Hogan Camp Sets Fundraising Expectations — For Jealous

The bottom line was the bottom line – and it was impressive. But what was even more noteworthy about the memo Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s campaign released Monday about his forthcoming fundraising report was how it attempted to frame expectations for Democrat Benjamin T. Jealous’ fundraising since the June primaries. Essentially, the Hogan camp was laying down a marker that Jealous is unlikely to meet. Campaign finance reports covering activities from June 11 to Aug. 21 are not due to be filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections until midnight Tuesday. But in a memo to members of the Republican governor’s finance committee and shared with the media Monday, Thomas Kelso, Hogan’s finance chairman, said the campaign would report taking in $2.52 million during that period and was sitting on $9.44 million.  Thomas Kelso  That’s a robust war chest and is a tick higher than where the Hogan campaign was in the last campaign finance report, even with stepped-up spending on TV advertising and other activities since the late June primaries. Between Hogan’s campaign, the campaign account of Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford (R), and the Maryland GOP, Republicans have taken in about $24 million this election cycle. In his memo, Kelso, an investment banker who was appointed by Hogan to be chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority in 2015, noted that the Hogan-Rutherford cash haul outpaced the fundraising totals of former Gov. Martin J. O’Malley (D) and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) at the equivalent point of their 2010 reelection campaign, when they reported a combined $6.36 million on hand. “We are proud that 94 percent of Hogan donors are Marylanders, a reflection of the governor’s stratospheric approval among our state’s voters,” Kelso wrote. “Additionally, 66 percent of our donors are small donors, which demonstrates the depth of that support at the grassroots level.” That Hogan continues to smash fundraising records is hardly surprising. What was somewhat surprising was Kelso almost trolling Jealous in his memo, setting expectations for Jealous’ fundraising since mid-June – and possibly setting up Jealous to fall short of the expectations the Republicans are trying to set up for him. “We expect him to have north of $2 million cash on hand,” he wrote. Kelso explained: “Soon, we will learn what the Jealous/Turnbull ticket has for available resources. During the primary, Jealous was a formidable fundraiser, raising a total of nearly $2.9 million, which put him at the head of the pack with almost 60 percent more funds than his chief competitor, Rushern Baker. “Since then, of course, Jealous has captured the nomination, and we expect that he has largely consolidated the Democratic donor base. Further, Jealous has enjoyed the support of a number of high-profile national figures who have assisted with his fundraising, namely, democratic socialist U.S Senator Bernie Sanders and far-left Senator Elizabeth Warren. “In the last reporting period, the Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor raised a combined $1.5 million in less than a month. That is as good a benchmark as any for what Jealous should have been able to easily raise in the ensuing 10 weeks of being named the nominee.”  The Jealous camp has been silent so far about his forthcoming finance report. But the Maryland Democratic Party used the Hogan campaign’s report of its fundraising haul in an email Monday. “Tomorrow is exactly 10 weeks from election day, and Larry Hogan just announced that his campaign has raised $2.3 million over this summer alone,” Maryland Democratic Chairwoman Kathleen Matthews wrote in the appeal. “I’m going to be honest with you – this is a large amount of money. But while Larry Hogan’s wealthy special-interest allies are paying up to buy his support, I’m proud to say that Democrats are leading with our values by running a people-powered campaign. “As this campaign speeds into the final sprint, your support in fighting back against Republican special interests is more crucial than ever.” [email protected]

Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.

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