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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"The Democratic National Committee filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Friday against the Russian government, the Trump campaign and the WikiLeaks organization alleging a far-reaching conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign and tilt the election to Donald Trump. The complaint, filed in federal district court in Manhattan, alleges that top Trump campaign officials conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump by hacking the computer networks of the Democratic Party and disseminating stolen material found there." The DNC is seeking "millions of dollars in compensation to offset damage it claims the party suffered from the hacks," and is arguing the cyberattack" undermined its ability to communicate with voters, collect donations and operate effectively as its employees faced personal harassment and, in some cases, death threats."
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have fined Wells Fargo $1 billion dollars for convincing customers to buy insurance they did not need, and could not afford. "In October, the bank revealed that some mortgage borrowers were inappropriately charged for missing a deadline to lock in promised interest rates, even though the delays were Wells Fargo's fault." The bank has also apologized for . "charging as many as 570,000 clients for car insurance they didn't need," and found that about 20,000 of those customers "may have defaulted on their car loans and had their vehicles repossessed in part because of those unnecessary insurance costs."
"Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., plans to introduce legislation on Friday to decriminalize marijuana on the federal level, adding a high-profile advocate in the effort to decriminalize, legalize and normalize marijuana use in America." The bill would "remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances," establish funding sources for businesses and research, and establish regulations akin to those for tobacco and alcohol. "'If smoking marijuana doesn't hurt anybody else, why shouldn't we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?' Schumer told HBO's Vice News in a Thursday interview previewing his bill."
Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee are considering "refusing to vote to discharge" President Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, in order pressure Sen. McConnell to take up a "sense-of-the-Senate resolution" that Special Counsel Mueller should be allowed to continue his investigation. If the Democratic Senators move forward with the plan, Republicans say McConnell "could simply trigger the so-called nuclear option" by declaring the move out-of-order, and bring Pompeo's nomination to the floor through a majority vote. The move is politically risky, as it would likely "heighten partisan tensions and play into President Trump’s arguments that Democrats are actively obstructing him."