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O'Malley's Millions


Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley is entering the 2006 election year with more than $4 million in the bank, aides to the Democratic candidate for governor said this afternoon.

A spokeswoman for Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, O'Malley's Democratic rival, declined to say what Duncan's report would show when filed later this week. Duncan will make his numbers public on Tuesday, said spokeswoman Jody Couser.

Both Democrats are expected to lag far behind Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr, who aides say has raised more than $10 million toward the November elections.

The campaign finance reports, due Wednesday, will provide an important barometer in what is sure to be the most expensive governor’s race in Maryland history.
During the entire 2002 campaign, Ehrlich raised $10.5 million, and his Democratic opponent, then-Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, raised $8.5 million.

O'Malley campaign manager Jonathan Epstein said his boss will report having $4.19 million on hand as of last Wednesday, the close of the reporting period. O'Malley will report raising $4.29 million in the preceding year. Nearly half of that--$2 million--came in at a June fundraiser at M&T Stadium in Baltimore, aides said. Epstein said O'Malley raised money from all 24 Maryland jurisdictions and took in about $100,000 over the Internet in the final week of the reporting period.

Esptein argued that O'Malley's take is impressive when compared to other challengers at similar points in their campaigns. In Virginia, Democrat Tim Kaine reported $3.2 million on-hand at a similar time in his ultimately successful bid for governor, Epstein said.

O'Malley's ticket will also benefit from money raised by his running mate, Del. Anthony G. Brown (D-Prince George's). Brown’s totals have not been released yet.

John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  January 15, 2006; 5:20 PM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Hey, can the Post get us some demographic information on who these campaign donors are? Preferably in some nice looking bar graphs.

We need public financing of campaigns!

Posted by: Phil | January 15, 2006 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Comrade Phil. We don't need public financing of campaigns.

We DO NEED total sunshine an ALL donations, regardless of free speech perspective or the amount donated. Total disclosure evens the playing field.

Posted by: Will | January 15, 2006 10:46 PM | Report abuse

If there's anyone who can unseat Ehrlich, it's O'Malley!

It's great that he's been able to raise so much money in so little time while Ehrlich has been busy getting money from Wal-mart and Abramoff.

Posted by: Tracey | January 15, 2006 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Is Deborah Howell aware of the implicit racism in her assumption that all Indian tribe contributions are directed by Jack Abramoff, a man who has conned them out of 80 million dollars?

This issue has been addressed by Jane Hamsher, of, and I think the Editors at WaPo need to read through and consider her account. Especially the last five paragraphs:

by Jane Hamsher

Deborah Howell is an outrage. Or rather, her title of "public editor" is an outrage. If you just change it to "Official GOP Steward" I would have far less problems with her continued presence at the WaPo. But they probably have adequate reason to fear that people like John Harris would then start to bristle and covet it for themselves.

It is obvious that on a day-in, day-out basis Howell is being bombarded by representatives of GOP think tanks to complain about any deviation from the official GOP slant on any story, a job which she clearly relishes. She is most certainly happy to print obvious distortions on a daily basis, like this one in today's column about Jack Abramoff:

"Schmidt quickly found that Abramoff was getting 10 to 20 times as much from Indian tribes as they had paid other lobbyists. And he had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties."

That is just an out-and-out, boldfaced lie. It's hard to tell whether Howell is a hack or just an idiot and I suspect a bit of both, and I'm not going to waste any more time beating that one into the ground. I've already been there, as has anyone else paying even the littlest bit of attention.

Then Howell goes on to indulge her favorite myth -- the smoke-and-mirrors "well both Democrats and Republicans are unhappy so we must be fair and balanced." I'm sure mother Dahmer was upset at the outcome of young Jeffrey's trial too, but that hardly adds up to "two equal stories."

"Two persistent complaints have come the ombudsman's way on this story. One, from Democrats, is that The Post is trying to distance DeLay from Abramoff because a Dec. 29 story said the two were not personally close. DeLay had once called Abramoff "one of my closest and dearest friends" and said on Fox News recently that they were friends.

Schmidt and Grimaldi said that their reporting showed that the two were politically, not personally, close. Whatever the degree of closeness, the strength of Schmidt's and Grimaldi's reporting has tied the two together inextricably."

Yes we're aware of it, Deborah, the complaint originated here. Shortly thereafter Atrios observed that the DeLay quote about being friendly with Abramoff came from Schmidt's own reporting 10 days earlier."

The abrupt, unexplained change in narrative by Schmidt came just in time to conveniently service Tom DeLay's attempts to regain his House leadership position. Atrios had a supremely valid point. Howell never addressed this question to Schmidt, allowing her to both dodge the thrust of the complaint and look like she was giving equal time to Democrats. Her attempt to portray this as "different reporters, different stories" is utterly disingenuous.

Then she goes on to service those right wing think tank folk with true mastery:

"The second complaint is from Republicans, who say The Post purposely hasn't nailed any Democrats. Several stories, including one on June 3 by Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, a Post business reporter, have mentioned that a number of Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (N.D.), have gotten Abramoff campaign money."

It is a very serious question that needs to be asked of WaPo management: Is Howell's job to mindlessly repeat whatever the Heritage Foundation tells her, or is she just too brutally ignorant to look beyond it?

That she does not understand the thrust of this story -- that Abramoff was fundamental to the architecture of the GOP money machine -- is obvious. But beyond that, she can't even master the simplest detail -- that Abramoff's VICTIMS, the people he fleeced, the Indian tribes, are free to give money to whomever they feel will help them serve their interests. That is quite a different thing than contributions given by Abramoff himself; Abramoff is the one currently under indictment, not the Indian tribes. What part of this does Howell not understand?

American Indians are some of the most bitterly victimized people this nation has ever seen. And now Howell's attempt to paint Democrats into this picture depends on the completely condescending notion that they are nothing but Jack Abramoff's dupes who cannot be trusted to handle their own money, that every nickel they gave to politicians was done so because he either exploited their stupidity, their ignorance and their naivete for his own ends or because they were complicit in his crimes. As a person of American Indian ancestry, I cannot tell you how racist and demeaning I find Howell's assertions.

Deborah Howell needs to figure out that the Justice Department is prosecuting Jack Abramoff, not the Indian Tribes. If she has proof that any Democrat took money quid-pro-quo, or that the Indian tribes were themselves responsible for actions that in any way violated campaign finance laws, she needs to produce it. Now. The Democrats are the natural constituents of the Indian tribes in this country and their only provable crime so far is that they have not done more. It is quite obvious that they should be recipients of the contributions of Native American peoples as they attempt to have a voice in the system that has oppressed them for so long, and Deborah Howell's bitter, condescending racism is deplorable.

The folks over at Wampum have been doing an excellent job covering this aspect of the story and it has been largely ignored. The RNC, in their attempts to tie this to Democrats, have been actively promoting the story that Brad Carson of Oklahoma took $26,000 from Abramoff clients, the Cherokee tribes. People like Deborah Howell are swallowing this hook, line and sinker, never managing to look beyond what Ken Mehlman is telling them and doing even the most rudimentary job of reporting to explore the obvious -- Brad Carson is an enrolled member of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation. Did Jack Abramoff arrange that too?

Deborah Howell must offer a public apology to ALL the Indian tribes she has deliberately slung her mud on in her attempt to put a "fair and balanced" veneer on a blatant partisan hackery.

Anyone who would like to express their feelings to the WaPo on this matter directly can do so here, at the I know the topic is Maryland Moment but I'm told Jim Brady reads this very carefully, and it's better to post your comments publicly than subject them to Deborah Howell's "delete button." Perhaps it is time for the online edition -- -- to hire their own ombudsman, someone who is at least marginally literate. It is obvious that Howell is not up to the task of doing her job.

Posted by: Concerned Reader | January 15, 2006 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Small quibble. Phyllis, when you post items, could you provide a space between the paragraphs. It makes it harder to read when the paragraphs are smashed together without spaces between them.

Posted by: Dave W | January 16, 2006 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Total disclosure evens the playing field

No it doesn't at all. And besides that, there are so many shill identities set up that there's not such thing as total disclosure.

I'm for public funding of campaigns, free tv time for candidates, and strict spending limits.

Posted by: eRobin | January 17, 2006 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Shouldn't our candidates be focusing in on the issues?? The issues are what shapes us, not the fundraising numbers. I saw Doug Duncan yesterday at the Martin Luther King Jr Rally in Baltimore and I know that his issues are the ones that I care about... Education is a priority of mine, and Duncan has made that his top issue! Marylanders don't really care about the money do they? I hope they care about what the candidate represents!

Posted by: Veronica | January 17, 2006 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Any word on Duncan's fundraising yet? I've read in multiple places that he is supposed to divulge his fundraising today, but I have not seen anything yet.

Posted by: Dave W | January 17, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

We're told we'll get Duncan's numbers later today. Stay tuned.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | January 17, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Duncan's numbers are trickling out... Sounds like he didn't raise much. What was he doing all year? He sure wasn't working for his constituencies in Clarksburg.

Posted by: David | January 17, 2006 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Duncan's figure is $1.36 million on hand, far less than O'Malley or Ehrlich. We'll have an item up shortly.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | January 17, 2006 9:50 PM | Report abuse

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