O’Malley reports nearly $500,000 raised for his PAC during first six months of the year


Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks during a steak fry in Iowa in September. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on Wednesday reported raising nearly $500,000 for his political action committee since the start of the year, a stretch during which he was more focused on fundraising for other Democratic candidates, aides said.

O’Malley (D), who is term-limited in Maryland, has used his O’ Say Can You See PAC as a vehicle to build national exposure and pay for a small cadre of political advisers as he weighs a 2016 presidential bid. If he moves forward, early fundraising ability will soon become one of the key tests he faces.

O’Malley is also serving this year as finance chairman for the Democratic Governors Association, a group he formerly led. In his current capacity, he made several trips around the country during the past six months, helping the DGA raise a reported $15 million.

Aides also cited nine large-scale fundraisers O’Malley hosted or co-hosted for Democratic candidates in Maryland and beyond during the same stretch, including Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire. Another fundraiser for McAuliffe is planned for late August, they said.

Aides said that none of the money raised for O’Malley’s PAC was solicited during Maryland’s 90-day legislative session, which ended in early April. Maryland law bans fundraising by statewide officeholders and legislators during the period. Though the provision does not apply to O’Malley’s PAC, aides said he decided to abide by it anyway.

The PAC maintains three separate accounts, including a so-called “non-federal” account that allows O’Malley to accept unlimited donations. Aides say a voluntary $10,000 limit has been put in place.

The largest chunk of the money raised by O’Malley — $315,497 — was solicited for the non-federal account, according to a report filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Eleven donors gave $10,000.

An additional $164,076 was raised for a separate PAC account subject to federal donation limits, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission. And O’Malley raised $8,000 for a Maryland state-level account.

O’Malley’s PAC reported making several donations to candidates around the country, a practice that is likely to increase in coming months.

O’Malley gave $2,500 to Rep. Bruce L. Braley (D-Iowa), a 2014 candidate for U.S. Senate; $2,500 to Shaheen; and $2,000 to Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who won a special election this year to replace John F. Kerry, now secretary of state.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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