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Board of elections memo hurts Gansler fundraising effort

A four-page memo on campaign fundraising during the 2014 General Assembly session will mostly likely hurt Doug Gansler more than any other declared gubernatorial candidate.

Doug Gansler and Jolene Ivey

Doug Gansler and Jolene Ivey

The memo released Thursday by the Maryland State Board of Elections lays out who is legally allowed to raise money during the 90-day session. Under state law, the governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, attorney general and all 188 members of the House and Senate are barred from soliciting or receiving donations or participating in the planning or promotion of events that would happen after the session ends.

On its surface, it would appear that this stops Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Del. Heather Mizeur and Gansler, the attorney general, from fundraising activities.

But the board’s memo states that running mates who are not elected officials covered by the prohibition can raise money during the session as long as they do not coordinate with their running mates.

That means Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, who is not covered by the prohibition, can raise money under his own campaign account. Later, he could legally transfer unlimited amounts of money from his account to the slate account he shares with Brown for the governor’s race.

Mizeur, D-Montgomery County, is also covered by the prohibition while her running mate, Delman Coates, who is a  Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, is not covered. State elections officials, however, said that because Mizeur has filed to qualify for public financing, she can continue to raise money in sums no larger than $250 total from any donor during the session. She cannot accept money from political action committees.

That leaves Gansler  out in the cold.

As attorney general, Gansler is barred from fundraising activities as is his running mate, Del. Jolene Ivey, D-Prince Geoerge’s County.

Bob Wheelock, a Gansler campaign spokesman, acknowledged the effect it has on the campaign.

“Neither of our candidates can and if one of their’s it’s an uneven playing field,” Wheelock said. “You lose a quarter of the year. It’s a big disadvantage.”

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