Less than $14,000 spent on petition drive
The latest campaign finance filings show that freshman Del. Neil C. Parrott spent just under $14,000 on his successful drive to put the Maryland Dream Act on the 2012 ballot.
Parrott, a Washington County Republican, kicked off a signature gathering effort in mid-April with $4,800 of his own money. As cash trickled in, he paid himself back. The MDPetitions.com campaign reported a balance of $11,095, funds Parrott can use to fight any legal challenge.
"We ran a really clean tight campaign and used the money very effectively," Parrott said.
More than 130,000 Marylanders signed the petition, and as of this afternoon 104,728 signatures had been validated by the state board of elections. Local boards must finish counting next week
Unlike campaign finance forms for elected officials, the referendum filings are not submitted electronically.
The shoestring budget does not include a $15,000 in-kind donation from David Dan, a project manager with Hagerstown-based High Rock Studios. Dan used his computer programming skill to help create a sophisticated website where Marylanders who opposed to the law could download their own petition forms.
The web tool walks users though the multistep process of filling out and submitting a petition form. It also allows Marylanders to check their names against the voter registration database, reducing errors since names must match perfectly inorder to be valid.