Sen. Currie must drop his veiled attempt to kill public funding bill

Common Cause today calls on state Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Dist 25) to drop his four-day hold on a bill he is co-sponsoring to establish voluntary public financing of state legislative campaigns. The hold is nothing more than a veiled attempt to kill the proposal as a political favor to Senate President Mike Miller Jr. (D-Dist. 27)

The bill to curb the influence of big money donors in Annapolis was introduced on time this session and has already been approved by the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. There has been ample time to study and evaluate the bill to date. A one- or two-day special order hold may be reasonable, but a four-day hold on the bill is an obvious attempt to kill it, when the session is slated to end on Monday.

With recent news reports of former state senator Thomas Bromwell boasting to an FBI informant of his ability to deliver critical policies for well-heeled special interests, it is all the more essential that the bill be given a full and fair hearing on the floor of the senate.

“Marylanders are rightly concerned about the corrosive role of big campaign contributions on the critical issues of the day,” said Jon Goldin-Dubois, executive vice president of Common Cause. “For Sen. Currie to hide behind a four-day special orders delay is an insult to the voters. Sen. Currie should drop this thinly veiled attempt to kill the bill without a public vote, and bring it to the floor for a public debate. Otherwise, his co-sponsorship of the bill will be exposed as a hypocritical sham.”