Roger Manno Caught Fundraising During Session
State Senator Roger Manno was apparently raising money during the General Assembly session, in violation of campaign finance laws.
On Sunday, the Montgomery County Young Republicans issued a release calling attention to the fact that fundraising on Manno’s website was still open:
The Maryland legislative session started January 13th 2016, according to Maryland election law, that while the legislator is in session state legislators are not allowed to fund raise or receive campaign contributions; Election Law Article, § 13-235, according to page 29 of the 2016 Ethics Guide (http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs/LegisLegal/2016rs-ethics-guide.pdf), in the section entitled “No Fundraising or Contributions During the Session.”
Well Democratic State Senator Roger Manno of Legislative District 19, appears to be in violation of this law currently. A screen shot taken yesterday off of Senator Manno’s page shows that his contribution part of his website is still active. State Senator Manno who has been in the state senate since 2011, clearly knows better, State Senator Manno should shut down this part of his page immediately, any money he has received from January 13th till current he should have to return, and he should face an ethics violation investigation.
State Senator Manno is in clear violation of this because his website is still soliciting and accepting online contributions during session, which is prohibited and illegal. Here is the link: www.rogermanno.com. If you click on the “Contribute” tab, you can see that he is clearly soliciting and accepting online contributions. Every other legislator has disabled their online fundraising page and is not soliciting online contributions.
What’s hypocritical about this is that Manno has written and brought forth legislation this session, SB408, to make soliciting contributions during the legislative session a civil penalty. He is literally introducing legislation to make it a civil penalty for exactly what he is doing. Here is the link to the legislation: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&stab=02&id=sb0408&tab=subject3&ys=2016RS.
This is not the first time that a Montgomery County Democrat was caught doing this; former Delegate Heather Mizeur also found herself caught doing it back in 2010.
Maryland election law states:
Contributions may not be solicited, accepted, or deposited by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, a member of the General Assembly, or a person acting on behalf of any of these individuals, during the Legislative Session, which begins on the second Wednesday in January of each year and continues for 90 days.
The only members of the General Assembly who are allowed to fundraise during session are those running for non-legislative offices, such as for Congress or for Mayor of Baltimore.
After the MCYRs release, Manno deactivated his page.
As is often the case, Democrats like Manno seem to feel entitled to run amok when they get to Annapolis and ignore whatever rules and laws don’t meet their particular needs at this time. However, this also goes to show the good work that local clubs can do in keeping their elected officials accountable. Instead of, like many clubs, falling into the minutiae of talking about only federal politics, the Montgomery County YR’s work in focusing on local politicians like Manno are a valuable use of time and resources. It shows the depths to which Democrats will sink, and focuses everybody on the big prize; electing more Republicans in 2018 to sustain Governor Hogan’s vetoes going forward.