Cold campaign cash.
Here is what some of the legislators said on a chilly January morning.
Sen. David Harrington (Prince George’s County, Democrat): Wants a disclosure message attached to any campaign ad funded by a corporation. He says “you can’t have free speech without transparency.”
Sen. Jamin Raskin (Montgomery County, Democrat): Worried that corporations might also be able to receive a tax deduction for their campaign contribution.
Del. John Cardin (Baltimore County, Democrat): Says the U.S. Supreme Court “has overturned more than 100 years” of campaign finance reform precedent.
Del. C. William Frick (Montgomery County, Democrat): Says “corporations are not citizens.”
Del. Elizabeth Bobo (Howard County, Democrat): Makes very interesting point that “a large percentage” of businesses in Maryland are Limited Liability Corporations. She says that individuals can easily manipulate current state campaign finance rules by creating multiple LLCs, each with slightly different ownership structures, and use them to funnel an unlimited amount of money to politicians. Those who watched the State Prosecutor’s investigation in Baltimore City Hall spending will recall that Mayor Sheila Dixon’s former boyfriend Ronald H. Lipscomb used a similar technique to give hundreds of thousands of dollars to state lawmakers.