June 15, 2022


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State Roundup: Campaign finance reports are coming in and it’s all about the money

Campaign cash is the topic of the day. Who has it? Who doesn’t? Where is it being spent? Image by S K from Pixabay

SO FAR, MOORE LEADS FUND-RAISING RACE: As Maryland primary voters begin receiving ballots by mail this week, several of the leading candidates for governor reported having sizable war chests to continue using on television ads and other efforts in their bids to win over voters ahead of the July 19 primary. Sam Janesch and Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Former nonprofit CEO and author Wes Moore leads the pack, raising more than $2 million, including more than $1.9 million from individual contributors since mid-January. The Moore campaign said that over 70% of contributions it received were of $100 or less. The campaign also received more than $40,000 in donations from other candidate committees. Danielle Gaines, Josh Kurtz and Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.

OPRAH ATTRACTS HUNDREDS TO MOORE ZOOM EVENT: During a virtual fundraiser Tuesday for gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore, Oprah Winfrey recalled that he called her to tell her he was thinking of running on Jan. 6, 2021. As they chatted, both kept half an eye on the television screen and watched, to their horror, the riot at the U.S. Capitol. “I remember that so vividly,” Winfrey said Tuesday evening. “Both of us said, ‘Are we seeing what we think we’re seeing?’” Josh Kurtz and Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.

  • The chat between Moore and the veteran TV personality was held over Zoom. State Del. Cheryl Kagan, who represents Montgomery County, said about 300 people attended the fundraiser. Tim Swift/WBFF-TV News.

LIERMAN EDGES ADAMS IN FUNDS ON HAND: Just days before the January 2022 campaign finance reporting deadline, Bowie Mayor Tim Adams, a wealthy businessman, dumped more than $1.8 million of his own money into his campaign coffers for state comptroller. It put him slightly ahead of his opponent, Del. Brooke E. Lierman (D-Baltimore City), in cash on hand. Since then, Adams hasn’t added a dime of his own money to his campaign account, while Lierman has continued to raise money. Five weeks before the July 19 primary, she now has the fatter war chest. Given Adams’ personal fortune, Lierman’s financial advantage could be ephemeral. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

BLAIR SPENDING AT RAPID PACE IN RACE FOR MO CO EXEC: Multimillionaire businessman David Blair is continuing to spend his own money at a torrid pace in his second attempt in four years to be elected Montgomery County executive, according to newly filed campaign disclosure reports. Louis Peck/Bethesda Beat.

NEW ROUND OF STATE AID FOR SMALL BUSINESSES ANNOUNCED: Small businesses in Maryland could be eligible for $25 million in new state aid. Gov. Larry Hogan announced a third round of grants through the Project Restore program as part of his remarks Tuesday at the Maryland Municipal League conference in Ocean City. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.

POLITICAL NOTES: PEREZ, SCHULZ ADS; MOORE SUPPORT; ETC: Two leading candidates for governor launched new TV spots on Tuesday. The 30-second ad from former Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz shows the candidate, in living color, walking among black and white cardboard cutouts of the 10 Democrats seeking the gubernatorial nomination. Without saying so, the ad deftly reminds voters that all 10 Democratic contenders are men. And it seeks to draw contrasts on the biographical and policy fronts. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

PRINCE GEORGE’S MAKING COMEBACK AFTER COVID DOWNTURN: After years of leading the state in job growth, Prince George’s County was among the hardest-hit localities in the Washington region as the pandemic took root, walloping the same communities suffering from illness and deaths with steep job losses. More than 63,000 people saw their jobs in this D.C. suburb evaporate between February and May 2020. Two years later, officials say they are on track to hit pre-pandemic employment levels before 2022 is out — a rate even some of the most optimistic county boosters are relieved by. Karina Elwood and John Harden/The Washington Post.

CARROLL ED BOARD VIOLATE OPEN MEETINGS LAW: The Carroll County Board of Education was found to have violated the state’s open meetings law for a second time this school year when it held a closed meeting Jan. 12 without providing adequate public notice. Cameron Goodnight/The Carroll County Times.

OPINION: ARUNDEL LIBRARY BRANCH INVOLVED IN LEFT-WING PRIDE EVENTS: Yet another publicly funded Anne Arundel County entity has gotten into bed with left-wing group One Pasadena. The Mountain Road Branch of the Anne Arundel County Public Library scheduled multiple events this month with the left-wing group. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.

BUCKLEY SAYS ‘DINGHYGATE’ CONTROVERSY INFLATED: Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley is calling it “Dinghygate.” Last month, Harbormaster Beth Bellis ticketed the mayor for illegally docking his 17-foot boat that he describes as “a dinghy” at a community dock reserved for smaller boats. In response, the mayor has asked City Council to let him “deputize” his inflatable BRIG motorboat for official government purposes so he can continue to use the berth in Lafayette Park. Rebecca Ritzel/The Capital Gazette.

SHEILA DIXON RE-EMERGES WITH POLITICAL FORCE: Among the crowd of garbage haulers who feasted on pit beef and pizza at Jack Haden’s fundraiser for Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski last June, one person stood out. Sheila Dixon appeared at the cookout not as a Baltimore City mayor who was forced to resign after a theft conviction, but as a political luminary feted by, among others, Willie K. Goode, head of several D.C.-based waste management companies. Mark Reutter/Baltimore Brew.

BALTIMORE BANNER GOES LIVE: The Baltimore Banner has finally gone live. You’ll need a subscription for quite a bit of the content, but until you sign up, here’s what it looks like.