An effort to overturn a law allowing in-state tuition rates for some illegal aliens will move to the fund-raising phase with an announcement tomorrow by Del. Pat McDonough.
McDonough said he plans to announce the creation of a state campaign finance committee that will allow opponents of the so-called Maryland DREAM Act to raise money for literature and possible radio and television commercials in advance of the 2012 election.
"It's going to take a statewide, very aggressive effort," said McDonough, who will make a formal announcement during a news conference Thursday in Essex.
McDonough was part of an effort last year that collected 108,923 valid signatures and forced the newly passed law to the 2012 ballot.
Opponents of the referendum effort have filed suit in court seeking to stop it before the election. A portion of that effort that challenged the validity of signatures collected through a website has been dropped.
Opponents continue to press a second portion of the suit stating that the referendum is invalid because state law "forbids referenda on appropriations measures."
"I concede they will be able to raise a lot of money," McDonough said. "I think a lot of that money will come in from out of state from groups like SEIU. They'll raise a lot of money and do a lot of lying and misleading the public."
The delegate said he believes his group will need to raise "six figures" to be successful.
"I think a lot of our money will come from small donors from all over the state," he said, adding that he believes the effort to get the issue on the ballot proves that they can win even if they are out spent.
"We don't need to raise excessive amounts of money," McDonough said. "We'll have a huge number of volunteers in all 47 legislative districts around the state."