Maryland campaign notes 9/16

Munson ad runs without authority line, violating law

Munson ad runs without authority line, violating law

September 16, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

Washington County Commissioner candidate John C. Munson ran a newspaper ad last week without an authority line, which is required by law in order to show the expenditure was approved by his campaign treasurer.

Munson, who got a call from the Washington County Election Board about the problem, called The Herald-Mail's advertising department to correct the mistake.

When first asked by a reporter, Munson blamed the oversight on a newspaper advertising representative.

But the form that Munson filled out when he placed the ad shows it was also missing the authority line.

Then Munson said he couldn't remember whether he told the advertising representative to add the authority line.

"If I made a mistake, I apologize," Munson said.

Candidates who break the authority line law can be punished by a fine of up to $1,000 and be barred from running for office for four years, according to state election law.


Since Munson eventually complied with the requirement, it's unlikely that the Washington County Election Board will take further action, said Election Director Dorothy Kaetzel.

That could change if the election board receives a formal complaint or the error is repeated, she said.

Munson sad to see Hoffman lose race

Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, was disappointed that his boss on the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee will not be coming back to Annapolis in January.

Sen. Barbara Hoffman, D-Baltimore, one of the most powerful lawmakers in the Maryland General Assembly, lost the Democratic primary to Del. Lisa Gladden, an up-and-comer who took advantage of a favorable redistricting plan.

"Barb was a good friend and supporter of Washington County. I'm very sad about her loss," Munson said.

County had lowest voter turnout in state

Washington County had the lowest voter turnout of any county in Maryland in last week's primary election.

It's not the Election Board's responsibility to get people to vote, Election Director Dorothy Kaetzel said.

Local party officials generally don't put much effort into primary election turnout, although that will change for the Nov. 5 general election.

Kaetzel and party officials cited a lack of interesting races for the low turnout.

The only real race was among the 21 candidates for Washington County Commissioner, which were cut to five Democrats and five Republicans.

"They didn't create a lot of excitement," Bob Sweeney, Republican Central Committee member, said of the candidates.

Hecht challenges Mooney to debates

Political opponents Del. Sue Hecht and Sen. Alex X. Mooney don't agree on much. In fact, they can't even seem to agree on what qualifies as a debate.

Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, who is trying to unseat Mooney, sent him a letter last week challenging him to a series of debates.

Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, wrote back that Hecht was trying to manufacture an issue because both candidates are scheduled to appear at a number of forums this fall.

The Hecht camp maintained that those forums don't qualify as face-to-face debates.

60 Plus Association endorses Mooney

Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, received an endorsement last week from the 60 Plus Association, a lobbying group that describes itself as the conservative alternative to the AARP.

"We're endorsing him because he will fight to lower the tax burden on our senior citizens," President Jim Martin said in a press release.

Laptop stolen from Hecht headquarters

Frederick (Md.) Police said they had no leads in the break-in last week at Del. Sue Hecht's state Senate campaign headquarters.

Police dusted for fingerprints but were unable to lift any usable prints, Cpl. Joe Bourke said Friday.

A laptop containing privileged information about Hecht's supporters was the only thing reported missing in the burglary at 49 S. Carroll St.

The investigation will be suspended unless police receive more information, Bourke said.

Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, is trying to unseat Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, in the Nov. 5 election.

Democratic group seeks female member

Women wanted.

The Washington County Democratic Central Committee wants to fill its vacancy with a woman to ensure it has a gender-balanced group, said Secretary Kathy Hall.

Any women ages 18 or older who are interested in applying for the appointment should send a letter of interest by Sept. 30 to: Washington County Democratic Central Committee, P.O. Box 1136, Hagerstown, MD 21741.

Anyone with questions about the time commitment or responsibilities should call the party headquarters at 301-797-4385.

BOE seat may be open after election

The Washington County Board of Education, already experiencing a lack of interest in leadership, may lose one of its members in November.

If Doris I. Nipps wins election to the Washington County Board of County Commissioners, she'll have to give up her seat on the board. Nipps survived a key test last week when she survived the crowded Republican primary.

A replacement to fill out the rest of her two-year term would be appointed by the next governor, said Washington County Election Director Dorothy Kaetzel.

Few people were interested in running for the school board this year. In the Nov. 5 election, three candidates are running for three seats.

Republicans holding fund-raiser for Bartlett

Washington County Republicans are hosting a fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Sheraton in Hagerstown.

Tickets cost $100 apiece.

"It's really an opportunity for people in Washington County to express their gratitude and support," said Mark Thomas, a member of the Washington County Republican Central Committee.

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