Cecil County Exec: Moore Campaign Lists No New Donations in Late-filed Report
Cecil County Executive Tari Moore filed a late campaign finance report documenting minimal financial activity in the final days of her successful campaign while Pam Howard, a Democrat who lost in the November election, pumped her campaign spending into high gear toward the end of the contest.
Moore, who ran as a Republican but switched to “Unaffiliated” shortly before she was sworn in as County Executive, reported in her post-general election filings with the state Board of Elections that there were no new contributions to her campaign since her pre-general election report filed in mid-October. The only expenses listed on the new report were $800 in food catering costs for her election night gathering.
Her account still has $7,412 cash on hand in the bank, according to the report.
The new report covers spending or donations from 10/22/12 through 11/20/12, which reflects the final days of the general election campaign and financial activity or outstanding bill payments in the immediate aftermath of the November election. Moore’s report is dated 12/12/12– well after the due date of 11/27/12 for the post-general election campaign finance report.
Cecil Times asked Moore on 12/3, the day she was sworn in as county executive in Elkton, about the lack of a filing by the deadline and was told there had been a problem with accessing the electronic database that candidates must use to file their reports and that her campaign was working to resolve the problem. We asked again last Tuesday 12/11 why it had not yet been filed. The following day the report was filed with the state elections board.
The state Board of Elections has levied a fine of $110 for “failure to file” by the due date, according to the Board’s database. Additionally, Moore filed her pre-primary financial report two days late and was fined $20. Moore’s husband, Steve, serves as her campaign treasurer.
Moore’s latest report was about as simple and unremarkable as a finance report can get. But the real financial activity in her campaign came earlier, with the pre-general election campaign finance report that covered the timeframe from 3/19/12 through 10/21/12.
As Cecil Times reported at the time, Moore received an influx of donations from Political Action Committees (PACs) linked to real estate and building interests and individual or corporate donations tied to Harford County developer Clark Turner, who has several projects underway or pending in Cecil County. In all, about 30 percent of Moore’s total contributions came from such interests.
[SEE Cecil Times detailed report here:
With no new contributions on her latest report, Moore’s campaign raised a total of $26,800 covering both her primary and general election races. (Moore overwhelmed a crowded field of GOP candidates to win that party’s nomination in April.)
[UPDATE: Some Republicans, upset that Moore temporarily switched from Republican to "unaffiliated" so as to legally remove the county's Republican Central Committee from the power to name her replacement on the County Council, have asserted that Moore took donations from Republican Party entities under false colors. However, a reverse search of the state elections database shows just one party-related donation of $1,200, from the Republican Club of Cecil County-- which has long opposed the "Smipkin" political machine controlled by Del. Michael Smigiel and Sen. E.J. Pipkin, both R-36. The state GOP paid for a multi-candidate mailer, endorsing Moore and two Republican County Council Candidates, but state database records do not specify the amount of that multi-candidate mailer's costs.]
Moore is still carrying on her campaign books two loans she made to her own campaign, including one for her 2010 campaign for County Commissioner and one loan for her run for County executive. The loans were $8,114, dated 3/1/10; and $5,538, dated 1/16/12.
Also, she has still not filed an amended pre-primary report to list the value of an in-kind donation for the food and beverages donated for her early fundraiser at Woody’s in North East.
Moore defeated Pam Howard, the former three-term elected Treasurer of Cecil County, by five percentage points, with Moore receiving 52.5 percent of the vote to Howard’s 47.4 percent, according to the final November vote count certified by state election officials.
Howard’s new campaign finance report, which was filed on time, showed she received a donation of $500 from the Cecil County Democratic Club on 11/14/12, shortly after the election. Leading up to the election she also received individual donations totaling $865, including $500 from Linda Kline, a Port Deposit neighbor of Howard, on 10/22/12. Also donating were Gary A. Brown of Chesapeake City ($250), Harry Hammond ($100) and Patricia Folke ($15).
Howard had a carry-over balance from her previous pre-general election report of $6,287. She reported spending of $7,696 in the new report, covering the usual printing, advertising and related campaign costs as well as buying hamburgers and KFC for campaign-related events. The expenditures left Howard with a zero bank balance for her account.
In total, Howard raised $23,479 for her primary and general election campaigns, with most of her expenditures going to the general election effort. In the Democratic primary, Howard ran on a financial shoe-string but still won a decisive victory over North East mayor Robert McKnight, who raised nearly $18,000, most of it from Clark Turner-related development interests.
Howard received no PAC donations and her largest donation of $1,000 came from her mother.
[Disclosure: The editor of Cecil Times has a bipartisan stomach when it comes to chowing down during election season. So we bought one ticket to Republican Moore’s mini-crabcakes and shrimp event at Woody’s and one ticket to Democrat Howard’s crabfest at Mick’s. The food and company were great at both events and those were the only political “donations” we made—contrary to slanted cyberspace assertions by one of the remaining Two Amigos on the County Council.]