The campaign committees of Maryland Republican gubernatorial hopeful David R. Craig and his running mate, Jeannie Haddaway, have both been assessed $1,000 civil penalties for a violation of the state’s prohibition on fundraising during the legislative session.
According to state election officials, the Craig-Haddaway ticket sent out a fundraising solicitation by e-mail within a few days after the Jan. 8 start of the session that included the names of both candidates.
Maryland law prohibits lawmakers and statewide officials from raising money during the state’s annual 90-day legislative sessions. Craig, the Harford County executive, is not covered by the law. But Haddaway is a delegate from Talbot County and cannot be part of Craig’s fundraising solicitations during session, according to elections officials.
Under a settlement with the State Board of Elections, Craig also agreed to pay back money that was raised as a result of the solicitation featuring his lieutenant governor candidate.
Jim Pettit, a spokesman for Craig’s campaign said Friday that the material in question was actually a newsletter that included a link for supporters to donate money and was “not a fundraising piece per se.”
Pettit said Craig’s campaign manager notified elections officials of the mistake and are taking great care not to repeat it.
“The matter is resolved, and the fines have been paid,” Pettit said.
A week ago, Craig and Haddaway notified election officials that the campaign intends to participate in the state’s public financing system this year. As a result, Haddaway now can raise money in increments of $250 or less from individuals during the session, according to elections officials.
The issue of fundraising during session has been in the news lately because of a lawsuit filed in December by supporters of Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, a Democratic candidate for governor, that sought to stop Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown’s running mate from raising money during session.
Brown’s running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D), is not covered by the ban, but the Gansler supporters argued the law prohibits him from raising money because of his close coordination with Brown.
The elections board also announced civil penalties against three other candidates on Thursday.
Dels. Glen Glass (R-Harford) and Barbara A. Robinson (D-Baltimore) both were assessed $250 penalties after telling elections officials that they had deposited campaign checks after the start of session.
Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery) was assessed a $500 penalty for continuing to solicit contributions on her Web site after the session started.