Report: Larry Hogan is largest single contributor to Hogan campaign

hogan2

Bryan Sears of The Daily Record notes that:

Larry Hogan, a Republican, donated $25,000 through seven companies associated with his Annapolis-based Hogan Companies and another $20,473.64 in in-kind donations including food, fuel and office supplies.

Additionally, Hogan personally loaned his campaign $100,000, according to a campaign finance report filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections earlier this week. [emphasis added]

Sears also reports that:

Hogan’s corporate and in-kind donations amount to about 10 percent of his total take since he announced earlier this year. [emphasis added]

The 10% number does not include the $100,000 loan.

Adam Dubitsky of the Hogan campaign responded to Sears’ questions about the contributions and the loan:

“I think it shows that Larry has some skin in the game,” said Adam Dubitsky a Hogan campaign spokesman. “He’s made a significant investment in the campaign.”

[...]

“Larry would not feel comfortable asking people to donate their hard-earned money to this effort to change Maryland if he himself hadn’t made a significant personal investment,” Dubitsky said.

Jim Pettit of David Craig’s campaign also commented on Hogan’s fundraising to Sears:

“One can make the argument that Larry really has been in the race longer than anyone else,” said Jim Petitt, a Craig spokesman.

Pettit worked for Hogan’s grassroots organization Change Maryland, which was formed after Hogan briefly considered running for governor (he stepped aside when his former boss Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich decided to run).

“The whole idea of Change Maryland was that it was supposed to morph into a campaign,” Petitt said. “The amount of money raised is less impressive than meets the eye.”

Sears also notes that St. John Properties was the second largest contributor to the campaign with a total of $32,000 in contributions through various companies. He also notes the Hogan campaign returned $12,000 of that to them in rent payments for the campaign’s headquarters.

More on Steve Schuh and Scott Shaffer

steve-schuh

UPDATE: Rema Rahman’s story was updated at 6:14 p.m. on 4/17/14. In a move that shows someone at the paper read this post, the spelling of Scott Shaffer’s last name was corrected, but no credit to me for breaking the story was added. I am now waiting to hear back from Rahman’s editor at the newspaper on this matter.

Rema Rahman’s story in The Annapolis Capital today  (her headline: Del. Schuh, County Executive Neuman staffer argue over Facebook post) provides more details on the story I broke earlier this week – Report: Steve Schuh’s temper leads to fireworks at GOP dinner. I already sent Rahman an email complimenting her on the story and pointing out it would have been nicer had she given credit to me for breaking the story. So far, I’ve gotten no response. I would normally give reporters or bloggers a little bit of wiggle room on something like this. However, from what I’ve heard, it is quite obvious that she got the story from me.

Reporters at The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Daily Record, WMAR, and other media outlets have all credited me (and given me a link) with stories that I broke in recent months when they covered the same stories. I would think it wouldn’t be too difficult in 2014 for Ms. Rahman and The Capital to do the same for a blogger. Of course, Rahman apparently couldn’t even make sure she correctly spelled Shaffer’s name (see how he spells it himself in the Facebook post below) since her story refers to him as Scott “Schaffer.” I sen

Here’s the Facebook post in question (that I also reported on along with my original post on the confrontation):

shaffer-schuh

Here’s what I wrote about Wednesday night’s events at the Anne Arundel County Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in Glen Blurnie

Shaffer was apparently putting up signs for Neuman when Schuh approached him. There were reportedly numerous witnesses to the Schuh tirade that ensued. Witnesses reported that Schuh was “livid” as he “cursed out” Shaffer and yelled at him about the Facebook post above. One source said that Schuh “exploded” at Shaffer and was “bombastic.” Schuh took issue with the Ferrari reference in Shaffer’s post and claimed Shaffer must be jealous of his wealth. Schuh also reportedly argued about the tax references in Shaffer’s post and claimed to not remember the votes Shaffer was referring to.

Schuh also reportedly referred to Shaffer as an “asshole” and a “dickhead.”

Rahman’s story noted that Shaffer’s Facebook comments were related to a letter Bob Ehrlich endorsed Schuh in. Rahman quotes Shaffer, an economist for Anne Arundel County, as saying there were approximately twenty witnesses.

Additionally, Rahman reported on Schuh’s apology to Shaffer.

Schaffer said that about 45 minutes later, Schuh passed him and apologized for losing his temper.

“Scott said some things that I felt were disrespectful,” Schuh said. “I said some things that I think he found objectionable.”

“I regret what I said to him and did apologize,” Schuh said.

Schaffer said the work of his fellow central committee members in putting the event together “should not have been overshadowed by a personal grievance.”

“It was an unfortunate start to an event intended to bring our party together in an election year,” Schaffer said.

I’ve also heard rumors that both campaigns in the county executive’s race had been polling recently.

Charles Lollar and Ben Carson… again

carson-lollar

I was one of the first bloggers to notice last year that there was something weird going on with the purported endorsement of Charles Lollar by Dr. Ben Carson in April of 2013.

As I noted last month, that endorsement allegedly took place at an event at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in DC on April 14, 2013. Lollar campaign manager Karen Winterling sent an email out on April 23, 2013 touting the supposed endorsement. The “endorsement” was on the campaign website for a while and eventually taken down off the site. It didn’t include any statements from Carson, just quotes from Lollar.

Fast-forward to March 2014, and Lollar’s campaign again put out a fundraising message asking for money and touting an endorsement of Lollar by Ben Carson. The message, which contained no statement from Carson, also claimed Carson had given $4000 to the Lollar campaign. I pointed out all these facts in early March.

I asked if it was really news if Carson had endorsed Lollar at the time, since the campaign also claimed he made the endorsement almost a year earlier. After last month’s alleged endorsement, I emailed the Lollar campaign questions and got no reply. I could find no direct way of contacting Carson for a statement. His speaker’s bureau website is the only apparent way to contact him as others have noted.

However, I did find an email address for someone at his scholarship foundation and sent a message asking for contact information of someone who could make a statement on the record on Dr. Carson’s behalf. I got stonewalled by the person who responded who couldn’t give me that information, but offered to pass my request along. I never heard from anyone after I provided my questions.

A month after my most recent post on the subject, Joe Steffen started digging into the matter and wrote this on April 14:

On April 9th, Carson spoke at the Weinberg Center Stage as a part of a Frederick, MD, speaker’s series. And, it was there that Carson apparently told GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Ron George and George’s running mate, Shelley Aloi, that he (Carson) had never given Charles Lollar his endorsement. According to my source, Carson went on to say that he supports anyone’s desire to run for office. That, he said, was “not an official endorsement.”

Steffen also asked Ron George for comment:

Anyway, I tried to get Ron George on the record concerning what Carson had said, and all I received in return was his campaign telling me that “Ron and Shelley were with Ben Carson but had no comment.”

Steffen also notes he tried to contact Carson through the speakers bureau and also tried to contact Lollar and his campaign with no success, which leads him ask this question:

 If Ben Carson didn’t endorse Charles Lollar, why is it almost accepted as gospel that he did? Could it have something to do with this email that the Lollar campaign sent out last month? [the email that I blogged about on March 6.]

Steffen also wrote about the matter again on April 16, 2014. He noted that video existed of Carson that a Lollar supporter claimed was an endorsement. This video was possibly from the 2013 event I wrote about last month.

Steffen followed up with this statement from Fred Propheter (who is involved with the Ron George campaign):

Could it be just a matter of semantics? I was willing to let it all go at that point, and with my little mind pondering that question – until I got an email message from a friend of mine from Frederick, Fred Propheter.

Fred tells me that he was at the Weinberg Center the night of Ben Carson’s speech there and that he and Carson had a chance meeting before the Doctor’s speech. At this – Oh, Hell, I’ll let Fred explain what transpired after he bumped into Doctor Carson and struck up a brief conversation with him: “I specifically asked him if he had endorsed Lollar or ANY other candidate. 3 word answer “No, absolutely not.” Then he was gone….”

Steffen also discusses two possibilities for what’s going on:

Hmmm. Well, if nothing else, if Carson’s now saying that he didn’t endorse Charles Lollar, it sounds like either 1) He never did endorse Lollar (and I can’t find that word anywhere attached to Lollar from Carson), or if he did – or even thinks other folks may believe that he did – it sounds to me as if he is now walking that endorsement back.

Steffen comes to the conclusion that Carson never endorsed Lollar and that would appear to be the case. There have been other instances where Lollar apparently touted supportive words from people as a formal endorsement and later had to back off the claim.

To summarize things, Lollar’s campaign sent out a message in April 2013 claiming an endorsement from Carson. That “endorsement” was also placed on the old version of the Lollar website but was eventually removed. Last month, the Lollar campaign sent an email out claiming an endorsement and $4000 contribution from Carson. None of these so-called endorsements included statements from Carson himself and multiple attempts by multiple bloggers to contact him and the Lollar campaign about the matter have been ignored. The final piece of the puzzle would seem to be Carson emphatically telling Propheter last week that he didn’t endorse Lollar.

MD GOP candidate behind FindLocalPot.com

marijuana-caduceus

I wrote before on questions about Don Quinn’s residency that were raised since he was still registered to vote in Washington state in January when he first registered in Maryland (the same day he filed to run for office.) Additionally, he was still driving a vehicle with Washington tags in late January. Quinn is running against Eric Knowles in the Republican Primary for the Maryland State Senate in District 30. The winner faces incumbent Senator John Astle in November.

Quinn’s recent home of Washington voted to legalize marijuana in 2012. Specifically, adults over the age of 21 in Washington can legally “possess up to 1 oz (28 g) of marijuana, 16 oz (450 g) of marijuana infused product in solid form, 72 oz (2.0 kg) of marijuana infused product in liquid form or any combination of all three and to legally consume marijuana, and marijuana infused products.”

In this year’s legislative session, marijuana was decriminalized in Maryland. Specifically, the bill signed earlier this week by Governor Martin O’Malley does the following:

With decriminalization, violators would receive citations similar to traffic tickets for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana: the person could either pay the fine in full or request a trial date in District Court. Failure to appear would be a misdemeanor under the criminal code. Records of convictions would not be subject to public inspection, the bill says.

[...]

The final bill that emerged from the House and Senate would have escalating fines for multiple offenses: a second violation would carry a $250 fine, and a third offense would have a $500 fine. A court would be required to order a drug assessment for a third-time offender. In addition, a violator who is younger than 21 years old would have to appear before a court; the initial version in the Senate applied that sanction to people under 18 years old.

All of the above is context for the meat of this story below.

A website called FindLocalPot.com exists and the domain name is registered to Donald Quinn in care of a webhost in Los Angeles.

whois-findlocalpot

The website itself bears this copyright notice:

 © 2014 Indelible Ink Marketing

Don Quinn, candidate for the Maryland State Senate, lists himself as director at Indelible Ink on his LinkedIn profile.

Currently, the Find Local Pot website focuses on medical marijuana. In some states medicinal marijuana is tightly regulated. However, in some states, like California, the medical marijuana process has proven to be a joke. Even though the content of Quinn’s website focuses on medical marijuana for now, that domain name could make the site a very lucrative one for facilitating marijuana sales in the future if the federal government and other states were to fully legalize marijuana. As I noted in a previous post, there has been a split in the MD GOP (and in the state overall) on marijuana issues.

I’ve included some screenshots from the site below. Based on the site’s overall design and layout (plus things like misspelled words), I’m not sure I would hire Indelible Ink if I were in the market for a website design.

findlocalpot1
findlocalpot2
findlocalpot3
findlocalpot4

Read Larry Hogan’s full campaign finance report

hogan-rutherford

The first campaign finance report for the Hogan-Rutherford Committee to Change Maryland is below. I will be doing a full analysis of the document in the coming days.

Larry Hogan’s Campaign Finance Report – April 15, 2014 by Jeff Quinton