I promised more on the campaign finances reported in April by the Hogan campaign. Let’s look now at what consultants and staffers made between February 3 and April 14.
First let’s look at the consultants.
Mark Newgent of Red Maryland and Watchdog Wire made $1330 in consulting fees. Amy Shuster made $6000 as a consultant. A firm called Voter Contact Solutions made $10,224 in consulting fees.
Voter Contact Solutions is listed on the report as being at a Crofton address. If you look that address up in state property records, it is a residential property that belongs to Hogan campaign manager Steve Crim’s wife and is presumably where Crim lives. Steve Crim lists himself as the owner of Voter Contact Solutions, LLC and Election Strategies, LLC.
If you look at state business records, Voter Contact Solutions, LLC has its address listed as being at the same Annapolis address as the offices of the Hogan Companies (and the same address Change Maryland filed its initial IRS paperwork from in 2011.) instead of at the Crim residence as the campaign reported. In fact, business records also indicate that the current status for Voter Contact Solutions is “FORFEITED” and that the business is not in good standing.
“Forfeited” means the “legal existence” of the entity has been relinquished and it is usually for failing to make required Annual Report/Personal Property Return filings for prior years. [emphasis added]
If you look further into the records, you notice the reason for the forfeiture (which took place on 10/1/12):
“THE ENTITY WAS FORFEITED FOR FAILURE TO FILE PROPERTY RETURN FOR 2011.”
In other words, the legal existence of Voter Contact Solutions, a business that the Hogan campaign paid over $10,000 to, has been relinquished since 2012. Crim’s other business (Election Strategies, LLC) also is not in good standing and its status is forfeited, according to state records. Election Strategies was formed on the same day in 2010 and forfeited on the same day in 2012 as Voter Contact Solutions.
If you go to votercontactsolutions.com this is what you see right now:
In addition to Steve Crim, Delegate Justin Ready is listed on the web page. The domain name for Voter Contact Solutions is registered to Crim and Strategic CFM, LLC at a Glen Burnie office park address. The state business records for Strategic CFM, LLC indicate that it is at the same Glen Burnie address in the domain registration records. It is also not in good standing with the state of Maryland. Strategic CFM was organized in 2009 and forfeited in 2011 for not filing required 2010 records.
When domain name owners don’t pay to renew their domain, they often get snapped up by companies looking to make money off of the domain by charging others for links to it. That appears to be the case with this site, but it can’t be determined for sure since the domain name registration information is private.
To sum things up:
- The Hogan campaign reported that they paid over $10,000 to Voter Contact Solutions.
- The campaign reported Voter Contact Solutions is at campaign manager Steve Crim’s house.
- Steve Crim lists himself as the owner of both Voter Contact Solutions, LLC and Election Strategies, LLC.
- Both Voter Contact Solutions, LLC and Election Strategies, LLC, were registered with the state at the same address at The Hogan Companies and Change Maryland.
- State business records indicate that both Crim businesses above relinquished their legal existence and are not in good standing.
- The domain name for the website of Voter Contact Solutions is registered to Steve Crim of Strategic CFM.
- Strategic CFM is also not in good standing with the state after forfeiting.
It would appear that the Hogan campaign has paid over $10,000 to a business belonging to the campaign manager that has been not legally recognized by the state since 2012 due to not complying with state law. If a reasonable explanation for the above facts could possibly exist, it still indicates extremely sloppy business practices in the best-case scenario. All of the information above has been compiled from campaign finance reports, state business and property records, and domain name registration information.
Next, let’s look at the paid campaign staff.
The Hogan campaign reported that they spent $112,371.08 on salaries between February 3 and April 14. That’s 70 days. It appears they had five paydays during that time frame.
Campaign manager Steve Crim made just over $12,256.07 for the filing period. Add in the $10,224 his consulting firm made and that’s over $24,000 for the 70-day filing period.
Campaign staffers made the following during the 70-day period covered by the report:
- Marina Hardy earned $11,775.78.
- Adam Schmidt earned $9918.35.
- Chris Cavey made $9203.50.
- Hannah Marr earned $5755.80.
- Matt Proud made $5592.25.
- Alex Clark made $3867.90.
- Wendy Hershey earned $2748.79.
I previously wrote about Hogan being the largest single contributor to his campaign.
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.