The “Progressive” blogosphere is all a flutter about the fact that ThinkProgress founder and former Hillary Clinton research director Judd Legum is running for the House of Delegates in Maryland, targeting conservative Republican incumbent Delegate Ron George. This of course has the folks at Kos, MyDD, HuffPo and other places tripping all of themselves proclaiming Legum as the next big thing and the “first national blogger to run for office” (never mind the fact that RedState’s own Erick Erickson ran for and was elected to the Macon City Council two years ago).
Like most activists on the fringe left, Judd Legum is a big believer in campaign finance reform and public financing of campaigns. This of course would require a whole new bureaucracy and funding source just to fund campaings out of the public trough here in Maryland. It would also require campaigns to follow to a T a whole slew of new filing and campaign finance requirements in order to comply with the public funding plan the Legum and his ilk want to see.
Which brings me back to Legum and his current campaign. Legum has already raised a decent sum from his campaign via ActBlue. But you see, in Maryland you are required to a do a few things before you can start organizing a political campaign and raising money. This includes filing a statement of organization and opening a dedicated bank account for campaign activities. However Maryland’s online database of campaign finance entities does not contain any information about Legum filing the appropriate paperwork that would allow him to legally raise campaign contributions.
This is not the only issue that Legum has when it comes to campaign finance issues. Maryland law also requires that each item of campaign material must contain an authority line on it indicating who produced it. That authority line must contain the name or address of the individual producing the material unless an appropriate entity is on file with the State Board of Elections. Legum’s website, on which he is soliciting donations for his campaign for the House of Delegates, contains no such authority line.
Both of these violations are pretty serious. Even the seemingly minor issue of an authority line is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, and a prohibition from seeking public office for four years.
At issue of course is the holier than thou nature of progressives like Judd Legum. Legum and folks like him want to continue to regulate our campaigns, regulate our lives even, to the highest extent possible. And when the continual burden of over-regulation continues, everybody at some point seems to find themselves in violation of a law one way or another. Legum will probably cry foul and explain that these issues are merely “oversights” on his part, however the issues that we have here are very serious indeed.
Legum’s problem is the same as the of many a progressive: do as I say, not as a I do. His seeming failure to follow even the most basic of Maryland campaign finance laws goes a long way towards proving that many on the fringe left believe in holding politicians to the fullest extent of the law only until the point in which it inconveniences them…..