FL GOV: Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D) “brought in over $1 million in November, with over $800,000 raised by the campaign and political committee.” (release) “The difference could be made up through checks from Levine himself.” (Florida Politics)
State Sen. Jack Latvala’s (R) “fundraising arm, Florida Leadership Committee,” in November “took in just one check for $5,000 from the Florida Association of Health Plans PAC, with another $347 coming by way of interest. … FLC spent nearly $160,000 last month, and had spent another $36,000 through the first week of December. … $50,000 of that money went to the Republican Party of Florida, more than $37,000 was spent on printing and mailers, $10,000 went to Champion Digital Media for advertising alongside several research, strategy, fundraising and political consulting contracts clocking in at a few thousand a piece.” (Florida Politics)
MD GOV: State Sen. Richard Madaleno (D) announced Friday he will seek “public financing for his primary campaign.” He “said his decision … gives him the opportunity to raise … an estimated $1.4 million of it in public funds.”
“He said that if he wins the primary, he will decide whether to accept public funds in the general election.”
“Under Maryland’s public financing law, a candidate for governor can receive matching funds from the State Board of Elections for the first $250 given by an individual. Before receiving public financing, a 2018 candidate must raise ‘seed money’ of about $265,000 in contributions from individuals. … In accepting public financing, candidates must abide by spending limits. … [T]he final limit won’t be known until after Jan. 1. … Madaleno could gain an advantage by becoming the first in the public financing pool because he would have the first shot at getting his seed money matched 100 percent. … [T]here is just under $3 million in matching public funds available for the primary campaign. … Madaleno’s rivals have until Feb. 27 to decided whether to seek public financing.”
“As a candidate accepting public funds, … he will be allowed to raise money during the [legislative] session from individuals up to the $250 limit.” (Baltimore Sun)
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) “since last May” has “attended more than 30 scheduled events, well knowing that when the clock strikes on January 10 state officials are barred from raising money during the 90-day General Assembly session. Tonight’s Governor’s Gala at the Hilton Baltimore is the summit of his fundraising marathon. Tickets start at $1,000 and range upwards to $25,000. State law prohibits individual contributions over $6,000 in an election cycle, but the ‘bundling’ of contributions in the names of different people or companies is perfectly legal.”
Neither County Executives Kevin Kamenetz (D) of Baltimore County nor Rushern Baker (D) of Prince George’s “has scheduled any fundraisers before Christmas.” (Baltimore Brew)
MA GOV: Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) “aides say he is ‘disappointed’ the Republican National Committee decided this week to provide financial support to Moore. But that disappointment doesn’t translate to the Baker-controlled state party’s unique joint fund-raising operation with the RNC.”
The “Massachusetts Victory Committee is one of the most cash-heavy of the federally-governed campaign finance joint ventures. It allows wealthy Massachusetts donors to give up to $43,800 a year, and corporations can give up to $86,800. A chunk of that — about 40 percent — goes back to the RNC. The rest goes to the state party, which has been the Baker political headquarters and source of staffing.” (Boston Globe)
Newton Mayor Setti Warren (D) Thursday “called on … Baker to stop raising money for the [RNC] even after the RNC’s decision to spend six figures to elect an accused child molester in Alabama.” (release)
NH GOV: Gov. Chris Sununu (R) raised $147,000 and spent $150,000 between June 7 to Dec. 6, “leaving a surplus going into the 2018 election year of $104,317,” according to a Wednesday filing.
“Sununu received $3,000 from AT&T Services, which Sununu has passed over in favor of Rivada for the state’s emergency response network contract. He also received maximum $7,000 contributions from Jacqueline Eastwood of Durham, Florida investor Joan Granlund, Patricia Humphrey of Concord, Keegan Werlin of Boston and Michael McClurken of Durham. Earlier this year, Sununu received a $7,000 contribution from his brother, former Sen. John E. Sununu.
“So far this year, Gov. Sununu’s committee has spent nearly $80,000 on fundraising software and services. It also has paid about $60,000 to Jamestown Associates of New Jersey, the Stump Group of Nashua and other firms for general campaign consulting services. Paul Collins, who, as senior adviser, is one of Sununu’s top staffers in the governor’s office, was paid about $7,000.”
Former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand (D) reported “raising $71,368 and spending $76,868 since the previous reporting deadline on June 7 … for a surplus of nearly $23,500.” (WMUR)
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The indictment, filed in the District of Columbia, alleges that the interference began "in or around 2014," when the defendants began tracking and studying U.S. social media sites. They "created and controlled numerous Twitter accounts" and "purchased computer servers located inside the United States" to mask their identities, some of which were stolen. The interference was coordinated by election interference "specialists," and focused on the Black Lives Matter movement, immigration, and other divisive issues. "By early to mid-2016" the groups began supporting the campaign of "then-candidate Donald Trump," including by communicating with "unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign..."
"Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is finalizing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller's office, indicating he's poised to cooperate in the investigation, according to sources familiar with the case. Gates has already spoken to Mueller's team about his case and has been in plea negotiations for about a month. He's had what criminal lawyers call a 'Queen for a Day' interview, in which a defendant answers any questions from the prosecutors' team, including about his own case and other potential criminal activity he witnessed."
"The Senate on Thursday rejected immigration legislation crafted by centrists in both parties after President Trump threatened to veto the bill if it made it to his desk. In a 54-45 vote, the Senate failed to advance the legislation from eight Republican, seven Democratic and one Independent senators. It needed 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle. "
"The House Intelligence Committee has scheduled a Thursday meeting to hear testimony from Steve Bannon—but it's an open question whether President Donald Trump's former chief strategist will even show up. The White House sent a letter to Capitol Hill late Wednesday laying out its explanation for why Trump's transition period falls under its authority to assert executive privilege, a move intended to shield Bannon from answering questions about that time period." Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee dispute the White House's theory, and have floated charging Bannon with contempt should he refuse to appear.