By Adam Pagnucco.
The No on B Committee, the ballot question committee opposing Montgomery County term limits, has filed its first campaign finance report with the State Board of Elections. There are no surprises here: most of the contributions it has raised have come from incumbent members of the Montgomery County Council.
The committee reported raising $9,125 through October 9. Of that amount, $6,000 (66%) has come from the campaign accounts of Council Members. George Leventhal was the lead contributor, donating $1,500. Roger Berliner, Sidney Katz, Nancy Navarro and Hans Riemer contributed $1,000 each while Marc Elrich contributed $500. Other contributions of note came from George Leventhal’s father, Carl ($500), Marc Elrich’s Chief of Staff, Dale Tibbitts ($500) and Casa de Maryland ($1,000). In total, contributions from Council Members and their staff accounted for 72% of money raised by the committee.
After paying attorney Jonathan Shurberg $5,000 for his work on the unsuccessful court case to get term limits thrown off the ballot, and paying other minor expenses, the committee reported a final balance of $4,024.49.
Another committee formed to support term limits, Voters for Montgomery County Term Limits, reported raising $2,890 and finishing with $2,683.27 in the bank. Developer Charles K. Nulsen III contributed $1,000. There have been rumors of developer support for term limits, which would be interesting considering that the anti-development Montgomery County Civic Federation also supports term limits. But Nulsen’s lone contribution signals that so far the real estate community is not fully engaged.
In 2012, 460,885 MoCo residents voted in the general election. A similar number could be voting this year. What’s clear is that neither committee has the resources to get its message out to the electorate. Since many underlying factors favor the passage of term limits, the failure of both sides to raise money is a net benefit for supporters.