Friday, February 8, 2013

HILARIOUS: Doug Duncan Had Five Donors in 2012 // Here's Who Contributed to the Former Montgomery County Executive


Lately it seems that the mainstream media has been hailing the return of former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan to the local political scene. After all, Duncan recently announced he would try and regain MoCo's top spot in the June 2014 Democratic Primary. But an astute observer of the MoCo Exec race urged Maryland Juice to check out Duncan's most recent campaign finance filing, and it is indeed a hoot.

In the entirety of 2012, Doug Duncan reported receiving exactly $10,000 in contributions, and the money was raised through five separate donations. Hilariously, four out of five of Duncan's donors are corporations, and the only one that is a real person is the guy whose family controls the other four companies:

2012 - Complete List of Doug Duncan's Corporate Donors
  • King KIA
  • King Mitsubishi
  • King Pontiac Buick GMC, Inc.
  • King Volkswagen

2012 - Complete List of Doug Duncan's Individual Donors
  • Conrad Aschenbach

EXHIBIT:  On December 28, 2012, Duncan received five separate checks for $2,000:

DUNCAN DEMONSTRATES NEED TO CLOSE MARYLAND'S CAMPAIGN FINANCE "LLC LOOPHOLE" - Indeed, a quick Google search of "Conrad Aschenbach" (Duncan's sole donor) reveals that the 80 year-old Potomac businessman's family runs the King auto dealerships. This donor activity also highlights one of the big loopholes in Maryland's campaign finance laws, which critics have dubbed the "LLC loophole."

Ironically, just yesterday several Delegates and Senators worked with advocates to organize a campaign finance reform rally to highlight the need to reduce the influence of special interest spending in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun's Michael Dresser highlighted the effort (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Under Maryland law, there's a limit to how much money a citizen can donate to state political campaigns - $4,000 to a single candidate, $10,000 in total donations during a four-year election cycle.

But some Marylanders are less limited than others. Take, for instance, the developer Edward St. John. Through dozens of corporations he owns that operate out of the headquarters of St. John Properties in Baltimore County, he's funneled more than $250,000 to Maryland politicians of both parties over the past two years.St. John's generosity - and there are still two years to go in the election cycle - doesn't violate the law. And he's not the only wealthy business owner to sidestep the state caps by using limited liability corporations to boost his giving power into six figures....

Senior Vice President Gerard Wit said St. John Properties would not oppose such changes. He said that when the company donates, it is invariably at a candidate's request. Politicians, he said, are well aware that developers have multiple LLCs that can write checks.

"No developer I ever knew ever calls a politician and says, 'Can I give you some money?' It just doesn't happen," Wit said. "Will it change what we do? It'll save us a fair amount of money."

Advocates of election reform hope the legislature will finally approve changes they've been seeking for decades. Assembly leaders appear more open to campaign finance reform than in the past, when bills to close the LLC loophole were routinely blocked in committee....

Photo Source: Tancread on Flickr.


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