Cecil Co. Commissioners: Piner Fails to Identify Donors; Opponent Moore Raises Big $

October 29, 2010

The election contest for Cecil County Commissioner in the Elkton-based 2nd District has triggered large campaign donations. But Democratic candidate Earl Piner, Sr., has not identified any of the sources of $14,611 in donations to his campaign. His Republican opponent, Tari Moore, fully disclosed the sources of her more than $20,100 in donations.

State election law requires candidates to report individual or business donations and total amounts of funds raised, and identities of business or individual donors who contributed to their campaign funds, if the candidate’s total fundraising is more than $1,000.

However, in his two filings with the state Board of Elections, Piner did not disclose a single donor to his campaign. All of his donations are listed as “lump sum” contributions, with no names, addresses or identities of those who are bankrolling his campaign.

According to filings with the state Board of Elections, Piner reported contributions of $8,897 on his 9/3/10 report and $5,714 on his state campaign finance report filed 10/22/10 – for a total of $14,611. None of his filings disclose who donated the money.

In an interview with Cecil Times, Piner was hostile, suggesting that questioning his campaign finance reports was tantamount to challenging his personal integrity. “We chose option two” and “everything we have is documented,” he said. Piner said he would “have someone from his campaign” get back to us. We are still waiting.

State election officials in Annapolis told Cecil Times there was nothing in state election law about an “option two.” State election law allows candidates who raise and spend a total of under $1,000 to file an affidavit which does not require disclosure of individual donors. But once that overall threshold is crossed, candidates are supposed to list donations and names of those who contributed.

State election officials in Annapolis told Cecil Times that any donation or fundraiser ticket purchase over $50 must be reported in detail on a candidate’s campaign finance report. So-called “lump sum” donations are limited to such things as fundraiser tickets and small raffle ticket purchases under $50, but any time any donor exceeds the $50 threshold, names and addresses must be reported. Piner’s campaign reports are full of major “lump sum” donation listings over $1,000 but do not list the identities of those providing the funds.

According to his most recent state campaign finance report, Piner raised $5,713, including a “lump sum” donation of $1,338 on Oct. 14 and $1,125 on Oct. 13 and $1,040 on Oct. 12, as well as many other smaller donations over the $50 threshold. His previous campaign finance report, filed 9/ 3/10, showed donations totaling $8,898, and again did not disclose the sources of the funds or identify his donors.

Meanwhile, Piner’s Republican opponent, Tari Moore, has raised more funds but has fully accounted for the identities and sources of her campaign donations. Moore also faced a contested primary against a well-financed GOP challenger whom she defeated, while Democrat Piner was unopposed in his primary and did not need to spend campaign funds on his primary.

According to her 10/22/10 finance report, Moore raised $6,404, including a $1,500 donation from the Cecil County Republican Club and $1,100 from the Cecil County Republican Central Committee. In her previous filings, she reported donations of $425 on her 9/3/10 report and donations of $7,025 on her 8/17/10 report, covering the GOP primary contest. She also previously reported donations of $6,250 on her 1/20/10 report.

Most of Moore’s donations are relatively modest contributions from well-known Republican names around Cecil County or her family members. However, among her larger business donors are several entities related to the Stewart enterprises that are the largest commercial landowners in the county. Such donations included $674 from York Building Products.

Asked about her opponent, Piner’s, campaign finance reports, Moore said, “As candidates, we ask for the trust and faith” of the public. “Election laws are clear,” she said. “There is no excuse for not doing what you said you would do.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Fine Maryland Wines
Proudly made in Cecil County