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)
What We're Following See More »
"Saudi Arabia said Saturday that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared more than two weeks ago, had died after an argument and fistfight with unidentified men inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Eighteen men have been arrested and are being investigated in the case, Saudi state-run media reported without identifying any of them. State media also reported that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and other high-ranking intelligence officials had been dismissed."
"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter."
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections ... Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice." Mueller has faced pressure to wrap up the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said an official, who would receive the results of the investigation and have "some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released," if he remains at his post.
"The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman for her alleged role in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, marking the first criminal case prosecutors have brought against a foreign national for interfering in the upcoming midterms. Elena Khusyaynova, 44, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors said she managed the finances of 'Project Lakhta,' a foreign influence operation they said was designed 'to sow discord in the U.S. political system' by pushing arguments and misinformation online about a host of divisive political issues, including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control and the National Football League national-anthem protests."