The Washington Post

Vendor says Md. candidate owes it money

A political database software vendor in Northern Virginia wants the campaign of Charles Lollar, one of four Republican gubernatorial hopefuls in deeply blue Maryland, to pay its bills.

The Lollar campaign hired Rocketbase Solutions of Herndon in September to set up a voter database and tracking system using information from the Maryland Republican Party. The campaign paid a set-up fee of $2,850, but then tried to cancel the contract and asked for its money back, according to court documents.

The dispute landed in Fairfax County General District Court, where last month a judge sided with Rocketbase. Lollar’s campaign has been told to pay $20,425, along with 6 percent interest back to November and court costs.

That could be a problem for the campaign, which has not been flush with cash in recent months. Lollar’s campaign had $5,731.35 in the bank in early January, according to the latest campaign finance report it submitted to the state board of elections. The next report is due May 27.

Paul A. Prados, an attorney for Rocketbase, said that two “senior campaign officials” testified at the trial and that Lollar attended. Since then, Prados said the campaign filed an appeal, but lost the opportunity because they did not pay a required bond within 30 days. Rocketbase has now filed paperwork to garnish funds from the Lollar campaign, Prados said.

When reached by phone on Tuesday afternoon, Lollar said he did not know the details of the situation and, therefore, could not comment.

“Unfortunately, I don’t know much about it,” he said. “It involved someone on my campaign ... Someone on my campaign fired them, and apparently they didn’t like that.”

Lollar, a Charles County businessman, has proposed eliminating the state’s personal income tax, a bold proposal that he acknowledges would require drastic cuts in government spending.

A Washington Post poll in February found that nearly six in 10 Republican and GOP-leaning independent voters were undecided on who they want to replace Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). Lollar was near the back of the pack, with 10 percent of voter support.

When asked about the judgment against his campaign, Lollar responded: “I don’t know. I don’t know anything about that.”

When asked how much money his campaign now has, he said: “I’m not sure about that either. We’ll have to file a form in May. We’ll know then.”

When asked if he had attended the trial, the candidate said: “I can’t comment on that.”

Lollar then said he needed to consult with his campaign manager.

Washington Post researcher Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.

Jenna Johnson is a political reporter who is covering the 2016 presidential campaign.



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