Common Cause Maryland Response to the State of the State
- Jennifer Bevan Dangel
Annapolis – Gov. Hogan’s decision to make campaign finance and elections a priority in his first State of the State speech gets his administration off to an encouraging start, Common Cause Maryland said today.
“We agree with the governor that people feel a real disconnect between Annapolis and the rest of Maryland, and we believe that special interest influence in elections and a broken redistricting process are deepening that divide,” said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, executive director of Common Cause Maryland.
The Governor spoke to his historic win using the Fair Campaign Finance Fund, Maryland’s only state-wide public campaign funding program. “ As he noted, ‘this program levels the playing field and holds elected leaders accountable.’ We are pleased to see his commitment to restore funding for this vital program and are happy to work with him to ensure that the fund is fully replenished for future candidates,” Bevan-Dangel said.
The Governor also called for immediate action on redistricting reform, pledging to form a commission that would identify an independent process for drawing district lines. He correctly observed that “Gerrymandering is a form of political gamesmanship that stifles real political debate and deprives citizens of meaningful choices.”
In response to Hogan’s call for making government more responsive, Bevan-Dangel urged the governor to consider reforming the state’s obscure procurement process and updating the 40-year old Public Information Act.
“Gov. Hoganand the legislature have an opportunity to advance significant good government reforms. We hope that a spirit of bipartisanship will prevail to ensure that the citizens of Maryland are given a stronger, more vibrant democracy,” Bevan-Dangel said.