They finally discuss the transition from Change Maryland to Hogan for Governor. I noticed the Facebook page added the authority line after the campaign officially started. However, their response today raised some more questions in my mind.
If you look at the only campaign disclosure the Hogan campaign has been required to file, they paid $18,164.05 for the assets on April 7, 2014 well after the authority line was on the Facebook page as I recall. That April 7 date for the asset purchase was obviously well after the campaign was underway as well.
The April 7 date of the asset purchase may not match the campaign release today which says (emphasis added):
Immediately upon registering as a campaign for governor, with the SBE, the campaign entered into a purchase agreement for all of Change Maryland’s assets at fair market value.
If there was an agreement in place immediately after 2/3, should the assets (i.e. the Facebook page) have included a campaign authority line before it actually became campaign property on 4/7?
Here’s the full timeline:
- Change Maryland, LLC was registered with the state of Maryland on 5/6/2011.
- Change Maryland, LLC filed paperwork with the IRS as a 527 on 7/19/2011.
- On January 31, 2014, Steve Crim signed paperwork changing the name of the 527 to CHANGE MARYLAND from the old Change Maryland, LLC name.
- On February 3, 2014, the Hogan campaign filed its official paperwork with the State Board of Elections, which included its statement of organization for finance purposes.
- On 2/14/2014, the IRS received the 527’s name change document.
- On 4/7/2014, the Hogan campaign bought Change Maryland’s assets for the figure of $18,614.05.
CHANGE MARYLAND is still an extant group with the IRS whose finances probably need to be looked at further, going back to 2011. Those paper records are required to be shown upon request by the organization or the IRS will provide them. I’m sure Change Maryland (whatever it is anymore) won’t provide the applicable documents to me in a timely manner, but the IRS might.
Change Maryland, LLC is not in good standing with the state of Maryland anymore. This means, according to the state, that Change Maryland, LLC has not filed its required paperwork for the year or owes a late filing fee. The business has not been relinquished, or forfeited, like Hogan campaign manager Steve Crim’s business was. There’s a logical explanation for all of that and it points to the LLC going away after the asset sale. However, the 527 filed with the IRS is still in business it appears.
The Hogan campaign release is below:
Annapolis, MD – May 21, 2014 – Hogan for Governor Spokesman Adam Dubitsky issued the following statement:
“The entire premise of these allegations by two desperate campaigns is utterly absurd and patently false. Had David Craig and Ron George bothered to do even a cursory check, they would have seen that the “about” page at Change Maryland’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ChangeMaryland/info) and website (www.changemaryland.org), clearly states Paid for By Hogan-Rutherford to Change Maryland. In short, Larry Hogan for Governor owns Change Maryland and has since he became a candidate.
Unlike David Craig’s campaign which has already been found guilty and fined for violating campaign laws, our campaign has worked closely with the Maryland Board of Elections to ensure from day one that we comply fully with all state laws.”
Before starting his campaign for governor, Larry Hogan’s team sought guidance from the State Board of Elections on whether or how Change Maryland, a 527 political organization, could interface with a campaign for governor, also a 527 political organization. The guidance received was that Hogan for Governor could purchase the assets of Change Maryland much like campaigns purchase mailing or contact lists from any other organization. Immediately upon registering as a campaign for governor, with the SBE, the campaign entered into a purchase agreement for all of Change Maryland’s assets at fair market value.
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.