Leggett Plans to Privatize Stormwater Management

By Adam Pagnucco.

In a memo sent to the County Council last week, County Executive Ike Leggett said he intends to pursue a public-private partnership (P3) to administer the county’s stormwater management program.  That decision is particularly interesting given the facts that the State of Maryland has alleged that the county committed numerous violations of its stormwater permit and the county agreed to a consent decree in January.

The potential P3 and the consent decree relate to the county’s responsibilities under its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit, which is a state and federal mandate on large jurisdictions to undertake stormwater projects designed to improve the Chesapeake Bay.  Under the latest permit issued by the state for the period of 2010 through 2015, the county is responsible for assessing sources of pollutants in runoff, identifying best management practices in stormwater control, establishing and inspecting management systems to control runoff and restoring twenty percent of its impervious surface area that has not already been managed.  The principal source of the county’s funding for stormwater activities is its Water Quality Protection Charge, established in 2002, which is levied on property tax bills.  The charge, which is not subject to the county’s charter limit on property taxes, has increased by more than 1100% over the last fifteen years.

While the charge is intended to be used for stormwater projects, it is in fact used for a lot more than that.  In FY18 (estimated), more money from the Water Quality Protection Fund went to the operating budget ($26.8 million) and a transfer to the rest of the general fund ($1.6 million) than to the capital budget ($5.4 million) and debt service on capital projects ($6.1 million).  And so most of the proceeds from the charge do not actually go directly into physical stormwater capital projects.

During the 2010-2015 permit period, a series of lawsuits were brought against the MS4 permits issued to several counties, including Montgomery.  The end result in Montgomery’s case was a consent decree agreed to by the county and the state in January.  (The state’s website does not list any other county as having a consent decree.)  According to the consent decree, the Maryland Department of the Environment alleged numerous violations of the MS4 permit by the county, including running up deficits of unrestored impervious land of 2,004 acres in FY15 and 1,860.5 acres in FY16 as well as many reporting failures.  The consent decree requires the county to build a number of supplemental environmental projects, which are not listed in the decree itself, by 12/31/20.

Here is a question: with the water quality protection charge almost tripling between 2010 and 2015, why was the county deficient in restoring thousands of acres as it was supposed to do under its stormwater permit?

Also of note is that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which manages the county’s stormwater activities, is currently led by an Acting Director.  The previous Director served for less than two years and left for “professional and personal reasons.”

Perhaps in connection with all of the above, County Executive Ike Leggett told the County Council in a memo last week the following: “The department [of Environmental Protection] also intends to pursue a public-private partnership contracting vehicle for the anticipated new Permit – a mechanism that has provided significant cost efficiencies in other jurisdictions such as Prince George’s County.”  The memo is 99 pages long, but we reprint pages one and two, which contain the reference to the P3, below.

This raises a number of questions.  What will the scope of the P3 be?  Will the P3 be subject to open bidding or will it be a sole-source contract?  How will the concessionaire be compensated?  How will the county oversee the concessionaire’s operations?  To the extent that they are affected by the P3, what recourse will property owners have in dealing with the concessionaire’s decisions?  (This is not an academic question given the activities of the Purple Line’s P3 concessionaire.)  Since the county faces legal liability to the state in connection with the consent decree, is it wise to vest compliance in a private entity?  Would that entity agree to indemnify the county if it fails to achieve the mandates in the consent decree?  As for the “significant cost efficiencies” claimed in Prince George’s County, their P3 is only three years old and was described as the first of its kind when it was signed.  Does that P3 have enough of a track record to make it a model for MoCo?

Another question.  Environmental regulation is a core function of government.  Selling alcohol is not.  How on Earth does it make sense that a county would socialize alcohol sales and privatize environmental protection?

Finally, here is the biggest question of all: why now?  The current County Executive has less than nine months left in his time in office.  A P3 is a major structural change to the county’s operations and the one in Prince George’s has a thirty-year duration.  Is this an issue for the next Executive and council to decide?  Or should they and their successors be bound by an administration with only a short time left in office?

It’s time for a public discussion of the county’s stormwater performance issues and the appropriateness of a P3.  We ask the County Council to raise it during the discussions of Leggett’s last budget in the coming weeks.


Hogan Raises Taxes by $380 Million to Save Obamacare

The Washington Post reports that Gov. Larry Hogan has collaborated with the General Assembly to raise taxes in order to protect Maryland’s individual insurance market:

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Maryland’s Democratic legislative leaders have reached agreement on a one-year plan to stabilize skyrocketing individual health insurance premiums by taxing insurance companies and using the money to pay the biggest claims.

Legislation that won initial approval in the state Senate on Friday would levy a surcharge of about $380 million on insurance companies that do business in Maryland, which are paying about that much less in federal taxes this year because of a one-time exemption provided by the recent overhaul of the U.S. tax code.

Using that money for a “reinsurance fund” will lower premiums for everyone in the individual insurance market, officials and advocates said, heading off a potential crisis stemming from anticipated increases in premiums of between 30 and 50 percent and the possible departure of CareFirst, Maryland’s only statewide insurer for the estimated 154,000 individuals who buy their own plans rather than get coverage through an employer or government program.

In this way, the Governor is working directly against efforts by Trump and congressional Republicans to kill off the Affordable Care Act through executive actions and ending the individual mandate. In short, Hogan is working with Democrats to achieve their goal of protecting health care for all Marylanders.

Of course, it’s only a stopgap solution. If reelected, Hogan will have to extend the tax increase in one form or another in order to continue the reinsurance fund, or reestablish the individual mandate within the State of Maryland. No one can seriously believe that this is a one-time move.

It’s completely the right thing to do but destroys the narrative that Hogan has reduced taxes. As the most powerful governor in the nation, Hogan could have stopped the tax increase. However, the Republican base has little choice to stick with Hogan but cannot be pleased or motivated by this decision.


Trone Donations Continue to Raise Eyebrows

Apparently, David Trone can’t decide who to support for Montgomery County Council District 1. He has given money to both Andrew Friedson and Ana Sol Gutierrez. I guess he likes Andrew more since he got $750 as compared to just $150 for Ana. Or did he give to Ana to help her qualify for matching funds in order to help Andrew?

Meanwhile, his company, Total Wine, is donating to Maryland Republicans even after this became an issue in the 2016 congressional primary campaign. Total Wine donated $1000 in early 2017 to the Pat McDonough Leadership Team. McDonough (D-7) represents Baltimore and Harford Counties and is running for Baltimore County Executive.


Public Financing Geography, Part Five

By Adam Pagnucco.

We conclude with the remaining five Council At-Large candidates who have qualified for matching funds in public financing.

Chris Wilhelm

Wilhelm, an MCPS teacher, is becoming a progressive darling of the Council At-Large race with endorsements from MCEA, the Laborers, Progressive Maryland and the Democratic Socialists.  His contributions are heavily tilted towards the very liberal areas of Downtown Silver Spring and Takoma Park.  The question for Wilhelm is whether he can hang with the other strong competitors going for those same votes, especially Hans Riemer, Evan Glass, Will Jawando, Danielle Meitiv and Seth Grimes and find a way to break into the top four.  Wilhelm is a smart and passionate campaigner so don’t count him out.

Will Jawando

Jawando is the leading fundraiser in Silver Spring East County, which we define as zip codes 20903, 20904 and 20905.  This area overlaps with the section of District 20 in which he performed best in his 2014 race for Delegate.  Jawando has put together a long list of institutional endorsements that exceeds even the race’s sole incumbent, Hans Riemer, and includes the Apple Ballot.  (He was also endorsed by the Laborers Union shortly after we published the latest list.)  Now Jawando has to raise enough money to get the word out and finish the job.  If he does, he will become just the second Council Member of color to win an At-Large seat after Ike Leggett left in 2002.

Danielle Meitiv

Meitiv, the famous Free Range Mom, is so far the only female at-large candidate who has qualified for public matching funds.  (Shruti Bhatnagar came close but has been ruled ineligible by the State Board of Elections.  Brandy Brooks says she has enough contributions to qualify but has not yet filed with the state.)  Meitiv’s contribution geography resembles the all-candidate average and is largely based in the Democratic Crescent that is so critical to winning countywide elections.  If she continues to raise money, her status as one of the few competitive at-large women will help her in a primary electorate that is nearly 60% female.

Mohammad Siddique

The good news is that Siddique is the second-leading fundraiser in Gaithersburg ($5,515) after George Leventhal ($6,808).  The bad news is that he has a minimal presence in Democratic Crescent areas like Chevy Chase, Downtown Silver Spring and Takoma Park that are critical to countywide performance.

Seth Grimes

Grimes, a former Takoma Park City Council Member, has collected a majority of his contributions from the city with relatively little money coming from elsewhere in the county.  Takoma Park is not a big enough base from which to win a countywide election by itself.  Grimes needs to pick it up elsewhere to have a chance for victory.


SEIU Local 500 Endorses Ana Sol Gutierrez

By Adam Pagnucco.

SEIU Local 500, which represents MCPS support staff, adjunct college professors, child care employees and other members, has endorsed Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez for the open Council District 1 seat.  Gutierrez has also been endorsed by Progressive Maryland, Casa in Action and MCEA.  Last week, she requested $10,290 in matching funds from the state under public financing, which – if she gets them – will give her over $30,000 in the bank.

We reprint Local 500’s press release below.


For Immediate Release

March 15, 2018

Contact: Christopher Honey


SEIU Local 500 endorses Ana Sol Gutierrez for Montgomery County Council District 1

(Gaithersburg, MD) SEIU Local 500, the largest union local in Montgomery County, announced it was putting its full support behind Ana Sol Gutierrez for the Montgomery County Council District 1. The District 1 seat is open because incumbent Count Councilmember Roger Berliner is running for County Executive.

“Ana has a strong background in education and understands the unique challenges and opportunities families face in Montgomery County. She has always been an advocate for those left behind in Montgomery County. She has been a leader on issues like affordable housing and working to close the achievement in our schools,” said Merle Cuttitta, President of SEIU Local 500.

President Cuttitta added, “She’s also a member of SEIU Local 500 – she was a union adjunct at George Washington University!”

SEIU Local 500 represents over 20,000 workers across the region, including supporting services professionals in Montgomery County Public Schools, adjunct faculty at Montgomery College and Maryland family childcare providers.


Mixing It Up in District 1

District 1 Community Forum

Last night, the nine candidates for the open District 1 Council seat debated at the 4-H Center in Chevy Chase. It was a lively and substantive debate that gave the audience of over 220 a real sense of issue differences as well as a more personal sense of the candidates. Moderator Charles Duffy pressed candidates to expose issue differences to good effect.

From my vantage point, former longtime Kensington Mayor Pete Fosselman gained the most from the debate. Less known outside his bailiwick, Pete has a strongly pro-development reputation through his involvement in the Kensington sector plan. The debate revealed both real knowledge and a much more nuanced approach that was not anti-development but would buffer existing neighborhoods and place development near transit. He pointed out that the Council upzoned Westbard even though it’s not near Metro. (It would be a logical stop if the Purple Line were extended west to serve Bethesda from both directions.) Pete had a style that showed conviction but also came across as thoughtful.

Former Planning Board Member Meredith Wellington has a real well of grassroots community support. Active in the community in opposing over development that tramples on existing neighborhoods and does not provide infrastructure to support it, she touted that she is not taking developer contributions. Like Marc Elrich, she has a real ability to talk fluently about the planning process that nonetheless remains comprehensible to voters—no mean feat. Meredith’s argument against lowering standards as a solution to failing infrastructure tests—one my students would love—was devastating. Her calm, thoughtful approach strongly appealed to an audience that wants a say in the future of their community. Pumping up the strength of her delivery would further expand her appeal.

While Pete and Meredith had good nights, Del. Ana Sol Gutiérrez—normally an excellent debater—foundered. Even as Ana advertised her Chevy Chase residency for the first time in my recollection, she showed no sympathy with many community concerns. For example, she argued against new parks in Bethesda and essentially said that the Ag Reserve is Bethesda’s open space. Ana had worst moment of the debate as her effort to shift blame from state legislators to the County for insufficient school construction funds rebounded. She argued that the delegation was not organized and the County “wasn’t there” to make the case that Montgomery cannot afford to do it alone. Reggie Oldak called her “disingenuous,” as Ana left voters wondering why this Appropriations Committee member hadn’t addressed these problems after 16 years in the legislature.

Though a first-time candidate, Andrew Friedson sounded the most like a politician. On the positive side, he spoke commandingly and with confidence. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a former employee of Peter Franchot, he made the most articulate economic argument for why the County liquor monopoly needs to go. However, Andrew’s claim that he is “proud” of all of his donations in response to probing on his heavy developer support sounded unconvincing, evasive and overly smooth. While he repeatedly mentioned his business and labor “coalition,” Andrew noticeably did not highlight neighborhood or community support. At times, he seemed more comfortable with generalities than policy specifics.

Reggie Oldak highlighted her work for Planned Parenthood and the National Women’s Law Center as well as her experience as a tax attorney for the IRS. The latter might not be popular but it leaves her better prepared than most to read budgets and engage on these issues—welcome when many members of the current Council seem unaware of the tax rates their constituents pay or how the tax system operates. She had the most eloquent closing statement and said she wants to see: “less inequality among our residents throughout the county. Local governments need to invest in our priorities and protect our values. We cannot continue on this road of the haves and have nots.”

First-time candidate Dalbin Osorio made a strong impression. Talking about how he moved here for the schools—he and his wife are expecting their first child–he came across as someone who understands the community’s ambitions well and would advocate fiercely for it. Like Andrew, Pete, and Meredith, he’d get the county out of the liquor business. While not seen as a leading candidate, I hope he stays involved regardless of how the election turns out as he struck me as exactly the sort of up and coming candidate we need.

Bill Cook was the most stridently anti-development. His major contribution to the debate was challenging the Stockholm Syndrome that the community has no power and must do whatever developers propose. He attacked the role of money in politics and said it’s no coincidence that both the President and the Governor are developers and that incumbent District 1 Councilmember Roger Berliner has raised hundreds of thousands from developers.

Jim McGee argued that “the system” is currently not working for a lot of people in the county, a theme that resonated among voters in the district who feel that the Council simultaneously manages to ignore both struggling families and trample on communities. Like Ana and Bill, he opposed privatization of the DLC. He emphasized climate change and wants to see more green space in Bethesda, as do many other candidates.

Lone Republican Richard Banach is a political science major who admitted candidly and with humility that he didn’t know much about many of the issues. While he still has a lot to learn, he struck me as a shoot of hope from the Republican Party. If Robin Ficker is the past, thoughtful candidates like Banach will hopefully be the future of Montgomery County Republicans.

Thanks to the Town of Chevy Chase for organizing the Forum. I know Pat Burda among others put a lot of work into putting it together. Kudos also to the many interested voters who turned out to learn more about the candidates.


Public Financing Geography, Part Four

By Adam Pagnucco.

Let’s start looking at the Council At-Large candidates who have qualified for public matching funds.

Hans Riemer

Riemer, who is finishing his second term, is the only incumbent in the at-large race.  His contributions are heavily based in Downtown Silver Spring and Bethesda, the twin poles of Democratic Downcounty politics.  He is weaker in places like Rockville and Upcounty.  Riemer’s fundraising reflects his smart growth, urban-focused brand and fits the Democratic Crescent nicely.  Our hunch is that he will finish first in both Bethesda and Silver Spring en route to his third term in office.  (Disclosure: the author was once employed by Riemer.)

Bill Conway

Here is an amazing fact: in a public financing system that includes multi-term incumbents like Riemer, Marc Elrich and George Leventhal, first-time candidate Bill Conway is the number one fundraiser in both Potomac and Chevy Chase.  He has also done well in Bethesda.  Conway could use more exposure in Silver Spring.  If he gets that, he could combine a top two or three performance in Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Potomac with a smattering of votes in other areas and get a ticket to the County Council.

Evan Glass

Second-time candidate Evan Glass, who almost won the District 5 seat four years ago, has a decade-long history of civic leadership in Downtown Silver Spring which is reflected in his fundraising.  Glass has raised almost as much money there ($18,573) as has Marc Elrich ($20,763).  Glass needs to grow his base, with the logical targets being other areas in District 5 like East County Silver Spring, Burtonsville, Takoma Park and Forest Glen as well as western parts of the Crescent.  As it is, he has a good shot to win.

Hoan Dang

Dang is also a second-time candidate, having finished fifth of six candidates in the 2010 District 19 Delegate race despite doing a good job in fundraising.  Dang has done pretty well in public financing but he is not dominating anywhere and has not shown a lot of strength in the Crescent.  He could use some institutional backing and more support in places like Bethesda and Downtown Silver Spring to increase his chances of victory.

Gabe Albornoz

County Recreation Department Director Gabe Albornoz is by far the leading fundraiser in Kensington, where he has a large base of family and friends.  Other than that, he is not among the fundraising leaders in any of the county’s Democratic strongholds.  Albornoz has three useful networks: his professional network from his day job, the contacts he has accumulated during his service on the county’s Democratic Central Committee and the supporters of County Executive Ike Leggett, who has endorsed him.  Albornoz needs to continue to monetize those networks and get a couple key endorsements, like the Washington Post.  If he can do that, he has a path to victory.

We will finish looking at the Council At-Large qualifiers tomorrow.


Live Tweeting Tonight’s District 1 Debate

Tonight, I plan to live tweet tonight’s tonight’s debate between the nine (!) candidates for the Montgomery County Council District 1 seat.  The debate s being held at 7pm at the 4H Center on Connecticut Ave. in Chevy Chase. You can follow along @theseventhstate.

There are nine (!) candidates for the seat:

Richard Banach (R)
Bill Cook (D)
Pete Fosselman (D)
Andrew Friedson (D)
Ana Sol Guttierez (D)
Jim McGee (D)
Reggie Oldak (D)
Dalbin Osorio (D)
Meredith Wellington (D)


Public Financing Geography, Part Three

By Adam Pagnucco.

It’s time to start looking at the geography of in-county contributions for the thirteen candidates who have so far qualified for public matching funds: County Executive candidates Marc Elrich, Rose Krasnow and George Leventhal and Council At-Large candidates Gabe Albornoz, Bill Conway, Hoan Dang, Evan Glass, Seth Grimes, Will Jawando, Danielle Meitiv, Hans Riemer, Mohammad Siddique and Chris Wilhelm.  While all participate in the same system, there are immense differences between them in where they are raising money.

First, an overview.

Long-time Council Members Marc Elrich and George Leventhal lead in public financing fundraising.  But former Rockville Mayor and Planning Department staffer Rose Krasnow is closing on them.  Krasnow qualified for matching funds in 109 days, far faster than Elrich (209 days) and Leventhal (278 days).  All three lead the Council At-Large candidates in total raised primarily because of the higher public matching rate for Executive candidates.  Riemer, Conway and Glass lead the council candidates while Meitiv, Siddique and Grimes trail.  The fact that some candidates last reported two months ago while others reported within the last few weeks will affect this data somewhat.  Including the traditionally funded candidates, Roger Berliner so far leads the Executive candidates while Delegate Charles Barkley is one of the Council At-Large leaders and Ashwani Jain is competitive.

Here’s an important thing to note about public financing: it’s not just about money.  It’s also a cornerstone for a field program.  The same folks who show up at campaign events and bring small checks are the people who can be tapped for neighbor-to-neighbor letters, canvassing, phone banking, lit drops and poll coverage.  The total amount raised is a useful proxy for the number of ardent supporters, so money raised in a local area may be a possible, partial precursor to actual electoral performance.

Now to the three Executive candidates.

Marc Elrich

Elrich is the number one fundraiser in Downtown Silver Spring, Olney and Takoma Park, the latter by a mile.  His contributions have been heavily concentrated in the Democratic Crescent, which accounts for 53% of all in-county contributions and 68% of in-county contributions to Elrich.  This resembles the Downcounty support for Jamie Raskin in his 2016 race for Congress.  That distribution along with Elrich’s number one finish in the last two at-large elections and his many progressive endorsements makes him the front runner in the eyes of most observers.

George Leventhal

Leventhal, a former Chair of the county Democratic Party, has leveraged his more than twenty years in county politics to assemble the most geographically diverse contribution distribution of the Executive candidates.  He is the number one fundraiser in Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Germantown and Montgomery Village.  Leventhal leads Elrich in Upcounty but trails him by a lot in the Democratic Crescent.  Can Leventhal pull enough votes from Midcounty and Upcounty to overwhelm Elrich’s strength in Silver Spring and Takoma Park and break through?

Rose Krasnow

Krasnow was an elected official in Rockville between 1991 and 2001 and she is crushing both Elrich and Leventhal in money raised from the city.  On the other hand, she trails them badly in the Democratic Crescent.  Krasnow is off to a fast start in public financing but she needs more exposure in Downcounty areas like Downtown Silver Spring, Bethesda and Chevy Chase.  Elrich and Leventhal have been working those places for years and time is getting short.

Next, we will start looking at the Council At-Large candidates.

Disclosure: the author is a publicly-listed supporter of Berliner for Executive.


Public Financing Geography, Part Two

By Adam Pagnucco.

As we stated in Part One, we have examined nearly 9,000 records of contributions to thirteen countywide candidates in the public financing system who have qualified for matching funds: County Executive candidates Marc Elrich, Rose Krasnow and George Leventhal and Council At-Large candidates Gabe Albornoz, Bill Conway, Hoan Dang, Evan Glass, Seth Grimes, Will Jawando, Danielle Meitiv, Hans Riemer, Mohammad Siddique and Chris Wilhelm.  Today we begin to answer the question of where individual contributions in the public financing system are coming from.

First, let’s tally the aggregate sums collected by all thirteen candidates.

The largest source of money in the public system is public matching funds, which outnumbers private contributions by more than two to one.  But that understates the magnitude of matching funds because the contribution records do not include public funds requested but not yet disbursed.  We will examine that issue when we begin discussing individual candidates in Part Three.  One note: while candidates may not take corporate contributions, their accounts may accept vendor refunds, deposit returns and bank interest.  That accounts for the tiny amount in the “other” category.

Now let’s look at in-county contributions by local area.

Urban centers that are also Democratic strongholds tend to dominate here, especially Downtown Silver Spring and Bethesda.  We have previously identified an area we call “the Democratic Crescent” including Takoma Park, Downtown Silver Spring, Kensington, Chevy Chase, Bethesda and Cabin John that accounts for 23% of the county’s population, 29% of its registered Democrats and 37% of its Super Democrats (those who voted in each of the last three mid-term primaries).  That area accounts for 53% of in-county contributions in the public financing system.

Below we compare in-county contributions to population by local area.

Relative to their population, Downtown Silver Spring, Bethesda, Takoma Park, Potomac and Chevy Chase are over-represented in terms of in-county contributions.  Gaithersburg, Germantown, Glenmont-Norbeck (zip code 20906) and Silver Spring East County (zip codes 20903, 20904 and 20905) are under-represented.  The Democratic Crescent accounts for 23% of the county’s population but 53% of in-county contributions.  Upcounty, an area we define as including Ashton, Boyds, Brookeville, Clarksburg, Damascus, Dickerson, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Montgomery Village, Olney, Poolesville and Sandy Spring, accounts for 34% of the county’s population but just 13% of in-county contributions.

Here’s another way to look at the same data: in-county contribution dollars per resident.

Seven communities contributed one dollar or more per resident to publicly financed candidates: Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, Dickerson, Downtown Silver Spring, Kensington, Potomac and Bethesda.  Except for Dickerson and Potomac, all of these areas are in the Democratic Crescent.  Seven communities contributed less than 25 cents per resident: Burtonsville, Gaithersburg, Glenmont-Norbeck, Clarksburg, Montgomery Village, Germantown and Damascus.  The average contribution per resident in the Democratic Crescent was $1.26.  In Upcounty, it was 21 cents.

Finally, we compare in-county contributions to the distribution of Super Democrats.

The distribution of in-county contributions is a much closer match for Super Democrats than for the broader population.  But Super Dem-intensive areas are even more influential among contributors.  The Democratic Crescent accounts for 37% of Super Dems and 53% of in-county contributions.  Upcounty accounts for 20% of Super Dems and 13% of in-county contributions.  Downtown Silver Spring and Takoma Park are over-represented here even when factoring in how many Super Dems they have, while Glenmont-Norbeck, Silver Spring East County and Rockville are under-represented.

The bottom line is that public financing is amplifying the influence of heavily Democratic Downcounty areas above and beyond patterns of residency and voting.  That influence comes at the expense of Upcounty areas like Gaithersburg, Germantown, Clarksburg, Damascus and the smaller communities close to the Frederick and Howard County borders.  If corporate money and PAC money are thought to have outsize impacts on the actions of county government in the traditional system, then one wonders if the Downcounty dominance that some Upcounty residents complain about will be even more pronounced due to public financing.

In Part Three, we will begin examining specific candidates.