Md. strengthens disclosure of political activity by contractors

Source: John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun, September 5, 2015

Businesses that win contracts with local and state governments in Maryland are facing new requirements to disclose their political donations — and state election officials are using the information to build a first-of-its-kind database of contractors. … all contractors that do more than $200,000 in business will now have to register with the Maryland State Board of Elections, even if they do not give to a political campaign. Failure to file will carry a penalty up to $500. And state election officials are now putting the records online. … Government watchdogs have long scrutinized the relationship between campaign donations and contract awards — and the new tool will aid in that analysis. But the online tool will also provide a one-stop database of every major contractor in Maryland, whether the company is doing business the state itself, or a single county in Western Maryland. … The records are available at https://www.businessdisclosure.elections.maryland.gov/