm still checking on that!) >
- Progressive Actions
- Maryland/Baltimore Voting Districts - your politicians and their votes
- Petitions, Complaints, and Freedom of Information Requests
- State of the Democratic Party
- Misc 2
- Misc 3
- Misc 4
- Standard of Review
WALSH FOR GOVERNOR - CANDIDATE INFORMATION AND PLATFORM
- Campaign Finance/Campaign donations
- Speaking Events
- Why Heather Mizeur is NOT a progressive
- Campaign responses to Community Organization Questionnaires
Cindy Walsh vs Maryland Board of Elections
- Leniency from court for self-representing plaintiffs
- Amended Complaint
- Plaintiff request for expedited trial date
- Response to Motion to Dismiss--Brown, Gansler, Mackie, and Lamone
- Injunction and Mandamus
DECISION/APPEAL TO SPECIAL COURT OF APPEALS---Baltimore City Circuit Court response to Cindy Walsh complaint
Brief for Maryland Court of Special Appeals
- Cover Page ---yellow
- Table of Contents
- Table of Authorities
- Leniency for Pro Se Representation
- Statement of Case
- Questions Presented
- Statement of Facts
- Conclusion/Font and Type Size
- Record Extract
- Motion for Reconsideration
- Response to Defendants Motion to Dismiss
- Motion to Reconsider Dismissal
- Brief for Maryland Court of Special Appeals >
- General Election fraud and recount complaints
Cindy Walsh goes to Federal Court for Maryland election violations
- Complaints filed with the FCC, the IRS, and the FBI
- Zapple Doctrine---Media Time for Major Party candidates
- Complaint filed with the US Justice Department for election fraud and court irregularities.
- Private media has a responsibility to allow access to all candidates in an election race. >
- Polling should not determine a candidate's viability especially if the polling is arbitrary
- Viability of a candidate
- Public media violates election law regarding do no damage to candidate's campaign
- 501c3 Organizations violate election law in doing no damage to a candidate in a race >
- Voter apathy increases when elections are not free and fair
- Maryland Board of Elections certifies election on July 10, 2014
- Maryland Elections ---2016
LAW Section 501(c)(3) provides for the exemption from federal income tax of organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable or educational purposes, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in section 501(h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
Section 1.501(c)(3)-1(c)(3)(i) of the Income Tax Regulations states that an organization is not operated exclusively for one or more exempt purposes if it is an “action” organization.
Section 1.501(c)(3)-1(c)(3)(iii) of the regulations defines an “action” organization as an organization that participates or intervenes, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. The term “candidate for public office” is defined as an individual who offers himself, or is proposed by others, as a contestant for an elective public office, whether such office be national, State, or local. The regulations further provide that activities that constitute participation or intervention in a political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate include, but are not limited to, the publication or distribution of written statements or the making of oral statements on behalf of or in opposition to such a candidate.
Whether an organization is participating or intervening, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office depends upon all of the facts and circumstances of each case. For example, certain “voter education” activities, including preparation and distribution of certain voter guides, conducted in a non-partisan manner may not constitute prohibited political activities under section 501(c)(3) of the Code. Other so-called “voter education” activities may be proscribed by the statute. Rev. Rul. 78-248, 1978-1 C.B. 154, contrasts several situations illustrating when an organization that publishes a compilation of candidate positions or voting records has or has not engaged in prohibited political activities based on whether the questionnaire used to solicit candidate positions or the voters guide itself shows a bias or preference in content or structure with respect to the views of a particular candidate. See also Rev. Rul. 80-282, 1980-2 C.B. 178, amplifying Rev. Rul. 78-248 regarding the timing and distribution of voter education materials.
The presentation of public forums or debates is a recognized method of educating the public. See Rev. Rul. 66-256, 1966-2 C.B. 210 (nonprofit organization formed to conduct public forums at which lectures and debates on social, political, and international matters are presented qualifies for exemption from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3)). Providing a forum for candidates is not, in and of itself, prohibited political activity. See Rev. Rul. 74-574, 1974-2 C.B. 160 (organization operating a broadcast station is not participating in political campaigns on behalf of public candidates by providing reasonable amounts of air time equally available to all legally qualified candidates for election to public office in compliance with the reasonable access provisions of the Communications Act of 1934). However, a forum for candidates could be operated in a manner that would show a bias or preference for or against a particular candidate. This could be done, for example, through biased questioning procedures. On the other hand, a forum held for the purpose of educating and informing the voters, which provides fair and impartial treatment of candidates, and which does not promote or advance one candidate over another, would not constitute participation or intervention in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. See Rev. Rul. 86-95, 1986-2 C.B. 73 (organization that proposes to educate voters by conducting a series of public forums in congressional districts during congressional election campaigns is not participating in a political campaign on behalf of any candidate due to the neutral form and content of its proposed forums).
Election Year Activities and the Prohibition on Political Campaign Intervention for Section 501(c)(3) Organizations
FS-2006-17, February 2006
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is releasing this fact sheet to provide information to help section 501(c)(3) organizations stay in compliance with the federal tax law. Many of the types of political intervention activities addressed in the fact sheet were those that came under scrutiny during the 2004 election cycle. The contents reflect the IRS interpretation of tax laws enacted by Congress, Treasury regulations, and court decisions. The information is not comprehensive, however, and does not cover every situation. Thus, it is not intended to replace the law or be the sole source of information. The resolution of any particular issue may depend on the specific facts and circumstances of a given taxpayer.
With the 2006 campaign season approaching, the IRS is launching enhanced education and enforcement efforts, based on the findings and analysis of the 2004 election cycle. The IRS is providing this fact sheet to help ensure that charities have enough advance notice of the types of problems that have occurred, the legal strictures against engaging in political activities and how to avoid these problems.
The IRS considers this fact sheet a living document, one that will be revised to take into account future developments and feedback. This fact sheet is the beginning of the IRS effort to increase the educational material available to the community. The IRS encourages comments which may be submitted to the IRS at the following addresses:
Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20224
Churches should also see Publication 1828, Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations.
Election Year Activities and the Prohibition on Political Campaign Intervention for Section 501(c)(3) Organizations
During election campaigns, many churches, universities, hospitals, social service providers, and other section 501(c)(3) organizations are uncertain about the extent to which they can discuss issues of importance in the campaigns or interact with candidates for public office. They are also uncertain about the role they can play in encouraging citizens to register and vote. This fact sheet is intended to help organizations understand what they can and cannot do when an election campaign is under way.
The Prohibition on Political Campaign Intervention
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to all campaigns including campaigns at the federal, state and local level. Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Those section 501(c)(3) organizations that are private foundations are subject to additional restrictions that are not described in this fact sheet.
What is Political Campaign Intervention?
Political campaign intervention includes any and all activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention. Distributing statements prepared by others that favor or oppose any candidate for public office will also violate the prohibition. Allowing a candidate to use an organization’s assets or facilities will also violate the prohibition if other candidates are not given an equivalent opportunity. Although section 501(c)(3) organizations may engage in some activities to promote voter registration, encourage voter participation, and provide voter education, they will violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention if they engage in an activity that favors or opposes any candidate for public office. Certain activities will require an evaluation of all the facts and circumstances to determine whether they result in political campaign intervention.
Voter Education, Voter Registration and Get Out the Vote Drives
Section 501(c)(3) organizations are permitted to conduct certain voter education activities (including the presentation of public forums and the publication of voter education guides) if they are carried out in a non-partisan manner. In addition, section 501(c)(3) organizations may encourage people to participate in the electoral process through voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, conducted in a non-partisan manner. On the other hand, voter education or registration activities conducted in a biased manner that favors (or opposes) one or more candidates is prohibited.
Example 1: B, a section 501(c)(3) organization that promotes community involvement, sets up a booth at the state fair where citizens can register to vote. The signs and banners in and around the booth give only the name of the organization, the date of the next upcoming statewide election, and notice of the opportunity to register. No reference to any candidate or political party is made by the volunteers staffing the booth or in the materials available at the booth, other than the official voter registration forms which allow registrants to select a party affiliation. B is not engaged in political campaign intervention when it operates this voter registration booth.
Example 2: C is a section 501(c)(3) organization that educates the public on environmental issues. Candidate G is running for the state legislature and an important element of her platform is challenging the environmental policies of the incumbent. Shortly before the election, C sets up a telephone bank to call registered voters in the district in which Candidate G is seeking election. In the phone conversations, C’s representative tells the voter about the importance of environmental issues and asks questions about the voter’s views on these issues. If the voter appears to agree with the incumbent’s position, C’s representative thanks the voter and ends the call. If the voter appears to agree with Candidate G’s position, C’s representative reminds the voter about the upcoming election, stresses the importance of voting in the election and offers to provide transportation to the polls. C is engaged in political campaign intervention when it conducts this get-out-the-vote drive.
Individual Activity by Organization Leaders
The political campaign intervention prohibition is not intended to restrict free expression on political matters by leaders of organizations speaking for themselves, as individuals. Nor are leaders prohibited from speaking about important issues of public policy. However, for their organizations to remain tax exempt under section 501(c)(3), leaders cannot make partisan comments in official organization publications or at official functions of the organization. To avoid potential attribution of their comments outside of organization functions and publications, organization leaders who speak or write in their individual capacity are encouraged to clearly indicate that their comments are personal and not intended to represent the views of the organization.
Example 3: President A is the Chief Executive Officer of Hospital J, a section 501(c)(3) organization, and is well known in the community. With the permission of five prominent healthcare industry leaders, including President A, who have personally endorsed Candidate T, Candidate T publishes a full page ad in the local newspaper listing the names of the five leaders. President A is identified in the ad as the CEO of Hospital J. The ad states, “Titles and affiliations of each individual are provided for identification purposes only.” The ad is paid for by Candidate T’s campaign committee. Because the ad was not paid for by Hospital J, the ad is not otherwise in an official publication of Hospital J, and the endorsement is made by President A in a personal capacity, the ad does not constitute campaign intervention by Hospital J.
Example 4: President B is the president of University K, a section 501(c)(3) organization. University K publishes a monthly alumni newsletter that is distributed to all alumni of the university. In each issue, President B has a column titled “My Views.” The month before the election, President B states in the “My Views” column, “It is my personal opinion that Candidate U should be reelected.” For that one issue, President B pays from his personal funds the portion of the cost of the newsletter attributable to the “My Views” column. Even though he paid part of the cost of the newsletter, the newsletter is an official publication of the university. Because the endorsement appeared in an official publication of University K, it constitutes campaign intervention by University K.
Example 5: Minister C is the minister of Church L, a section 501(c)(3) organization and Minister C is well known in the community. Three weeks before the election, he attends a press conference at Candidate V’s campaign headquarters and states that Candidate V should be reelected. Minister C does not say he is speaking on behalf of Church L. His endorsement is reported on the front page of the local newspaper and he is identified in the article as the minister of Church L. Because Minister C did not make the endorsement at an official church function, in an official church publication or otherwise use the church’s assets, and did not state that he was speaking as a representative of Church L, his actions do not constitute campaign intervention by Church L.
Example 6: Chairman D is the chairman of the Board of Directors of M, a section 501(c)(3) organization that educates the public on conservation issues. During a regular meeting of M shortly before the election, Chairman D spoke on a number of issues, including the importance of voting in the upcoming election, and concluded by stating, “It is important that you all do your duty in the election and vote for Candidate W.” Because Chairman D’s remarks indicating support for Candidate W were made during an official organization meeting, they constitute political campaign intervention by M.
Depending on the facts and circumstances, an organization may invite political candidates to speak at its events without jeopardizing its tax-exempt status. Political candidates may be invited in their capacity as candidates, or in their individual capacity (not as a candidate). Candidates may also appear without an invitation at organization events that are open to the public.
A candidate may seek to reassure the organization that it is permissible for the organization to do certain things in connection with the candidate’s appearance. An organization in this position should keep in mind that the candidate may not be familiar with the organization’s tax-exempt status and that the candidate may be focused on compliance with the election laws that apply to the candidate’s campaign rather than the federal tax law that applies to the organization. The organization will be in the best position to ensure compliance with the prohibition on political campaign intervention if it makes its own independent conclusion about its compliance with federal tax law.
Speaking as a Candidate
When a candidate is invited to speak at an organization event as a political candidate, the organization must take steps to ensure that:
• It provides an equal opportunity to political candidates seeking the same office;
• It does not indicate any support for or opposition to the candidate (this should be stated explicitly when the candidate is introduced and in communications concerning the candidate’s attendance); and
• No political fundraising occurs.
Equal Opportunity to Participate
In determining whether candidates are given an equal opportunity to participate, an organization should consider the nature of the event to which each candidate is invited, in addition to the manner of presentation.
For example, an organization that invites one candidate to speak at its well attended annual banquet, but invites the opposing candidate to speak at a sparsely attended general meeting, will likely have violated the political campaign prohibition, even if the manner of presentation for both speakers is otherwise neutral.
Sometimes an organization invites several candidates for the same office to speak at a public forum. A public forum involving several candidates for public office may qualify as an exempt educational activity. However, if the forum is operated to show a bias for or against any candidate, then the forum would be political campaign intervention.
When an organization invites several candidates for the same office to speak at a forum, it should consider the following factors:
• Whether questions for the candidate are prepared and presented by an independent nonpartisan panel,
• Whether the topics discussed by the candidates cover a broad range of issues that the candidates would address if elected to the office sought and are of interest to the public,
• Whether each candidate is given an equal opportunity to present his or her view on the issues discussed,
• Whether the candidates are asked to agree or disagree with positions, agendas, platforms or statements of the organization, and
• Whether a moderator comments on the questions or otherwise implies approval or disapproval of the candidates.
Example 7: President E is the president of Society N, a historical society that is a section 501(c)(3) organization. In the month prior to the election, President E invites the three Congressional candidates for the district in which Society N is located to address the members, one each at a regular meeting held on three successive weeks. Each candidate is given an equal opportunity to address and field questions on a wide variety of topics from the members. Society N’s publicity announcing the dates for each of the candidate’s speeches and President E’s introduction of each candidate include no comments on their qualifications or any indication of a preference for any candidate. Society N’s actions do not constitute political campaign intervention.
Example 8: The facts are the same as in Example 7 except that there are four candidates in the race rather than three, and one of the candidates declines the invitation to speak. In the publicity announcing the dates for each of the candidate’s speeches, Society N includes a statement that the order of the speakers was determined at random and the fourth candidate declined the Society’s invitation to speak. President E makes the same statement in his opening remarks at each of the meetings where one of the candidates is speaking. Society N’s actions do not constitute political campaign intervention.
Example 9: Minister F is the minister of Church O, a section 501(c)(3) organization. The Sunday before the November election, Minister F invites Senate Candidate X to preach to her congregation during worship services. During his remarks, Candidate X states, “I am asking not only for your votes, but for your enthusiasm and dedication, for your willingness to go the extra mile to get a very large turnout on Tuesday.” Minister F invites no other candidate to address her congregation during the Senatorial campaign. Because these activities take place during official church services, they are attributed to Church O. By selectively providing church facilities to allow Candidate X to speak in support of his campaign, Church O’s actions constitute political campaign intervention.
Speaking or Participating as a Non-Candidate
Candidates may also appear or speak at organization events in a non-candidate capacity. For instance, a political candidate may be a public figure who is invited to speak because he or she: (a) currently holds, or formerly held, public office; (b) is considered an expert in a non political field; or (c) is a celebrity or has led a distinguished military, legal, or public service career. A candidate may choose to attend an event that is open to the public, such as a lecture, concert or worship service. The candidate’s presence at an organization-sponsored event does not, by itself, cause the organization to be engaged in political campaign intervention. However, if the candidate is publicly recognized by the organization, or if the candidate is invited to speak, the organization must ensure that:
• The individual is chosen to speak solely for reasons other than candidacy for public office;
• The individual speaks only in a non-candidate capacity;
• Neither the individual nor any representative of the organization makes any mention of his or her candidacy or the election;
• No campaign activity occurs in connection with the candidate’s attendance; and
• The organization maintains a nonpartisan atmosphere on the premises or at the event where the candidate is present.
In addition, the organization should clearly indicate the capacity in which the candidate is appearing and should not mention the individual’s political candidacy or the upcoming election in the communications announcing the candidate’s attendance at the event.
Example 10: Historical society P is a section 501(c)(3) organization. Society P is located in the state capital. President G is the president of Society P and customarily acknowledges the presence of any public officials present during meetings. During the state gubernatorial race, Lieutenant Governor Y, a candidate, attends a meeting of the historical society. President G acknowledges the Lieutenant Governor’s presence in his customary manner, saying, “We are happy to have joining us this evening Lieutenant Governor Y.” President G makes no reference in his welcome to the Lieutenant Governor’s candidacy or the election. Society P has not engaged in political campaign intervention as a result of President G’s actions.
Example 11: Chairman H is the chairman of the Board of Hospital Q, a section 501(c)(3) organization. Hospital Q is building a new wing. Chairman H invites Congressman Z, the representative for the district containing Hospital Q, to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the new wing. Congressman Z is running for reelection at the time. Chairman H makes no reference in her introduction to Congressman Z’s candidacy or the election. Congressman Z also makes no reference to his candidacy or the election and does not do any fundraising while at Hospital Q. Hospital Q has not intervened in a political campaign.
Example 12: University X is a section 501(c)(3) organization. X publishes an alumni newsletter on a regular basis. Individual alumni are invited to send in updates about themselves which are printed in each edition of the newsletter. After receiving an update letter from Alumnus Q, X prints the following: “Alumnus Q, class of ‘XX is running for mayor of Metropolis.” The newsletter does not contain any reference to this election or to Alumnus Q’s candidacy other than this statement of fact. University X has not intervened in a political campaign.
Example 13: Mayor G attends a concert performed by Symphony S, a section 501(c)(3) organization, in City Park. The concert is free and open to the public. Mayor G is a candidate for reelection, and the concert takes place after the primary and before the general election. During the concert, the chairman of S’s board addresses the crowd and says, “I am pleased to see Mayor G here tonight. Without his support, these free concerts in City Park would not be possible. We will need his help if we want these concerts to continue next year so please support Mayor G in November as he has supported us.” As a result of these remarks, Symphony S has engaged in political campaign intervention.
Issue Advocacy vs. Political Campaign Intervention
Under federal tax law, section 501(c)(3) organizations may take positions on public policy issues, including issues that divide candidates in an election for public office. However, section 501(c)(3) organizations must avoid any issue advocacy that functions as political campaign intervention. Even if a statement does not expressly tell an audience to vote for or against a specific candidate, an organization delivering the statement is at risk of violating the political campaign intervention prohibition if there is any message favoring or opposing a candidate. A statement can identify a candidate not only by stating the candidate’s name but also by other means such as showing a picture of the candidate, referring to political party affiliations, or other distinctive features of a candidate’s platform or biography. All the facts and circumstances need to be considered to determine if the advocacy is political campaign intervention.
Key factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
• Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office;
• Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval for one or more candidates’ positions and/or actions;
• Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election;
• Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election;
• Whether the issue addressed in the communication has been raised as an issue distinguishing candidates for a given office;
• Whether the communication is part of an ongoing series of communications by the organization on the same issue that are made independent of the timing of any election; and
• Whether the timing of the communication and identification of the candidate are related to a non-electoral event such as a scheduled vote on specific legislation by an officeholder who also happens to be a candidate for public office.
A communication is particularly at risk of political campaign intervention when it makes reference to candidates or voting in a specific upcoming election. Nevertheless, the communication must still be considered in context before arriving at any conclusions.
Example 14: University O, a section 501(c)(3) organization, prepares and finances a full page newspaper advertisement that is published in several large circulation newspapers in State V shortly before an election in which Senator C is a candidate for nomination in a party primary. Senator C represents State V in the United States Senate. The advertisement states that S. 24, a pending bill in the United States Senate, would provide additional opportunities for State V residents to attend college, but Senator C has opposed similar measures in the past. The advertisement ends with the statement “Call or write Senator C to tell him to vote for S. 24.” Educational issues have not been raised as an issue distinguishing Senator C from any opponent. S. 24 is scheduled for a vote in the United States Senate before the election, soon after the date that the advertisement is published in the newspapers. Even though the advertisement appears shortly before the election and identifies Senator C’s position on the issue as contrary to O’s position, University O has not violated the political campaign intervention prohibition because the advertisement does not mention the election or the candidacy of Senator C, education issues have not been raised as distinguishing Senator C from any opponent, and the timing of the advertisement and the identification of Senator C are directly related to the specifically identified legislation University O is supporting and appears immediately before the United States Senate is scheduled to vote on that particular legislation. The candidate identified, Senator C, is an officeholder who is in a position to vote on the legislation.
Example 15: Organization R, a section 501(c)(3) organization that educates the public about the need for improved public education, prepares and finances a radio advertisement urging an increase in state funding for public education in State X, which requires a legislative appropriation. Governor E is the governor of State X. The radio advertisement is first broadcast on several radio stations in State X beginning shortly before an election in which Governor E is a candidate for re election. The advertisement is not part of an ongoing series of substantially similar advocacy communications by Organization R on the same issue. The advertisement cites numerous statistics indicating that public education in State X is under funded. While the advertisement does not say anything about Governor E’s position on funding for public education, it ends with “Tell Governor E what you think about our under-funded schools.” In public appearances and campaign literature, Governor E’s opponent has made funding of public education an issue in the campaign by focusing on Governor E’s veto of an income tax increase the previous year to increase funding of public education. At the time the advertisement is broadcast, no legislative vote or other major legislative activity is scheduled in the State X legislature on state funding of public education. Organization R has violated the political campaign prohibition because the advertisement identifies Governor E, appears shortly before an election in which Governor E is a candidate, is not part of an ongoing series of substantially similar advocacy communications by Organization R on the same issue, is not timed to coincide with a non election event such as a legislative vote or other major legislative action on that issue, and takes a position on an issue that the opponent has used to distinguish himself from Governor E.
Example 16: Candidate A and Candidate B are candidates for the state senate in District W of State X. The issue of State X funding for a new mass transit project in District W is a prominent issue in the campaign. Both candidates have spoken out on the issue. Candidate A supports for the new mass transit project. Candidate B opposes the project and supports State X funding for highway improvements instead. P is the executive director of C, a section 501(c)(3) organization that promotes community development in District W. At C’s annual fundraising dinner in District W, which takes place in the month before the election in State X, P gives a lengthy speech about community development issues including the transportation issues. P does not mention the name of any candidate or any political party. However, at the conclusion of the speech, P makes the following statement, “For those of you who care about quality of life in District W and the growing traffic congestion, there is a very important choice coming up next month. We need new mass transit. More highway funding will not make a difference. You have the power to relieve the congestion and improve your quality of life in District W. Use that power when you go to the polls and cast your vote in the election for your state senator.” C has violated the political campaign intervention as a result of P's remarks at C's official function shortly before the election, in which P referred to the upcoming election after stating a position on an issue that is a prominent issue in a campaign that distinguishes the candidates.
Voter guides are usually pamphlets or other short documents, often in chart form, intended to help voters compare candidates’ positions on a set of issues. Preparing or distributing a voter guide may violate the prohibition against political campaign intervention if the guide focuses on a single issue or narrow range of issues, or if the questions are structured to reflect bias. Although any document that identifies candidates and their positions close in time to an election has the potential to result in political campaign intervention, preparation or distribution of voter guides, because of their nature, present a particular risk for non compliance. The following factors are key considerations in whether a voter guide can be distributed to educate voters without violating the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
• Whether the questions and any other description of the issues are clear and unbiased in both their structure and content.
• Whether the questions posed provided to the candidates are identical to those included in the voter guide.
• Whether the candidates are given a reasonable amount of time to respond to the questions. If the candidate is given limited choices for an answer to a question (e.g. yes/no, support/oppose), whether the candidate is also given a reasonable opportunity to explain his position in his own words and that explanation is included in the voter guide.
• Whether the answers in the voter guide are those provided by the candidates in response to the questions, including whether the candidate's answers are unedited, and whether they appear in close proximity to the question to which they respond.
• Whether all candidates for a particular office are covered.
• Whether the number of questions, and the subjects covered, are sufficient to encompass most major issues of interest to the entire electorate.
In assessing whether a voter guide is unbiased and nonpartisan, every aspect of the voter guide’s format, content and distribution must be taken into consideration. If the organization’s position on one or more issues is set out in the guide so that it can be compared to the candidates’ positions, the guide will constitute political campaign intervention.
An organization may be asked to distribute voter guides prepared by a third party. Each organization that distributes one or more voter guides is responsible for its own actions. If the voter guide is biased, distribution of the voter guide is an act of political campaign intervention. Therefore, an organization should reach its own independent conclusion about whether a voter guide prepared by itself or prepared by a third party covers a broad scope of issues and uses neutral form and content.
The question of whether an activity constitutes participation or intervention in a political campaign may also arise in the context of a business activity of the organization, such as selling or renting of mailing lists, the leasing of office space, or the acceptance of paid political advertising. In this context, some of the factors to be considered in determining whether the organization has engaged in political campaign intervention include the following:
• Whether the good, service or facility is available to candidates in the same election on an equal basis,
• Whether the good, service, or facility is available only to candidates and not to the general public,
• Whether the fees charged to candidates are at the organization’s customary and usual rates, and
• Whether the activity is an ongoing activity of the organization or whether it is conducted only for a particular candidate.
Example 17: Museum K is a section 501(c)(3) organization. It owns an historic building that has a large hall suitable for hosting dinners and receptions. For several years, Museum K has made the hall available for rent to members of the public. Standard fees are set for renting the hall based on the number of people in attendance, and a number of different organizations have rented the hall. Museum K rents the hall on a first come, first served basis. Candidate P rents Museum K’s social hall for a fundraising dinner. Candidate P’s campaign pays the standard fee for the dinner. Museum K is not involved in political campaign intervention as a result of renting the hall to Candidate P for use as the site of a campaign fundraising dinner.
Example 18: Theater L is a section 501(c)(3) organization. It maintains a mailing list of all of its subscribers and contributors. Theater L has never rented its mailing list to a third party. Theater L is approached by the campaign committee of Candidate Q, who supports increased funding for the arts. Candidate Q's campaign committee offers to rent Theater L's mailing list for a fee that is comparable to fees charged by other similar organizations. Theater L rents its mailing list to Candidate Q's campaign committee. Theater L declines similar requests from campaign committees of other candidates. Theater L has intervened in a political campaign.
The Internet has become a widely used communications tool. Section 501(c)(3) organizations use their own web sites to disseminate statements and information. They also routinely link their web sites to web sites maintained by other organizations as a way of providing additional information that the organizations believe is useful or relevant to the public.
A web site is a form of communication. If an organization posts something on its web site that favors or opposes a candidate for public office, the organization will be treated the same as if it distributed printed material, oral statements or broadcasts that favored or opposed a candidate.
An organization has control over whether it establishes a link to another site. When an organization establishes a link to another web site, the organization is responsible for the consequences of establishing and maintaining that link, even if the organization does not have control over the content of the linked site. Because the linked content may change over time, an organization may reduce the risk of political campaign intervention by monitoring the linked content and adjusting the links accordingly.
Links to candidate-related material, by themselves, do not necessarily constitute political campaign intervention. The IRS will take all the facts and circumstances into account when assessing whether a link produces that result. The facts and circumstances to be considered include, but are not limited to, the context for the link on the organization’s web site, whether all candidates are represented, any exempt purpose served by offering the link, and the directness of the links between the organization’s web site and the web page that contains material favoring or opposing a candidate for public office.
Example 19: M, a section 501(c)(3) organization, maintains a web site and posts an unbiased, nonpartisan voter guide that is prepared consistent with the principles discussed in the voter guide section above. For each candidate covered in the voter guide, M includes a link to that candidate’s official campaign web site. The links to the candidate web sites are presented on a consistent neutral basis for each candidate, with text saying “For more information on Candidate X, you may consult [URL].” M has not intervened in a political campaign because the links are provided for the exempt purpose of educating voters and are presented in a neutral, unbiased manner that includes all candidates for a particular office.
Example 20: Hospital N, a section 501(c)(3) organization, maintains a web site that includes such information as medical staff listings, directions to Hospital N, and descriptions of its specialty health programs, major research projects, and other community outreach programs. On one page of the web site, Hospital N describes its treatment program for a particular disease. At the end of the page, it includes a section of links to other web sites titled “More Information.” These links include links to other hospitals that have treatment programs for this disease, research organizations seeking cures for that disease, and articles about treatment programs. This section includes a link to an article on the web site of O, a major national newspaper, praising Hospital N’s treatment program for the disease. The page containing the article on O’s web site contains no reference to any candidate or election and has no direct links to candidate or election information. Elsewhere on O’s web site, there is a page displaying editorials that O has published. Several of the editorials endorse candidates in an election that has not yet occurred. Hospital N has not intervened in a political campaign by maintaining the link to the article on O’s web site because the link is provided for the exempt purpose of educating the public about Hospital N’s programs and neither the context for the link, nor the relationship between Hospital N and O nor the arrangement of the links going from Hospital N’s web site to the endorsement on O’s web site indicate that Hospital N was favoring or opposing any candidate.
Example 21: Church P, a section 501(c)(3) organization, maintains a web site that includes such information as biographies of its ministers, times of services, details of community outreach programs, and activities of members of its congregation. B, a member of the congregation of Church P, is running for a seat on the town council. Shortly before the election, Church P posts the following message on its web site, “Lend your support to B, your fellow parishioner, in Tuesday’s election for town council.” Church P has intervened in a political campaign on behalf of B.
Effect of Conducting Multiple Activities
Although each of the activities described in this fact sheet is described separately, an organization might combine one or more of the types of activity described above. For example, an organization leader may speak about an issue at an event where a candidate appears, or a voter guide might be distributed at a candidate forum. Where there is a combination of activities, the interaction among them may affect whether or not the organization is engaged in political campaign intervention.
Related Item: IR-2006-36 IRS Releases New Guidance and Results of Political Intervention Examinations
How to File a 501(c)(4) IRS Complaint by Gail Sessoms, Demand Media Citizens may file complaints with the IRS about nonprofit organizations.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) grants tax-exempt status to social welfare organizations under section 501(c)(4) or the tax code. Social welfare organizations include not-for-profit organizations whose work benefits the public, organizations that are commonly referred to as social welfare organizations and organizations that would be considered 501(c)(3) charitable organizations if not for faulty organizing documents or the participation in certain political activities as "action organizations." The IRS, which revokes tax-exempt status when warranted, assures consumers that it carefully reviews all complaints about organizations that abuse tax-exempt status. The agency provides a process by which you can make a complaint.
Step 1------ Obtain IRS form 13909, Tax Exempt Organization Complaint (Referral) Form.
Complaints against tax-exempt organizations are called referrals. The IRS provides the form on its website. You may fill in the form for printing, but data cannot be saved.
Step 2 --------- Insert information into the form about the 501(c)(4) organization, including the employer identification number (EIN). If you do not have this number, you may use the registration number assigned by the state to nonprofit corporations.
Step 3 --------- Select one of the violations listed on the form under "Nature of the Violation." The choices include political or lobbying activities, personal gain from use of the organization's assets, failure to provide a form 990 and deceptive fundraising practices. If none of the choices are appropriate, use the "Other" selection and provide an explanation.
Step 4 ---------- Provide information about the details of the violation, such as names of those involved, dates, activities and dollar amounts.
Step 5 --------- Enter your name and contact information into the form or, if you prefer, leave the information blank and check the box stating that you might face retaliation if your identity is revealed.
Step 6 ----------- Collect documentation that supports your complaint and that you intend to submit with the complaint form.
Step 7 --------- Mail the form to the IRS EO Classification office. The address is listed on page two of the form. You may also fax or email the form to the addresses provided on the form.
Below you will see direct correspondence from and to Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland that had a negative effect on my campaign. The damage created by the events below is calculable. Many of these are the news outlets all having voter guides and/or candidate information. I know private media has no responsibility to equal access but they do have a responsibility to printing the truth as regards an election. They cannot solicit a questionnaire response and then post ‘no response’ as that makes my campaign seem inactive. Media also blocked comments during the primary keeping people from responding to opinion pieces. They obviously can opinionate in any way they want, but deliberately keeping any opposing opinion is repressive. The Baltimore Sun only has neo-liberal opinionators and completely censured my campaign----not one mention because my platform stands against neo-liberalism.
Baltimore Sun correspondence:
Once again, people cannot comment on Schaller's opinion posts. Is this an attempt to channel only positives for the neo-liberal candidate Brown?
I welcome an interview with Schaller as I talk about my platform as candidate for governor. Don't forget, undecided is ranked highest in polls right now and they are waiting for a candidate like me!
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland 2014!
Free and fair elections start with every citizen feeling the desire to serve in public office having the platform to share his/her campaign platform and having some voter recognition. When Maryland voters go to the polls and look at a ballot having received no information about some of the candidates while having received unlimited information on others that creates election bias. This is not free and fair.
Public media has an obligation to provide this balance. Do minor candidates need as much exposure as mainstream candidates? I cannot demand this. I can say that to deliberately block all avenues of citizens knowing all candidates is to violate this American democratic election process.
Since moving to Maryland I have gone to an election ballot time and time again not knowing many of the people in the primary. As we move into the 21st Century we want to take Maryland back into this first world concept of democratic elections. Please be the media outlet that leads Maryland back to real, democratic elections. Check my campaign website for lots of policy stances relevant to this election. I attached my campaign information to allow you a chance to share with your readership.
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland
This is Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland. I am looking at an article by Dresser that shows photos of governor's candidates and mine is not there. I want my photo included ----it can be downloaded from my campaign website Citizens Oversight Maryland.com
You must, when referring to the candidates in the election include all candidates in a race. You may highlight others all you want but when you speak of the governor's race you must list ALL CANDIDATES. I will be taking election violations to court and I will be asking my lawyer about the responsibility of privately owned media....
Thank you for working to reinstate free and fair elections in Maryland!
Pat Warren is the political commentator for WBAL TV and has ignored me at every turn. She baits me by telling me to call her for an appointment and then never returns the call. I contacted her several times for attention to my campaign.
This is one of many requests that WJZ provide interview time for the only candidate in this Governor of Maryland from Baltimore City-----Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland on the democratic ticket.
Whereas private media does not have to meet free and fair election rules it is required to provide public service coverage of things like elections. After several months of saturated media coverage on 3 democratic candidates they are still around 10% polling for democratic voters. While simply exposing me and my platform will of course give my campaign immediately high polling numbers. We know that is why Maryland media refuses to allow all candidates in an election air time-----
I will be taking Maryland 501c3/4 organizations to Federal Court for violating DO NO DAMAGE laws in participating in elections-----I will include the duties of private media in providing some balance to campaign exposures on their programming as well.
2522 N Calvert St
Baltimore, Maryland 21218
Below you see two smaller venues of 501c3 organizations scheduling meetings and forums with no general invitation. Shady Grove is again part of the University of Maryland system and all their venues willfully excluded me. It is especially egregious when public universities choose to violate election law and exclude political speech because of political platform.
Hello Universities at Shady Grove,
I regret not receiving an invitation to your Governor's forum. I would suggest that I am the most university and student-friendly candidate in the primary and indeed, my platform will take Maryland back to first world standards of life and economic prosperity.
Candidates' Forum at Charlestown RetirementCommunity (2)
David Pollitt SEE ATTACHMENT
To David Pollitt
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland would love to attend but I do not see any specifics about time, date, and place.
This is an example of a 501c3 organization doing the right thing by sending the invitation out to all candidates and then just ignoring the candidates they want to exclude. Several venues in Prince George’s County and Baltimore City did this to my campaign.
You are invited to attend the "Meet the Candidates" forum (3)
To elsie jacobs
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland will be at this forum.
Thank you for the invitation,
On Wednesday, April 2, 2014 1:40 PM, elsie jacobs <email@example.com> wrote:
Reply, Reply All or Forward | More
To elsie jacobs
Please send the details to the event for candidates forum. Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland intends to participate.
On Thursday, April 3, 2014 1:27 PM, Yahoo! <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland will be at this forum.
Thank you for the invitation,
On Wednesday, April 2, 2014 1:40 PM, elsie jacobs <email@example.com> wrote:
This is a public university having a private election event that charged $1500 for candidates to purchase a booth no doubt with the proceeds shared with Coppin. Charging people to enter as well. This was the only election event of which I am aware this university provided to the public. This clearly violates election law. Below that you see Johns Hopkins having a governor’s forum for republicans but not for the democrats in the race. No doubt I would have been excluded but again there is a loss of the need to not damage a candidate’s campaign in these 501c3 organization’s participation. The ruling by the Supreme Court about not having to meet equal access regarded FCC and media as well as third party candidates. We are seeing in Maryland a complete disregard of IRS election law and candidates shown contempt at thinking they have rights to access. This is not how this IRS law is written and we cannot interpret these laws in this spirit. It’s like having a track race where runners are lined up and one racer openly trips another to gain advantage. It is not a race if the contestants are taken from the field.
Hello Ms. Miller Clarke,
This is Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland. I am a democratic Labor and Justice candidate running against a ballot of global corporate neo-liberal politicians. I have received no invitation to speak at Coppin State and have heard of forums/debates organized without my attendance. Today, I received notice of an organization called VOTEFEST attaching to Coppin and having an election event and charging $1,500 for a booth.
Now, the idea that a candidate would have to pay this kind of a fee to participate in an election debate and that this forum may be the only one to which my campaign will attend----must have people who fought for civil rights and election protections unsettled. That would be Historically black universities like Coppin and Morgan State. Getting out the vote while leaving the electorate ignorant of the very candidates who work for labor and justice does not meet the mission of historically black colleges.
I will be pursuing election violations after this election, but I would like to see 501c3/4 organizations like yours obey election law. I have invitations all over Maryland and especially with public education except in Baltimore. Isn't that odd? I know the pressure being placed on all levels of labor and justice in Maryland but it will not end well if the only candidates you give voice to are global corporate neo-liberals and neo-cons.
I look forward to participating in an election event at Coppin University.
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland
Hello Dr. Daniels,
This is Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland on the democratic ticket. I am writing you to say that as long as you are classified as a 501c3/4 you are required to invite all candidates for governor to forums during this primary and general election. You had a forum for republican governor's candidates and now you need to have one for democratic candidates to include Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland. We are rebuilding democratic elections in Maryland and first step is educating 501 c3/4 organizations the laws of elections-----a 501 c3/4 must not be involved in politics in ways that damage a candidates election prospects. You must invite all candidates in a race or invite none.
Maryland has a systemic problem with election violations and therefor lacks free and fair elections. This is why 20% of voters come out in Baltimore and it is why 10% plus or minus democratic votes polled for the candidates the media saturates with coverage. The citizens of Maryland are tired of this capture of elections and are demanding election laws be adhered to.
I look forward to Johns Hopkins University following Rule of Law and having a governor's forum for all democratic candidates at the earliest date.
I contacted WEAA several times over the course of the primary and Marc Steiner is one of their shows. Below you see a response from Marc’s staff acting as if they are going to meet a request and then you see the staff set the dates for just before the primary. Marc then pretends I did not respond to his staff’s request for earlier dates. It is especially aggregious when public media is the one censuring candidates in an election and it is done all the time in Baltimore and across Maryland. People feel they have no chance of winning in this hostile environment and will not run for office…..which is why these venues exclude….to discourage participation. I am requesting the court charge the directors of public media outlet with felonies as they are willfully and deliberately and with malice rigging these elections by damaging selected candidate’s campaigns. Fines and suspension of media license is called for. My producers have been trying to get in touch with you all to come on the show. We are getting no response. marc steiner
The only request I received from your show Marc was two weeks ago with a list of dates just a few weeks before the primary. That is the only response your station has given to 3 months of my requesting time on your show. When I received that email from your staff two weeks ago....I chose a time and then heard nothing back. That was the only communication from your show. You see how easy it was to reach me? Cindy Walsh
June 9th, 3:53pm
Cindy, I have seen the correspondence. You didn't respond to Stefanie with a yes or no the date. At any rate, time is growing late, let's what we can fit in. We are not shutting you out. We have reached out.
June 9th, 9:49pm
Marc.....I responded to your staff with my choice of dates -----it does not matter when the only choice comes a few weeks before the primary. You know this .....Cindy
Public radio interview request: On your candidacy (4) Stefanie Mavronis Cindy, We wanted to schedule time for you and your running mate, Mary-Elizabeth Wingate-Pennacchia, to join us on the Marc Steiner Show to discuss your candidacy for Governor in Maryland and your plat
To Stefanie Mavronis
Cindy Walsh would be pleased to schedule a time on the Steiner show at the earliest date.
Stefanie Mavronis Would any of the following times at 10:30AM live in studio at WEAA work for Cindy? What about her running mate? Thursday 6/5 Monday 6/9 Wednesday 6/11 Thursday 6/12 Wednesday 6/18 Let me know if 2-3 o
To Stefanie Mavronis
6/5 is the earliest. Stefanie, I would like to say that Cindy Walsh has been in this race since Feb 25----3 months. The primary is a few weeks before this interview----most people make decisions about voting before this time. Do you think, as a public station, you have provided this candidate with fair election coverage? Keep in mind, you have had two candidates polling at 10% with massive media saturation over months on the show for months.
On Tuesday, May 13, 2014 1:42 PM, Stefanie Mavronis <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Would any of the following times at 10:30AM live in studio at WEAA work for Cindy? What about her running mate?
Let me know if 2-3 of those work and I'll get something on the calendar.
Stefanie Mavronis - Producer
Center for Emerging Media
The Marc Steiner Show
On Tue, May 13, 2014 at 1:38 PM, Yahoo! <email@example.com> wrote:
Cindy Walsh would be pleased to schedule a time on the Steiner show at the earliest date.
On Monday, May 12, 2014 4:14 PM, Stefanie Mavronis <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
We wanted to schedule time for you and your running mate, Mary-Elizabeth Wingate-Pennacchia, to join us on the Marc Steiner Show to discuss your candidacy for Governor in Maryland and your platform.
Please let me know if this is something you're interested in and we can work to schedule a time.
Stefanie Mavronis - Producer
Center for Emerging Media
The Marc Steiner Show
Monday, March 24, 2014
Montgomery candidates for governor cancel on students in Rockville Forum only attended by GOP candidates by Kate S. Alexander
Students hosting a gubernatorial form at the Universities at Shady Grove got stood up Monday by all but one candidate for governor and one for lieutenant governor.
Heather R. Mizeur (D), Douglas F. Gansler (D), David R. Craig (R) and Charles Lollar (R) were all scheduled to speak at the forum.
But only Craig and Lollar’s running mate, Ken Timmerman (R), showed.
Mizeur and Gansler — the two Montgomery County residents in the race — both had last-minute scheduling conflicts that forced them to cancel on the students Monday morning, their campaign representatives said.
“I wasn’t expecting last-minute cancellations. I was being too optimistic,” said Carlos Moya, president of the Political Science Student Organization at USG, which hosted the event. “But I know that politics can get in the way. I am hoping we can have another forum.”
Moya said the organization hosted the forum with the intent to have both parties represented. He said they invited all the candidates running for governor in 2014 to participate. He also said he would like to try again to host a forum where Democratic candidates for governor can attend.
Lollar was unable to attend because he was out of town. Timmerman did not pass on the opportunity to criticize the Democrats who canceled on the students Monday morning.
“I’m a bit disappointed some of our Democratic adversaries, opponents, colleagues did not show up this morning to account for their record,” Timmerman said in his opening speech.
When asked later, he said it would have been good to exchange points of view, to hear what other candidates had to say.
At least with Craig and for Lollar, the students and community members who attended were informed of where those candidates and their running mates stand on issues, said Alfredo Ballon, past president of the Political Science Students Organization.
“We understand,” he said of the cancellations. “We were sad to hear they could not make it, but we are thankful that both County Executive Craig and lieutenant governor [candidate] Timmerman were here.”
Students questioned Craig and Timmerman on a broad set of issues ranging from education, marijuana legalization and the minimum wage, to the state budget shortfall, taxes and transportation.
As a Harford County executive, Craig said, he has lowered taxes, grew jobs and also maintained programs. “It can be done,” he said.
Timmerman promised that if Lollar is elected, their administration would phase out the income tax, as well as repeal the gas tax and halt the Purple Line.
A 16-mile light-rail line proposed to connect Bethesda to New Carrollton, the Purple Line is a “two-billion-dollar boondoggle,” Timmerman said.
“The only thing light about light rail is its capacity,” he said.
When asked about closing the achievement gap, Craig, a former teacher, said the key to education is for teachers to be allowed to teach. “We do not want to air-drop policies from Annapolis,” Timmerman said.
Tuesday night’s forum was sponsored by Purple Line NOW, a group that supports the light rail project.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 Share E-mail Comment Print Transportation talk focuses on Purple Line at gubernatorial candidate forum Three Democrats, one Republican in the race meet in Silver Spring by Aline Barros Staff writer
The Purple Line project was the main topic at a transportation forum with four Maryland gubernatorial candidates in Silver Spring on Tuesday.
Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Dist. 20) of Takoma Park said she supports the project — a 16-mile light rail to connect Bethesda and New Carrollton — but still has questions.
Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) said he wants to make sure the line is built.
Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) also is committed to the project, said his running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, who stood in for Brown on Tuesday.
Charles Lollar, the only Republican candidate at the forum, said he understands the potential of the Purple Line project, but did not take a more specific position.
After the candidates were through, one observer said she hoped to hear more about plans for new and better roads.
Cindy Snow of Germantown said there’s more to transportation than the Purple Line.
“And that, I think, it was missing: their vision for the whole Maryland because we are not all Maryland. ... I appreciate their support for the Purple Line, because definitely that’s the number-one project, but it has to be put in context with all of Maryland,” Snow said.
Candidates were asked their position on the current state of transportation in Maryland, their vision for the future, and what they’d do, if elected, to carry out that vision.
The forum took place at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center on the Takoma Park Silver Spring campus.
Candidates agreed that something needed to be done about the state’s current transportation issues, but didn’t give specific ideas on how to dissolve traffic congestion or gridlock.
Gansler said Maryland needs a competent and experienced leader to make sure the Purple Line gets built.
He said there’s a need for high-speed rails. If the state were fully connected, people could live in Baltimore City and easily ride by train to Washington, D.C.
“We need corridor cities to build our life science industry like Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Palo Alto, California,” Gansler said.
Gansler said government officials cannot tax “their way out of this” — the state needs to look at the fiscal big picture and not end up with a billion-dollar deficit situation every year.
Ulman said he has been a strong supporter of the Purple Line and investing in the state’s transportation infrastructure. Under a Brown-Ulman administration, the Purple Line will “absolutely” be built, he said.
“To me, this is not just about the Purple Line; it is about our values coming together,” he said.
The project will come through because of the “governor and the lieutenant governor, members of your delegation and members of the General Assembly who stood up and said ... ‘It is time for us to invest in our transportation infrastructure.’”
Ulman said the P3 legislation — a law that lets Maryland attract private investment in public infrastructure — gives the state another tool to afford a $2.2 billion project.
According to state transportation officials, partnering with private companies to build and operate the Purple Line will save taxpayers about 20 percent of the cost of the whole project. A 30-year contract would outline exactly what the concessionaire would be paid in exchange for specific services rendered. These payouts are called “availability payments” because they depend on the availability of the services outlined in the contract.
Mizeur said there are serious questions about the public-private partnership. She supports the project, but questioned whether the current administration can deliver the Purple Line.
Mizeur said that as a delegate, she tried to put pressure on the O’Malley-Brown administration to make transportation funding a priority and worked on raising awareness on the Maryland’s “depleted” transportation funds.
“We can create an economy that works for all of our families. ... Being governor is about setting priorities and [running mate] Delman Coates and I have made transportation funding in transit projects a top priority,” she said.
Mizeur said constituents need to ask questions such as what happens if private companies folded during construction and if ridership numbers don’t meet proposed projections.
Lollar said he envisions a Maryland that is much more “user-friendly” to everyday residents.
“We can absolutely do that with our economic plans and policies,” said Lollar, adding traffic in Maryland is a struggle.
Whether it’s the Purple Line in Montgomery County or the Red Line in Baltimore city, no development can be done if the state squanders Transportation Trust Fund money.
Lollar said he’d show community leadership to get projects done.
Tuesday night’s forum was sponsored by Purple Line NOW, a group that supports the light rail project.
To email@example.com Mar 29 Hello Dr Wilson,
I am Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland. I am also Cindy Walsh director of Citizens Oversight Maryland.com. I am Cindy Walsh the academic with decades of being a teacher, a university academic, and a community educator.
I am writing you personally because this 2014/2016 election cycle is critical. I am sure you are aware of the Trans Pacific Trade Pact TPP and you must know that it hands US sovereignty over to global corporate tribunals.....ending WE THE PEOPLE AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS. This is huge. We have this past decade seen the beginning as Rule of Law is discarded and people's civil liberties and civil rights ignored. TPP seeks to re-write the US Constitution to make this official. The people in the US who will feel this the most will be people of color although everyone will fall victim.
Anthony Brown, Doug Gansler, and Heather Mizeur all are media darlings because they will advance these policies. Neo-liberals work only to move wealth to the top. As the circle of people working for this small group at the top closes.....it will be left for everyone else to fall into poverty. We know that third world countries have doctors, lawyers, and Indian chiefs as poor as the rest. Totalitarianism is an equal opportunity offender. No one knows what the future holds for the next generation in societies such as this.
Please consider why a candidate like myself clearly working for the good of most people, democracy and equal opportunity is sidelined in this race for governor. I am more qualified as an Executive Administrator than any of those candidates having media attention.
I look forward to having Morgan State offer time and a platform for my campaign.
David WilsonChat Conversation StartApril 22nd, 3:26pmHello David, This is Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland. I am contacting you about Morgan State's decision to not invite my campaign to debates/forums. I would also encourage you to offer email contacts on Morgan State staff page----as an academic I appreciate hearing questions from the community. I just left this message with Coppin University. The 2014-2016 elections are the most critical in US History. You understand what Trans Pacific Trade Pact will do to the US. Look to Haiti to see the movement of US corporations to the West and the same enslavement that was US corporations in Asia are planned to come to US if global corporate pols neo-liberal/neo-con are left in power. You know all of the candidates you have allowed to Morgan debates will push TPP. Please work for free and fair elections and join universities across Maryland who welcome political debate! Thank you, Cindy Walsh This is Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland. I am a democratic Labor and Justice candidate running against a ballot of global corporate neo-liberal politicians. I have received no invitation to speak at Coppin State and have heard of forums/debates organized without my attendance. Today, I received notice of an organization called VOTEFEST attaching to Coppin and having an election event and charging $1,500 for a booth. Now, the idea that a candidate would have to pay this kind of a fee to participate in an election debate and that this forum may be the only one to which my campaign will attend----must have people who fought for civil rights and election protections unsettled. That would be Historically black universities like Coppin and Morgan State. Getting out the vote while leaving the electorate ignorant of the very candidates who work for labor and justice does not meet the mission of historically black colleges. I will be pursuing election violations after this election, but I would like to see 501c3/4 organizations like yours obey election law. I have invitations all over Maryland and especially with public education except in Baltimore. Isn't that odd? I know the pressure being placed on all levels of labor and justice in Maryland but it will not end well if the only candidates you give voice to are global corporate neo-liberals and neo-cons. I look forward to participating in an election event at Coppin University. Thank you, Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland
May 1st, 10:53am
CINDY WALSH FOR GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND ON THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET IS DEMANDING SHE BE INCLUDED IN THESE DEBATES. 501C3/4 ARE REQUIRED TO INVITE ALL CANDIDATES IN A RACE FOR THESE FORUMS AND DEBATES---YOU ARE VIOLATING ELECTION LAWS IN FAILING TO DO THIS. The Maryland citizens expect to see all their candidates and platforms on public media so they can be the ones to decide who the front-runners are. My campaign is taking these violations to the Federal Elections Commission as it is clear that elections in Maryland have become third world. Here my comments today around Maryland: These debates are being contested anyway as they fail to meet to goal of free and fair elections. This first debate may be sponsored by corporate media, but the others are sponsored by public media.....Maryland Public Media. MPT's involvement now in airing these debates now call into question election violations regarding free and fair elections. The idea that democratic candidates running around 10% of voters support in polls represents FRONT-RUNNERS is ridiculous. That is pure media manipulation and these corporate pols are being pushed as the only choices people have in voting. It is deliberate. Cindy Walsh for Governor has just the platform people want to hear and her candidacy has been blacklisted by media. Jaffe, another candidate has not received any media attention and his is more public interest than corporate interest. What is happening is media and corporations are being allowed to tell us which candidates are going to get name recognition and the platform shared with the citizens of Maryland. Elections are about platforms and not who has money and the entire nation is in an uproar over money buying elections. These omissions of candidates from debates simply because their platforms are populist is illegal and a disgrace. Demand that 501c3/4 organizations like public media provide election coverage without election violations and that gives the public free and fair elections!
Brown accused of ducking debates; just two by Democrats set for TV
The Marc Steiner Show - Intelligent Talk RadioChat Conversation StartApril 19th, 10:10am
Do you think that denying a forum to all of the candidates for Governor of Maryland as happened with this NAACP forum represents free and fair elections? Do you know it is an illegal action that violates election laws as 501c3/4 must invite all candidates to an open forum? Now, when Morgan State or the Baltimore NAACP claim they are fighting for voter rights and do voter registration drives----and you exclude the one candidate working for Rule of Law, Bill of Rights, and labor and justice-----you are working to end free and fair elections! As we educate the citizens of Maryland how media in Maryland is captured and working for global corporate tribunals dismantling democracy and all of our public structures----moving wealth to the top and creating a totalitarian colonialism----Anthony McCarthy, the Baltimore NAACP, and Morgan State really want to be part of that? Where do you see your family next generation if this takes hold? Totalitarianism is far worse than US slavery was.Cindy Walsh Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland as Labor and Justice candidate. Citizens Oversight Maryland.comChat Conversation End
Brown, Gansler and Mizeur to attend Young Democrats Convention in Annapolis.
All three major Democratic candidates for Maryland governor will make an appearance March 22 2014 at the annual Young Democrats of Maryland convention in Annapolis.
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur will appear in separate panel discussions with their running mates during the daylong event.
Other speakers include House Speaker Mike Busch, Comptroller Peter Franchot and a Twitter debate among candidates for attorney general as outlined yesterday in our blog. The event also will feature a straw poll of competitive races in the June primary.
Anne Arundel County Young Democrats is hosting the annual convention, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center, 1101 Smithville St.
Tickets are $20, but group rates for local chapters are available. To register, visit http://www.ydmaryland.org/convention
Video: Heather Mizeur Addresses Kent County League of Women Voters April 25, 2013 by Jack Elliott Delegate Heather Mizeur, of Takoma Park, addressed the annual meeting of the Kent County League of Women Voters on Friday, April 19.
Mizeur owns a farm in Kent County and divides her time between the Eastern and Western Shore. She is a “rumored,” though seriously considered, candidate for the next gubernatorial election.
Mizeur delivered her talk with exceptional energy, clarity, and humor, covering issues including rolemodels, the challenges of women in government, double standards, environmental issues, and healthcare and family planning. The following short videos are excerpts from the speech, labeled by topic. Mizeur usually has a good story to go along with each.
Filed Under: Occurrences
Maryland Politics In Maryland governor’s race, Brown highlights difference with Gansler over death penalty
Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post) By John Wagner April 17 Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown on Thursday knocked Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, a Democratic rival for governor, for his past support of the death penalty during an appearance before a NAACP-sponsored candidates forum in Baltimore.
Brown told the audience that he had “stood with” Benjamin T. Jealous, the then-president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, when he came to Maryland last year to testify in favor of legislation repealing capital punishment.
“I stood with the NAACP and Ben Jealous when we repealed the death penalty in Maryland,” Brown said. “The attorney general supports the death penalty. … The attorney general says it’s a wonderful tool.”
Brown, who would be Maryland’s first African-American governor if elected, cited “racial bias in the system” as one reason capital punishment needed to be repealed.
Brown, Gansler and Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery), a third candidate for governor, appeared separately at Thursday night’s forum, sponsored by the Baltimore branch of the NAACP.
Gansler had been on record for years as a supporter of the death penalty prior to the passage last year of legislation repealing it, which was sponsored by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).
When asked about his position at Thursday night’s forum, Gansler said: “My position is where everybody’s position is: We don’t have it. We used to have it. The General Assembly overturned it, and the people of Maryland have said they don’t want it. So, that’s my position on the death penalty.”
Gansler also noted that while the death penalty was on the books during his tenure as state’s attorney in Montgomery County, he never sought it.
During a radio interview last year, as lawmakers were debating O’Malley’s repeal legislation, Gansler reaffirmed his support for capital punishment under certain conditions.
“I think there are certain criminals who commit certain crimes, that they forfeit their right to live on the planet,” he told host Kojo Nnamdi on “The Politics Hour” on WAMU 88.5 FM. Gansler added that it was crucial that “we know for sure beyond any reasonable doubt that they are, in fact, the people that committed the crime.”
During the same interview, Gansler said that the death penalty was “a wonderful tool” for prosecutors because it could give them leverage to secure plea deals of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Democratic candidates woo NAACP crowd in Baltimore
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Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown attacked his chief rival in the Democratic primary contest for governor Thursday night, telling a crowd in Baltimore that “the attorney general supports the death penalty.”
Brown brought up the death penalty while answering a separate question about why he supports decriminalizing marijuana possession, saying that both policies reveal “there is a racial bias in the system.”
In broaching the issue – and casting it in racial terms – Brown, who is African-American, drew a contrast with Attorney General Douglas Gansler, who is a white, former prosecutor from Montgomery County and has long favored the death penalty as a tool for prosecutors.
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“We’ve got the best criminal justice system in the world, but it’s not perfect,” Brown said. “Here are the numbers: a majority of death row inmates in Maryland are African-Americans, yet we’re still a minority.”
As the debate was underway in Annapolis last year, Gansler in a radio interview called the death penalty “a wonderful tool to have” to negotiate plea deals in capital cases. The former state’s attorney went on to say that, “If, in fact, we have a race-biased system in Maryland, we ought to be addressing that because it’s – you know, putting somebody in a cage for their rest of their life that didn’t commit that crime is also very, very egregious,” according a transcript of that February 2013 interview on the Kojo Nnamdi show.
In a 2009 interview with The Baltimore Sun, Gansler balked at a partial death penalty repeal that put heavy restrictions on when it can be used. He said the plan “significantly limits the death penalty so as to almost nullify it in the state of Maryland.”
When asked by a moderator at Thursday night’s forum to clarify his position on the death penalty, Gansler said, “My position is where everybody is: we don’t have it. We used to have it. The General Assembly overturned it, and the people of Maryland have said they don’t want it. So, that’s my position on the death penalty.”
The three top candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in the June 24 primary election spoke separately at the forum and did not interact.
Del. Heather Mizeur did not discuss the death penalty, which she voted to repeal last year. She discussed a variety of policies she’s pushed, including increasing wages to $16.70 an hour by 2022 and legalizing marijuana. She pitched a plan that would allow individual counties to increase their own sales tax and dedicate the additional cash to school construction.
Asked whether Baltimore communities would still see her outside of an election year – since they see her a lot now – Mizeur said they would, and joked “I’m pretty sure Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is going to start charging me taxes, I’m here so much.”
Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bal-democratic-candidates-woo-naacp-crowd-in-baltimore-20140417,0,2016344.story#ixzz38b2MtDcH
Election 2014 5:56 pm Tue June 10, 2014
Candidates Make Municipal Leaders Happy; They Promise Money Share Tweet E-mail 0 Comments Print By P. Kenneth Burns WYPR's Shielah Kast moderating forum with six of the candidates for Governor. Credit P. Kenneth Burns/WYPR Listen 3:24 Candidates Make Municipal Leaders Happy; They Promise Money
Six of the candidates from both parties running for governor repeated their usual positions on jobs, the economy and health care during a forum at the Maryland Municipal League’s annual convention in Ocean City. And then they all said something that all of them agreed on.
They would restore Highway User Revenues—the money that comes from the state to maintain and repair local roads—as governor.
Harford County Executive David Craig, running for the Republican nomination, told the crowd he would restore the funding during his first year as governor and then some.
“And, starting the second year, we will give you back the money we took from you those four years for capital projects,” Craig said.
The restoration of Highway User Revenues had been the number one concern of municipal leaders for several years, ever since they were slashed to make up for budget shortfalls elsewhere.
The money comes from the gas tax and is distributed to local governments through a formula based on the number of road miles in a jurisdiction.
Rock Hall Mayor Bob Willis said with budget cuts, municipalities as a whole have been receiving only a small portion of what they had been getting.
“We were receiving in the neighborhood of around, I’m going to say, $160,000. Today, we receive, probably around $20,000,” he said.
The town fathers in Havre de Grace had to raise taxes to make up for the $500,000 they lost. That accounts for all of their street maintenance money.
“We actually had to raise our property tax rate 10 cents that year,” said City Councilman Fred Cullum. “And we were fortunate that over a period of time we have now been able to give that 10 cents back plus two additional cents we lowered.”
The question about state road money was the first one asked by WYPR’s Sheilah Kast, the forum’s moderator.
“How would you, if elected governor, propose to support local government transportation infrastructure in the future?”
Attorney General Doug Gansler, running for the Democratic nomination, said he would increase highway user revenues by increasing the number of jobs in Maryland.
The others said they would restore the formula that had been used prior to the 2008 recession rather than handing out one-time grants as was used in next year’s budget.
Delegate Heather Mizeur, also running for the Democratic nomination, could not make the forum because of a scheduling conflict.
La Plata Town Councilman Keith Back was glad to hear the money would be restored, but he wanted details.
“Everyone says ‘they will restore it’ because that’s the thing to say to this group. I want to see the concrete answers of how they would do it,” Back said.
Some were looking for more specifics on issues in general.
“While they talked about retaining businesses, lowering taxes, improving other aspects of the quality of life in Maryland, they really didn’t address specific or give specific answers to some of the questions,” said Hampstead Town Councilwoman Marlene Duff.
Bowie City Councilman Dennis Brady said the candidates were hampered by time constraints.
“They attempted to address the question, I’m not certain they all succeeded in fully satisfying the audience,” Brady said.
Contenders from both parties appear at Municipal League forum
Candidates for governor promise to restore local highway aidContenders from both parties appear at Municipal League forumDavid Craig, right, and Larry Hogan, left, shake hands after… (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun )June 10, 2014|By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore SunOCEAN CITY -- Gubernatorial candidates of both parties promised city and town officials that they would restore local road repair money cut from the state budget by the O'Malley administration.
Appearing at the annual convention of the Maryland Municipal League two weeks before the June 24 primary, Democrat Anthony G. Brown and four Republican candidates pledged full restoration of the transportation spending known as "highway user revenue."
That spending was cut back as much as 95 percent by Gov. Martin O'Malley during the recession as the governor chose to shield other spending priorities from deep cuts. Getting that money back is perhaps the No. 1 cause of mayors and city councils across the state.
Before the recession, municipalities together received about $45 million each year, said Scott Hancock, executive director of the league. Since then, about 50 percent of it has been restored, he said.
Brown, the lieutenant governor and the front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination, did not apologize for the administration's actions, saying that "no program in state government has been spared the ax."
However, Brown said, last year's legislation increasing Maryland's gas tax has given the state the resources to return to the pre-recession levels of the fiscal 2008 budget. He promised to go back to the funding formula used at that time rather than the one-time grant approach used in the current and coming year's budgets.
"You should not have to rely on a grant," Brown told the municipal officials.
Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler sidestepped the question and gave a version of his stump speech. Del. Heather R. Mizeur, the third Democrat in the race, had a scheduling conflict and did not attend.
While all four candidates in the Republican field have called for cuts in state spending, each matched Brown's pledge to restore the road funding.
"I will totally restore the highway user revenue to the 2008 levels," said Del. Ron George of Anne Arundel County.
Larry Hogan, who worked in the administration of Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., pledged that he would not turn to the Transportation Trust Fund to balance the state budget — as Ehrlich and O'Malley did in times of economic stress.
"We're going to protect the trust funds. They've become lack-of-trust funds," he said.
The other GOP candidates for governor, Harford County Executive David R. Craig and Charles County business executive Charles Lollar, concurred.
"You're going to get it back because you deserve to have it back," said Craig. He said his county lost $14 million in money to fix local roads as a result of the state cutbacks.
Before the recession, the state followed a formula under which 30 percent of the Transportation Trust Fund, which gets its money from the gas tax and other transportation fees, was distributed to local governments. Baltimore, the only jurisdiction that maintains state highways within its borders, got more.
As the recession eased, the governor and the General Assembly began to restore some of the highway user revenues they had cut, mostly as one-time budget payments and not according to a predictable formula.
Sen. James E. DeGrange Sr., the Anne Arundel County Democrat who chairs the transportation budget subcommittee, said the cuts to local highway aid were an unfortunate but justifiable response to the recession. "We also have to protect and support the priorities of the state as well, and education is the top priority," he said.
DeGrange said he'd like to get away from the practice of relying on annual grants to municipalities and return to a more generous formula for distributing local highway aid, but not necessarily the former 30 percent.
LWVMD's Policy on Candidate Debates Co-Sponsored with Broadcasters
It is the policy of the League of Women Voters of Maryland that candidate debates and forums should be inclusive of all candidates who have qualified to be on the ballot, including all candidates of state recognized political parties, independent candidates, and write-in candidates. However, if the debate or candidates’ forum is co-sponsored by a broadcasting station and the station is not able to provide coverage if all candidates are included, candidates must meet the following criteria:
- Be legally qualified, if elected, to hold the office under federal and state law; AND
- Have filed and met all requirements to be on the ballot according to Maryland’s election laws AND
- Demonstrate significant voter interest and support by:
- Having received 15% of public support in a statewide public opinion poll conducted by a daily newspaper or other nonpartisan organization; OR
- If no such poll exists:
- Provide multiple examples of campaign coverage by at least two major media sources in different geographical areas of the state AND
- Demonstrate that a formal campaign is being conducted by the existence of campaign headquarters and staff or an active website.