Former White House adviser Krishanti Vignarajah (D) at her campaign kickoff highlighted her roots as an immigrant and said “as governor she would push for mandatory paid family leave for new mothers and fathers and for universal prekindergarten and make education her ‘top priority.’”
“Vignarajah, 37, has said she is driven to run partly by the retirement early this year of” Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D), “which left all statewide elected offices in Maryland filled by men for the first time in many years.”
“Mary Wagner, voter-registration director for the elections board, said the attorney general’s office is unlikely to provide an answer [Vignarajah’s eligibility to run for office] before Vignarajah files paperwork with the state to enter the race. The filing deadline for the June primary is Feb. 27. Wagner said the board would have canceled Vignarajah’s voter registration if D.C. officials had notified the state that she was also registered in the District.” (Washington Post)
KEITHING IT REAL. State Sen. Richard Madaleno (D) has hired three senior advisers for his campaign, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Campaign manager Keith Presley previously worked on Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s (D) 2016 and the state Democratic Parties in Maryland and Arkansas.
Communications consultant Bobby Gravitz of SWAY has worked in California, Missouri, New York, Oregon, and Washington as well as on President Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners will conduct polling. She has worked for former Vice President Joe Biden, the DNC, the DGA, unions, the Sierra Club, and other progressive groups. (Hotline reporting)
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"A stopgap spending bill stalled in the Senate Friday night, leading to a government shutdown for the first time since 2013. The continuing resolution funding agencies expired at midnight, and lawmakers were unable to spell out any path forward to keep government open. The Senate on Friday night failed to reach cloture on a four-week spending bill the House had already approved."
"The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency." Investigators have focused on Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank "who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA." The solicitation or use of foreign funds is illegal in U.S. elections under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by either lobbying groups or political campaigns. The NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections.
"Hundreds of new and supplemental FARA filings by U.S. lobbyists and public relations firms" have been submitted "since Special Counsel Mueller charged two Trump aides with failing to disclose their lobbying work on behalf of foreign countries. The number of first-time filings ... rose 50 percent to 102 between 2016 and 2017, an NBC News analysis found. The number of supplemental filings, which include details about campaign donations, meetings and phone calls more than doubled from 618 to 1,244 last year as lobbyists scrambled to avoid the same fate as some of Trump's associates and their business partners."