Elections Board Clears Ashman of Complaint

Gaithersburg’s Board of Supervisors of Elections has found Mayor Jud Ashman did not violate the city’s elections rules when he sent out an Oct. 23 mailer announcing his support for the incumbents in Tuesday’s city elections.

The city’s Ethics Commission is still considering a claim that the mailing, and his public pronouncement supporting councilmember Yvette Monroe and Michael Sesma violated the Gaithersburg ethics code.

The mailing is under the letterhead “From the desk of Mayor Jud Ashman,” however it lists his home address, not the address of City Hall.

The one-page letter says: “We have a strong, effective team, and I’d like to keep it together.”

Resident Aaron Rosenzweig claimed the mailing showed the three had formed a political action committee. And he charged the mailing “likely” cost more than $250, which would have required a filing with the city.

The board determined that:

  • Ashman did not collect or spend money for the mailing;
  • Monroe and Sesma paid a portion of the mailing; and
  • Ashman, Monroe and Sesma did not create a political committee.

Here are the documents from the Rosenzweig complaint:

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


One Response to “Elections Board Clears Ashman of Complaint”

  1. Avatar
    On November 7, 2017 at 10:52 am responded with... #

    The board also refused to talk about “slate” because the word was not specifically defined in the charter. One board member abstained from voting. They said their reason for abstaining was that this is a “technicality” and he felt that voiding their candidacy was too harsh. They also said they will clean up the language about “slate” in the near future.

    The facts still remain… the money spent for that mailing was commingled – they acted like a slate without funding like one. They used the word “team” and “keep the team together” multiple times in their mailing.

    It is unfair to new candidates to make the effort to run for election only to have this mailing come out a week before voters go to the polls. If they wanted to run as a team/slate they should have filed properly.

    Laurie-Anne Sayles and Jim McNulty had to individually fund their mailings.

    Mike Sesma and Yvette Monroe pulled their money together and shared the mailing expenses without submitting as a slate. The rules are clear – they are supposed to file as one but didn’t and the board just did not want invoke the written punishment because they feel that the candidates are all good people.

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