Summer Sale! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Opinion
News Opinion

Builder's guilty plea shows need for stronger campaign finance laws

I read with interest your article about Catonsville developer Steve Whalen Jr., who pleaded guilty to five counts of election-law violations for illegally funneling money to a Baltimore County councilman's reelection campaign ("Builder admits illegal gifts," Jan. 4).

Prosecutors said Mr. Whalen exceeded the $10,000 limit on total contributions over a four-year election cycle, all in an apparent attempt to help certain politicians get elected.

Yet Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson reportedly gave over $100 million to Super PACs working to defeat President Obama and get the Republican candidate elected. Unlike Mr. Whalen, however, who was sentenced to pay more than $50,000 in fines and serve up to a year of unsupervised probation, Mr. Adelson paid no fines, isn't on probation and was never even charged with a crime.

Mr. Adelson has good fortune of having had nothing happen to prevent him from continuing to bask in the thanks and admiration of the Republican party and its candidates. To me that says there's something drastically wrong with our current campaign-finance laws.

David Gosey, Towson

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Whalen scheduled for court date on charges of illegal campaign contributions

    Whalen scheduled for court date on charges of illegal campaign contributions

    Catonsville-based developer Steve W. Whalen Jr. is scheduled to be in Baltimore County Circuit Court on Thursday morning to face charges that he channeled $7,500 in illegal contributions to a Baltimore County councilman, and also exceeded the total campaign contribution limit for individuals.

  • Baltimore County Council elects Quirk as chairman

    Baltimore County Council elects Quirk as chairman

    Catonsville Democrat unanimously picked for post

  • Developer's gifts tainted the political process

    Your article about a developer who secretly funneled money to a Baltimore County councilman's campaign is proof of the need to get money out of politics ("Builder admits illegal gifts," Jan. 4).

  • Mandel's civil rights legacy

    Mandel's civil rights legacy

    I have greatly appreciated the near-universal and thunderous praise bestowed upon former Gov. Marvin Mandel, who died on Sunday at the age of 95. Governor Mandel provided brilliant and visionary leadership during his 10 years as our governor, and many of his achievements, including the reorganization...

  • Shattered lives

    Shattered lives

    The headline over Sunday's report on Baltimore's spike in homicides during the month of July read "45 murders in 31 days." It was a record readers of The Sun were already aware of, but we suspect too many of us viewed it with trepidation but not enough empathy. After so many years of violence,...

  • Post-Freddie Gray, two poles of Baltimore leadership

    Post-Freddie Gray, two poles of Baltimore leadership

    The return of the Freddie Gray case to center stage in Baltimore yesterday offered us personifications of the two poles of our city's experience of the last few months. In former Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, who resurfaced for a panel discussion two months after he was fired, we got a reminder...

Comments
Loading
90°