The Washington Post

O’Malley touts marriage law, raises money for new political action committee

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) speaks during U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's annual fundraising steak fry in Indianola, Iowa, in September. (Charlie Neibergall — Associated Press)

With the 2012 presidential election in the rearview mirror, the activities of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s new federal political action committee are becoming more visible.

The O’ Say Can You See PAC, which O’Malley (D) launched in July, has a noteworthy fundraiser scheduled Monday night in Chevy Chase. Former South Carolina governor Jim Hodges (D) is among the co-hosts of the event, for which suggested contributions start at $1,000.

O’Malley, who is weighing a 2016 bid for national office, also circulated an e-mail through his PAC on Thursday that touted Maryland’s new same-sex marriage law. It was sent out shortly after O’Malley signed a proclamation that made official the results of the ballot measure last month upholding the new law.

The e-mail included a photo of O’Malley signing the proclamation and a button inviting donations to the PAC.

“After months of hard work, we came together to pass a bill that treats everyone fairly and equally under the law while protecting religious freedom,” O’Malley said in the e-mail. “We then became the first state ever to defend marriage equality at the ballot box. We still face tremendous challenges as a nation, but it is my sincere hope that we can come together to meet those challenges with greater respect for the dignity of every individual.”

O’Malley is expected to use the PAC to continue building his exposure on the national stage as he weighs a move beyond Maryland. His term as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association — a position that facilitated travel and television appearances — ended this week.

So far, the activities of the PAC had been pretty modest. As of late last month, it had raised $138,770, according to Federal Election Commission Filings.

The PAC reported spending of $103,522 since July, much of that on staffing, rent and other basic operating expenses.

The latest report also included several notable political donations made by the PAC, including a $2,000 contribution to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

O’Malley’s PAC also gave $1,000 to the Virginia Senate campaign of Tim Kaine (D), and $1,000 to the Maryland 6th district congressional campaign of John Delaney (D).

The PAC also made $1,000 contributions to Maryland ballot-issue committees that advocated for allowing same-sex marriage and extending in-state college tuition rates to illegal immigrants under certain conditions.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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