Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's reelection committee on Friday paid a $250 fine to the state elections board for an email that solicited donations on behalf of the campaign during a period when such fundraising is prohibited.
In a letter to the board, the Republican leader's campaign denied liability for the infraction but said it would pay the penalty because "it is simply not worth a penny more of our donors' hard-earned funds to continue fighting for this matter in court."
Election officials fined the committee last month after determining that Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Jr., a Hogan supporter who had agreed to organize an event for the governor, violated state law by emailing a fundraising invitation for the campaign eight days before the legislature adjourned this year.
State law prohibits campaign solicitations during the annual legislative session.
Hogan campaign officials have pointed out that Redmer was not on staff with the committee and that the organization explicitly told him not to distribute the invitations during the no-fundraising period.
The elections board said it found "no evidence" that Hogan or his campaign approved the solicitations or knew of their content or timing. But it also noted that state law requires it to hold the committee responsible because the group benefited from the invitations.
The letter from Hogan's campaign, sent with a check to cover the fine, said the board's decision was "fundamentally unfair" and "wrong as a matter of fact, law and policy."
The reelection committee argued that election officials were setting a dangerous new precedent in the state, making campaigns liable for the actions of individuals outside of such organizations — including anyone who opposes the candidates and wants to sabotage them by making illegal solicitations on their behalf.