Former White House policy aide Krish Vignarajah (D) and state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D) “said they are considering participating in the [public campaign financing] program, which provides a dollar-for-dollar match for donations of $250 or less, until available funds are exhausted. To qualify, candidates must agree not to exceed an expenditure limit in the primary and the general election that is equal to 47 cents for every resident of the state — about $2.8 million next year. They also must raise a minimum of about one-tenth that, or $280,000, in small-dollar donations.”
“Madaleno … would be exempt from a prohibition on state lawmakers fundraising during their 90-day session that begins in January” if he qualified for public financing.
Officials “from the campaigns of” the rest of the Democratic campaigns “said they have no plans to use state funding” because it “comes with too many restrictions and would not provide enough money for a competitive bid.”
Gov. Larry Hogan (R), “the first candidate to win an election using the state’s public financing system, last year proposed diverting $1.8 million from the general fund to help replenish the program. The legislature reduced the amount to $1 million.” (Washington Post)
QUOTABLE. “The joint appearance before the Democratic Party State Central Committee at a Lanham union hall was the first to bring all eight together in the same forum.”
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (D) “found an applause line when he boasted of cracking down on an apartment rental company owned by Trump’s son-in-law that had more than $3,500 in unpaid fines.
Kamenetz: “I made one of the Trumps pay. I fined Jared Kushner for being the slum landlord he is in Baltimore County. … We need a governor who’s going to stand up to Donald Trump.” (Baltimore Sun)
NOTABLE. “The NAACP’s donor base increased tenfold under [Ben] Jealous, its annual revenue nearly doubled, and the group’s online engagement went from 200,000 to more than two million. He also got the group back out in the streets, matching the Tea Party rally for rally during Barack Obama’s first term, and marching down New York’s Fifth Avenue in 2012 to protest the city’s ineffective and racially biased ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy. He even urged the NAACP to fight for issues that expanded the group’s traditional mandate. In 2012, ten days after Obama famously reversed himself and endorsed marriage equality for LBGTQ Americans, the NAACP did the same.”
“Then, at the end of 2013, he abruptly stepped down, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. He decided to become an ‘impact investor,’ backing companies with social justice missions. He is now a partner at Kapor Capital, an impact-investment firm in California. He’s also a visiting professor at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, teaching courses on crime and policing, among other topics.”
“Jealous offered one specific critique [of the NAACP after his exit]. ‘It is no secret,’ he said, ‘that I advocated to return the organization to being a 501(c)(4) from a 501(c)(3), as it is now.’ Jealous declined to elaborate on the consequences of these nonprofit designations for the group … but what Jealous was referring to is that a 501(c)(3) cannot support political candidates.” (New Republic)
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Eleven days before the presidential inauguration last year, a billionaire Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet with Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, according to video footage and another person who attended the meeting. In Mr. Cohen’s office on the 26th floor, he and the oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, discussed a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Trump, according to Andrew Intrater, an American businessman who attended the meeting and invests money for Mr. Vekselberg."
"The Justice Department asked its internal watchdog to examine if there was any impropriety in the counterintelligence investigation of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, after the president demanded Sunday that the department investigate the motives behind the inquiry. Earlier Sunday, in one of a series of tweets targeting the probe into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump wrote: 'I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!'"