• Spartan Considerations

Shadows of the Night/Promises in the Dark

From the Akkadian Empire to Modern-Day Los Angeles: A History of Tapioca

Take It to the Limit: My Years as a New Jersey Gas Station Attendant

Back, Middle to the Front, Don’t Front: An Exploration of 1990s Spatial Relationships

The above are all articles I would rather cobble together than another fucking piece on the Columbia Association.

But here we go.

The Columbia Association is a “nonprofit community services corporation.” That said, it essentially exercises quasi-public powers. Thus, one could argue that one should treat elections to the CA Board similar to how one would treat elections to local public offices such as the Howard County Board of Education or County Council…with a close eye on how the CA Board’s decisions can impact the common good.

Unfortunately, the regulatory regime surrounding the financing of CA elections has not caught up with the times. What have been, historically, sleepy races with no-or-low dollar spending and struggles to make quorum in multiple villages is turning – for better or worse - into something that resembles campaigns for county offices.

However, there are no mandates regarding financial disclosure and transparency (no FEC, no Maryland Board of Elections oversight). If this isn’t a problem now – and I believe it is – it will be an issue soon enough. And all “sides” will eventually call for greater openness.

So should the Rouse Project, or any other entity or individuals spending money on these elections publicly disclose their donors, donation amounts, and dates of donations prior to the election? Absolutely. The public has a right to know who is bankrolling the candidates, regardless of who the candidates are.

In solidarity.

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