Filings indicate illegal coordination between Brown, Ulman and state Super PAC.
ANNAPOLIS, MD – In a complaint filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections, the Hogan for Governor campaign alleges illegal fundraising coordination between the political campaigns of Anthony Brown, Ken Ulman and a secretive state Super PAC supporting their gubernatorial bids.
State regulations expressly prohibit political campaigns from coordinating their fundraising activities and strategy with outside super PACs. Yet official filings by Friends of Anthony Brown (Brown’s campaign for governor), running mate Ken Ulman’s political committee, and “One State, One Future PAC,” a Super PAC supporting Brown’s bid for governor all share the same fundraising consultants, Colleen Martin-Lauer and Susan Smith-Bauk. (State Board of Elections regulation on “Coordination and Cooperation)
“There couldn’t be a more blatant example of illegal coordination,” said Hogan campaign manager Steve Crim. “With immediate and full knowledge of all donor activities, it is simply impossible for Martin-Lauer and Smith-Bauk to not coordinate the fundraising efforts of their three clients,” Crim said.
In their complaint to the State Board of Elections, the Hogan campaign outlined clear evidence that proves these entities engaged in "inappropriate coordination and cooperation of campaign activities in contravention of Maryland Election Law."
According to Crim, "This is just the latest example that Anthony Brown and the Annapolis political machine will do anything to maintain their one-party stranglehold on Maryland. With less than 60 days to go before Election Day, we are calling for the State Board of Elections to act immediately on our complaint and take any action necessary to protect the integrity of the democratic process.”
In their letter to State Board of Elections Director Jared DeMarinis, the Hogan campaign states, "It is our belief and understanding of the letter and the spirit of the 'no coordination' requirement that it has been put in place to preclude activity similar to that undertaken by the commonly retained fund raiser for Friends of Anthony Brown and One State, One Future PAC. A fundraising coordinator working for multiple entities is implicitly acting in a 'coordinated' fashion because of such an individual's unique knowledge concerning the contribution limits encountered by potential and existing contributors."
In June, “Daily Record” reporter Bryan Sears highlighted activities reported in campaign finance reports that raised questions about whether inappropriate activity coordination occurred between the PAC and the campaign organization. The Hogan campaign asserts that, "it is clear from that report that One State and Friends share 'consultants and other third party vendors' expressly for the purpose of coordinating activities to further the Anthony Brown gubernatorial campaign."