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Mobtown Beat

Personally Invested

A Guide to The Financial Obligations and Interests of Baltimore's State Delegation

By Jeffrey Anderson, Edward Ericson Jr., Chris Landers and Van Smith | Posted 2/27/2008

Does it matter that a legislator has multiple jobs other than legislating? Should anyone care whether a state delegate has stock in this or that company? Are the details of a state senator's debt really matters of public importance? The presumptive answer to all three questions is yes, since laws passed in the 1970s gave Maryland citizens the right to know about the personal financial interests of their government leaders. Legislators and other state officials are required to disclose such information in annual filings to the Maryland State Ethics Commission.

Gaining access to the disclosure reports has its hurdles (see "You Don't Want to Know," Mobtown Beat, Feb. 27, 2008), and that's a good indication that lawmakers--who wrote the disclosure laws--would rather the public not know what's in them. And that's reason enough to publish the information. Prior years' reports (from 2000 to 2006) are already online at the Center for Public Integrity's web site, and City Paper has the most recent reports on-line. (The permanent home, Disclosure, is here.)

The following digest of the 2007 reports of the financial affairs of members of Baltimore City's General Assembly delegation is almost entirely from the legislators' reports, vouched for by their signatures under penalty of perjury. In the comments after each entry, you'll find some things we found that weren't on the forms. We encourage you to look for more.

Correction: Our detailing the disclosure forms of state legislators (also in Disclosure) should have reported that Sen. Nathaniel McFadden holds his mortgage with wife Rachel McFadden and his sister Emily McFadden, not the other way around. City Paper regrets the error. In an e-mail, McFadden writes that he owns 1033 N. Central Ave. with his sister and brothers (Bernard and Robert McFadden), and 2702 Mura St. with his wife, and state property records back him up, although his disclosure forms list the opposite.

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