Is Delegate James King Improperly Using His State Offices for Campaigning for Senate? ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Friday, August 20, 2010

Is Delegate James King Improperly Using His State Offices for Campaigning for Senate?

Is this a no-no??? I found the below at on the website for Delegate James King's campaign for senator. Again, this is not on his official website as a state delegate but this appears to be a big no-no! Can somebody help me out here???


Click Here to contact the "The Committee to Elect James King"
House Office Building, Room 163
6 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

(410) 841-3510
(301) 858-3510
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3510 (toll free)

(410) 841-3180
(301) 858-3180



TO: State Employees, Board Members and CandidateS
SUBJECT: Political Activity
Generally, political activity questions involve consideration of the Election Law and the State Personnel and Pension Article, particularly §§2-304 and 2-307(b) of the Personnel and Pension Article. Specific guidance under the Election Law or Personnel Law should be referred to the Office of the Attorney General. In some instances the provisions of the Ethics Law (State Government Article-Title 15), primarily §15-506 (use of prestige), §15-502(b) (secondary employment), and §15-507 (use of confidential information) may present issues. Additionally, candidates for State office must review §§ 15-713 and 15-714 of the Ethics Law related to campaign finance activities of individual regulated lobbyists and § 15-715 related to campaign finance disclosure. The Federal Hatch Act, agency rules, or other statutes may also have an impact on political activity. For example, the Hatch Act can restrict certain political activity of persons whose employment involves an activity financed in whole or in part by federal funding. (This memo does not attempt to cover the impact of the Hatch Act on political activity.)

The State Personnel Law generally authorizes participation in political campaigns by State employees but does not allow political activity on State time or job location. The statute also prohibits requiring an employee to contribute to a political campaign or render political services. Similarly, §15-506 of the Ethics Law prohibits employees from using their positions to benefit themselves or others. As a practical matter this would prohibit the use of State time, materials, equipment, or facilities for political purposes. In regard to some of the specific questions that have been raised, the following guidance is provided........

3. Running for Office or Holding Office While Remaining a State Employee or State Board Member

Generally, the State Ethics Law and other State laws have been interpreted to allow State employees and board members to run for public office provided they do not use State time, facilities, equipment, or otherwise misuse their State position or confidential information. The State has chosen to treat ethics and campaign finance regulations as separate activities. The State Ethics Commission has advised candidates who have State employment or board memberships that they should avoid interaction between their State duties and campaign contributions. Because of the potential application of the prestige provisions of the Ethics Law to non-elected officials and employees, candidates have also been advised not to solicit contributions from people whom they might contact in their official capacities or to participate in matters involving donors or those refusing to make contributions.

Whether a successful candidate may serve and remain in their State position requires case‑by‑case analysis. For example, the State Ethics Commission has ruled that a Public Service Commission Hearing Examiner could not remain in his State position and serve as a County Councilman. (Commission Opinion No. 85‑13.) On the other hand, the Commission has ruled that a County Executive could remain as a University Professor while serving as a county official. (Commission Opinion No. 84‑2.) Other opinions prohibit a full-time City Councilman in a large jurisdiction from simultaneously serving as a State employee (Opinion 00-3), a State police officer from serving as a City Councilman assigned to public safety (Opinion 00-7) and a State employee working at the Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) from serving on a Town council where the Town participated in several DHCD programs and the employee worked in a unit in which some programs were initiated and monitored (Opinion 01-1). Other significant restraints on holding a State job while serving as an elected official may arise under the requirements of the State Constitution that prevent the holding of an elected position while holding a State job if that job is considered to be an office of profit. (Questions regarding the constitutional requirements should be referred to the Attorney General.)

In summary, Election Law, Personnel Law, the Ethics Law, the Federal Hatch Act, the Maryland Constitution, agency rules, and other laws may have an impact on political activity. Questions about the impact of the State Ethics Law should be referred to the State Ethics Commission. Questions about other State laws, or other requirements should be referred to the Attorney General or other appropriate agencies. Questions about the Hatch Act may be referred to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036, 1-800-854-2824. (Local government employees may want to consult applicable legal counsel, local ethics laws and Article 24 of the Maryland Code Sections 13-101 to 13-106 for specific provisions that may affect their activity.


Delegate King??? What say ye???? I have tried to contact you....It has come to my attention that other candidates may be doing similar things
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