Who’s Funding the Pro-Elrich PAC in Montgomery County?

    More details are emerging about the group that’s running ads in support of Marc Elrich’s bid for Montgomery County executive.

    According to a new campaign finance report, the Progressive Maryland Liberation Alliance — an offshoot of Progressive Maryland — has raised $131,000, most of it from local unions.

    The state teachers’ union contributed $30,000; MCGEO Local 1994, which represents many county government workers, gave $25,000; and the Baltimore-Washington Construction and Public Employee Laborers donated $30,000. CASA in Action and Unite Here! each pitched in $10,000.

    The PAC launched its first TV ad of the general campaign this week, running on local cable. Its main expenditures — $165,000 — are to Strother Nuckels Strategies, a Washington, D.C., media consulting firm “that specializes in winning the toughest campaigns for Democratic political candidates, issue organizations, ballot initiatives, and corporations,” according to its website.

    Elrich (D) is locked in a three-way battle with Democrat-turned-independent Nancy Floreen, like Elrich a term-limited member of the County Council, and attorney Robin Ficker (R).

    Floreen and Ficker have both taken shots at Elrich in recent debates, suggesting he is too close to organized labor, particularly the government workers unions whose contracts he would negotiate if elected.

    Elrich and Ficker are participating in Montgomery County’s new public financing system. Floreen, who launched her candidacy this summer, after the deadline for participating in the program, is not.

    Two Super PACs formed in September in response to Floreen’s candidacy. One was organized by corporate backers of her bid to become the first female county executive in Montgomery history, the other a group opposed to what it calls the “pay-to-play” culture in county politics.

    Bruce DePuyt
    Bruce DePuyt spent nearly three decades on local television, including 14 years as executive producer and host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the Washington, D.C., area. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County and as reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. He's a regular contributor to WTOP (103.5 FM) and frequently moderates community and political events.