For the second time in a month, the Maryland Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the Maryland Board of Elections accusing contributors to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of campaign violations.
In the complaint filed Thursday, the Democrats alleged they discovered “suspicious contributions from LLCs that gave more than a half million dollars to Governor Larry Hogan’s re-election campaign.”
The party took issue with $511,736 in contributions to Hogan during his successful run last year for a second term. It alleged the limited liability companies in question could be violation of a state law that says no single entity can give more than $6,000 to a candidate during an election cycle.
Chris Ashby, a lawyer for the Hogan campaign, said the complaint was baseless.
“There is zero legal basis for this complaint. It is nothing but a media stunt. The Hogan campaign fully complied with the requirements of Maryland law. We are moving the Board of Elections to dismiss the complaint immediately,” Ashby said in an email.
Jared DeMarinis, the director of candidacy and campaign finance for the state elections board, said he’s “received the complaint and will review it.” He noted election law puts the onus of complying with maximum donation limits on the campaign contributors, not the politician receiving the funds.
The law applies to limited liability companies only if it can be proven that at least 80 percent of the business giving the donation is owned or controlled by an entity that has already given a maximum donation. Limited liability corporations do not have to list owners or make their books public, making it difficult to determine ownership.
In late June, the Democratic Party, which is lead by Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, accused nearly 100 donors to Hogan’s 2018 campaign of donating too much money to the governor. Ashby called that complaint “false” and “sloppy."