2010 Election Cycle Sees Record Broken for Maximum Amount Spent by Candidate Seeking Commissioner’s Seat

Since campaign expenditures continue to be the subject of ongoing exchanges in the blogosphere, Someone Noticed is publishing data on the total outlays for each candidate during the 2010 election cycle.  While the cost of campaigning for commissioner was once modest, it’s been soaring for some hopefuls during the past two election seasons.  But this year a spending record for the post was passed as Dr. Carl Roberts, the unsuccessful 4th district candidate, spent nearly $50,000.  There wasn’t a correlation between cash outlays and winning as two of the most frugal candidates, Mike Dunn and Diana Broomell, won their seats.  Both commissioners spent less than $3,000 to run winning campaigns, which was far below the average of $18,000.    

The chart below shows how the contenders stacked up with their expenditures.  For more details on sources of the cash and how the money was spent visit the database to examine detailed information.  Click her to continue to the Maryland Election Center.

click on graph for larger image

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19 responses to “2010 Election Cycle Sees Record Broken for Maximum Amount Spent by Candidate Seeking Commissioner’s Seat

  1. But this year a spending record for the post was passed as Dr. Carl Roberts, the unsuccessful 4th district candidate, spent nearly $50,000.

    Just as I expected, a lot of money for nothing. Got beat by Broomell who spent $2,262.

    Thanks for sharing the campaign finance for the County Commissioners at Someone Noticed. I thought Roberts spent a lot and was if he beat Tome, but didnt know it was going to be that much for a seat.

  2. Commissioner Broomell, so far, has been a disappointment. Always late, never prepared, and without a clear grasp of whatever issue is on the table at the time. I would give her a “D” at this point in time, only because Dunn makes her look good by comparison.

    • Alexis we’ve not seen what you say you’ve observed at the meetings. (Of course we’re not at every meeting.) What we’ve seen is leadership on two important items (of course there could be other items too). Comm. Hodge took the lead on changing the sprinkler law and is working on ushering it through the system. Comm. Broomell took the lead on getting the county to make its workshops more accessible. to an everday audience. She ushered that one through and now all the county meetings are being streamed. She seems competent to us, especially when she’s questioning things like the commissioners meeting in closed session to discuss the “expansion, relocaton or closing of the casino” and objects to the meeting.

      We’d let time play out here before we make assessments as they just assumed office. The record will then be clear.

      Here’s the report we wrote on govt transparency, an important subject to us.
      http://someonenoticed.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/thumbs-up-to-advocates-for-transparency-in-cecil-county-government/

      • Let me amend my comments on Commissioner Broomell by saying that she has a clear grasp of her pet issues. I agree that in time she will have established a clear record.

    • Alexis, I’m sure you are disappointed that Broomell isn’t toeing the good ole boy/establishment line along with Hodge and Moore. She’s only been in office a few months, give me a break. She has already succeeded in opening the work sessions to the public via audio recordings- a major achievement and something that was unthinkable not too long ago.

      Now, Becky Demmler- there was a disappointment. My god, she turned out to be worse than Nelson Bolender!

      • It is amazing how Broomell, Dunn and Mullin supporters try SO hard to eke out anything significant that she, he and it have done. It reminds me how parents praise their child for finally doing anything on their own without pestering, reminding, scolding, ordering, admonishing, warning, cautioning, scolding, etc. Duh.

        Look! Diana did something…kinda…well, she was there, like in the vicinity, and she had talked about something kinda like, you know, the transparency thingy for others, similar to but different, just not for her/him/or that, anyway, ‘cause the closed door stuff can still happen and citizens couldn’t possibly understand the important stuff they gotta talk about while callin Mikey and Eddie on their island…Commissioner Broomell tears down all barriers to secrecy, collusion, conspiracy concealment, and throws open the doors to peace and understanding. TaDa!!!! Praise her.

        • Sounds like you’ve got some real anger management issues there, Raoul. Perhaps you should seek out professional help. Or take up chewing gum I don’t know.

          And while you’re at it, try to work out whatever you’re bizarre obsession is with Pipkin and Smigiel. Give it a rest already.

  3. Dunn got a lot of exposure from his participation in the “fiscal conservative team”, donations for groups printing, etc. from the Republicans of Cecil Political acti0n Commttee.Why are you ignoring the substantial campaign money that was spent on Dunn’s behalf by groups/PACs/slates/political clubs. It may not show up as a direct donation to Dunn, but he benefititted from groups printings, mailings, and door flyers paid for by Pipkin via the RocPac/Fiscal Slate, etc. Provide the full picture, please.

    • Actually your point about PACS, slates, and political clubs affecting the outcome appears to have validity. But as this gets into a qualitative assessment, perhaps Cecil Times could report on the more fuzzy aspects of campaign financing. In this straight-forward piece we defined our sampling strategy to let readers have some basic data. It was the expenditures each candidate self-reported to the Maryland Board of Elections, a simple straight-forward data universe so there should be a reasonable degree of consistency on what’s found there. As there’s so much noise in the blogsphere and on the net, we just presented that basics as found in the Maryland Elections Database and still found it to provide primary information that is informative. Sometimes straight-forward reporting without all the qualitative commentary provides a basic baseline for beginning to get a grasp on things.

      It is very interesting to see the basic data and the range of direct cash outlays by candidates. In addition we think in this era when there’s so much selective reporting, it’s helpful to let readers know when they can go directly to the data, without any filtering of it. We no longer need others to tell us “and that’s the way it was” as anyone can easily see campaign contributions, expenditures, etc.

      Beyond the basics, perhaps Cecil Times can provide a qualitative assessment on the impact of PACS, slates and political clubs in the campaign.

      • Mike, you used the perfect phrase, “reasonable comparative data”. The Maryland election finance database is hard to navigate. Ideally we should see total dollars in for the benefit of a candidate and total expenditures. Use of Slates and PACs confuses things. Reporting of one account as a total for a candidate’s campaign is misleading.

  4. Jacque Broomell

    Actually Alexis that information is indeed available with an advance search of the database. We had to make several phone calls to the board of election to learn how to find the information but it is there. Every name & address for every contributor.

  5. Yes Jacque, that is indeed where you can research all the open accounts under someone’s name to see how the money is moved around. I do wish there was a way to find the data on closed accounts. Sure makes you wonder.

    I am SURE there is nothing ILLEGAL about any of that…just maybe shady ethics.

    But then, Smigiel, Pipkin, Mullin, Dunn and yep, Broomell have been at it for quite some time. It would make you curious as to why they fight so hard to deny what is plain to see, in black and white.

    And Jacque, loyal Cecil Patriot that you are, do you have any idea how we can research who funded advertising for, oh say, general party endorsements? I suppose it’s a free ride to have additional candidates names listed along with the candidate, committee or party who actually paid for an ad or sign, especially when that candidate received a great deal of PAC or Party financial support. Great way to make it look like so little money was spent directly.

    Ah, but is that not politics?

  6. Jacque Broomell

    Ah Raoul. This would be where I throw in the towel, cry ‘uncle’ if you will. You obviously are going to believe and continue to negatively insinuate as you will regardless of facts. I have no idea what your grudge is with Commissioner Broomell and doubt that anything will ever change your mind. And just for clarity, while I am a Cecil native and do in fact consider myself a Patriot I am not a member of the Cecil County Patriots. I have attended 2 or 3 of their events and did attend 1 meeting and caught a ride to DC with them but have never joined. You see, like you, I consider myself independent and I do not join groups/clubs. I agree with the CCP’s on a host of issues and concerns and greatly respect and appreciate the efforts of both Jackie Gregory and Donna Caudell. I appreciate receiving their informative newsletters and make phone calls and send emails where I can. You obviously do not know Commissioner Broomell personally. If you did, you would not be constantly questioning her integrity and/or work ethic. For 29 years I have known her to be one of the hardest working and most honorable people that I know.

  7. Jacque,

    “The Lady doth protest too much, methinks.” I am just trying to clarify that which you and Diana continue to deny. She is a public servant and therefore, has placed herself in the public trust and subject to public scrutiny. Many of us expect our government to behave honestly and in good faith. The entire nation is looking for better leadership.

    That said, the following from a friend, is rhetorical and I do not expect a response.

    “…I am not a member of the Cecil County Patriots.” Then why are you listed as a member with a posting as recently as January 3? Oops. As for Diana, I do not question that she is a hard worker. It is tough to drive all the way from Harford County to Cecil County for those Commissioner meeting thingies and then back again to work for a town in another county. Every commissioner has said that the job is a full time job. So, holding down two jobs, no, make that three, must be hard work. Honorable? Her method of campaigning, to attack her opponents with false and or misleading statistics which she could not even keep straight from one forum to the next, is not respectable. Delivering a robo-call rabbit punch, on election day, with a deceptive assault on her opponent, is a desperate and cowardly tactic. Both Smigiel and Pipkin are experts with this type of campaign technique. One must assume Diana was either coached by her comrades and unwittingly followed form, or she believed it to be an acceptable course of action. Denying connections to those politicians, while finance records prove otherwise, is basically telling us to ‘pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.’

    Sorry Jacque, but Cecil County deserves better.

  8. Doc Savage’
    What do mean by the good ole boy/establishment line? I don’t see any signs that Hodge and Moore have done anyting wrong. Seems like they work hard for the taxpayers. DunnMullin seems only interested in the SMIPKIN Vendetta Agenda and reciting the RINOS of Cecil talking points. Recording work sessions was accomplished by moving to the Elk room, which already had recording equipment. The meetings have always been open to the public. In fact the move was made in order to accomodate a larger crowd. Recording was secondary. Finally, I think Becky Demmler was an excellent commissioner who was always thoughtful and well prepared. She was courteous to all and was not afraid to stand on principle.

  9. Alexis,

    1) If you don’t know what a good ole boy is- chances are you might be one. Part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    Despite all of this Smipkin nonsense clouding the issue, the real divide in Cecil County politics is between the ‘good ole boy’ establishment and everybody else. If you speak out against them, you get character assassinated, slandered, libeled, etc. If you go along to get along, you get slaps on the back.

    2) Hodge is busy trying to push through a bunch of zoning changes on his own properties and Moore has been carrying water for the bloated Booth Street bureaucracy…not to mention pushing off their responsibility for the budget onto yet another committee. Is that working hard for the taxpayers?

    3) Becky Demmler was a disappointment to all those that supported and voted for her in 2006. She quickly abandoned her beliefs in office and just went along with whatever the establishment wanted- of course, that’s the easiest way to get ahead with the gang over there in Elkton, but I wouldn’t exactly call it ‘standing on principle.’

    • Doc,
      Are you trying to say that Smipkin is NOT Good Ole Boy network? You make me laugh. It’s just about which bunch they associate.

      What is your hangup with Commissioner Demmler? She was at least ethical enough to exit other than pay homage, assist the finance game and vote straight down the Good Ole Smipkin Boy network line.

      And by the way, because you obviously didn’t notice, she is no longer in office.

    • Doc Savage:

      Thanks for the tip about the planning commission rezoning. One of our missions is to to focus on stories the local legacy media outlets aren’t covering, in order to put as much sunshine on local governmentas possible. There are lots of stories the newspapersdon’t cover because of lack of resources, political affiliations. or old issues going back over the years (or some combination). But with the ocunty in the middle of rezoning, this would seem to be an important public policy issue for any major media provider, seeking to serve its paid subscribers. We’ll see if we can get enough to get a post up on that so people have basic informaiton on it. Thanks.

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