Saturday, October 18, 2014

Teachers Union Donated Hundreds to Harshman after Winning 2010 Election

HAGERSTOWN, MD - Continuing the WashCo Chronicle's investigations into accountability of local government and non-profit organizations, WashCo Chronicle has begun reviewing campaign finance reports which are publicly available through the State of Maryland.

The first non-profit researched was the Washington County Teachers Association (WCTA), the union for Washington County teachers.

Most of WCTA's political contributions are regular contributions to Washington County Democratic Central Committee. However, one contribution in particular stands out - a 2010 donation to a Board of Education candidate.

A review of  2010 campaign finance reports shows that the WCTA donated $430.00 to Karen Harshman's campaign on November 15, 2010 - almost two weeks after Harshman secured a seat in the Washington County Board of Education in the 2010 General Elections.

Harshman is an incumbent in this year's Board of Education elections.

This contribution gave Harshman a total sum of $484.30 in her campaign account after the general elections were concluded. Additionally, this $430.00 contribution was not only the largest contribution Harshman received, but was also the largest political contribution on record ever made by WCTA.

Several days later on November 21, Harshman received a check from her campaign for the entire $484.30 to cover "Printing and Campaign Materials".

This raises several questions.
1) Why did WCTA donate to a candidate after the general election?
2) What exactly did Harshman spend the $484.30 on, and why did she purchase printing and campaign materials after she had already won the election?

WashCo Chronicle would like to encourage WCTA and Board of Education member Harshman to come forward publicly with answers to these questions.

Full campaign finance reports can be accessed by the public at Maryland's State Board of Elections website.

Article by Ken Buckler, Editor