Political Notes: O’Malley and Schulz File Complaints on Foreign Spending Campaigns

By | July 12, 2022

An aerial view of the Maryland State House. Stock.adobe.com photo by Matthew Tighe.

Two statewide campaigns have filed complaints with the Maryland State Board of Elections after luring their races out of spending.

On Saturday, the campaign of Katie Curran O’Malley, who was in a competitive Democratic primary race for attorney general with Rep. Anthony Brown, filed a complaint with the Maryland State Board of Elections against the VoteVets PAC, which aired the attack ad. against O’Malley.

The ad is the latest in what is becoming a fierce battle with bona fides in racing. In late June, O’Malley released an ad highlighting recent endorsements by The Washington Post and Baltimore Sun and his experience as a judge and prosecutor. The ad also questioned Brown’s qualifications to be attorney general. O’Malley said in the ad that Brown had “never tried a criminal case in Maryland” and “had no proper experience.”

The response from Brown’s campaign was swift, citing his extensive experience in complex litigation in state and federal courts, and in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

VoteVets, a progressive political action committee headed by military veterans that endorses fellow veterans or national security experts running for office as Democrats, also repliedcalled O’Malley’s ad an attack and referred to it as “saying that his experience as a military attorney was a disqualification for being Maryland AG.”

The claim filed by O’Malley’s campaign on Saturday states that a financial disclosure report related to VoteVets ’$ 400,000 ad purchase was lacking. The report includes the disclosure of $ 275,000 in recent contributions – most of it, $ 250,000, from June Trone, the wife of congressman and liquor store magnate David Trone (D), a Brown’s congressional colleague.

The claim urges the State Board of Elections to investigate.

O’Malley’s campaign doubled in criticism of the ad on Monday, calling it sexist for highlighting the word “SHAME” in a still image of O’Malley from his previous ad.

“Women face enough barriers to running for office. When we assert ourselves, they attack us. When we assert our experience, they underestimate us,” retired Del said. Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore City) in a statement. “We’re not going to keep quiet.”

O’Malley’s campaign called on Brown to reject the ad.

The Brown campaign, which said it does not engage with any independent spending groups, issued a statement in response:

“Unfortunately, veterans often question their experience, and it appears that VoteVets, a national leader in supporting progressive veterans, has addressed the negative portrayal pushed by former Judge O’Malley. … Congressman Brown is committed to talking to voters about his record of doing great things for Marylanders and his vision for the Office of the Attorney General. ”

Schulz filed a complaint against the DGA

On Monday, campaigner Kelly Schulz for Governor filed a complaint related to a recent Democratic Governors Association ad that argued her campaign boosted her GOP campaign rival Del. Dan Cox (R-Frederick).

The ad, which was condemned by Schulz and Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), called Cox “too close to Trump” and “too conservative for Maryland.” But it also lays out some of his conservative policy positions that may appeal to GOP voters.

The DGA is expected to spend more than $ 1 million on the ad, “Meet Dan,” before Election Day.

The five -page letter of complaint, signed by campaign treasurer Sam Malhotra, states that there is “sufficient evidence that the DGA not only deliberately deceived Maryland voters in violation of current Maryland law, but also committed lying by falsely registering their activities with the Maryland State Board of Elections. “

Schulz’s campaign says the real purpose of the ads, which they call “extreme political subterfuge,” is to bolster a far -right candidate who could struggle in a general election. They say Maryland law prohibits “this type of deliberately deceptive political communication.”

The Democratic Governors Association responded with a statement on Maryland Matters on Monday afternoon.

“This false complaint is the latest desperate stunt from Kelly Schulz to cover for her failed, debate-dodging campaign. As we clarified, because of Dan Cox’s frontrunner status Trump endorsed in multiple polls and radical stances on MAGA, the DGA starts the general election early and is not wasting time to hold him accountable, ”said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton.“ Maybe instead of more reasons, it should stop Schulz in hiding from key questions like: will he support Trump if he runs for president in 2024? “

A mid -June poll from Goucher College and Baltimore Banner, the latest independent polling available on the race, showed a strictly Republican primary. Of most Republican voters, 44% said they hadn’t decided on a career and 47 percent could change their mind before Election Day. Twenty -five percent of candidates said they favor Cox, while 22% support Schulz.

“Despite these toxic tactics from the DGA, our campaign will win and remain focused on delivering real results for the people of Maryland. Nothing can stop us from continuing to move our state in the right direction to ensure that families have a safe, stable, and prosperous future in Maryland, ”Malhotra concluded in the letter.


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