The requirements of holding elected office are far from burdensome (and come with many rewards), so one would expect that incumbent officeholders would have the routine down: You raise and spend money to get elected, and you file timely reports that accurately reflect your campaign's accounting. But the campaigns of two members of the Baltimore City Council—

(D-6th District) and

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(D-9th District)—aren't complying with those rules at the moment, according to the online records of the Maryland Board of Elections.

The Jan. 20 deadline for filing campaign-finance reports with the board came and went, and now it's February, and the councilwomen's committees still haven't filed their reports accounting for the past year's campaign getting-and-spending activities. Until they do, the public can't know precisely who's backed them financially.

City Paper

e-mailed each of the councilwomen today, asking them if the records showing their campaigns' failure to file (including an $80 late fee) are accurate, and whether they'd like to comment. One of them—Middleton—called back, and then her treasurer, Medford Campbell, phoned in to explain.

"It's not Sharon's fault," Campbell says, offering as an excuse that his life has been filled with family health troubles recently, and that his computer caught a virus. "I've been running back and forth, and it's been hectic," he says, "and today I planned on sending everything in."

Campbell's right—it is not the candidate's fault when reports aren't filed on time. The legal responsibility, under campaign-finance law covering most political committees, falls with the treasurer. Welch has yet to respond to

City Paper

's e-mail.

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