Donors who supplied Baker campaign with $206,000 unknown, so far
After former Del. Rushern L. Baker's III's campaign for Prince George's County Executive announced a strong financial statement last week with more than $300,000 cash on hand, campaign finance records show that about two-thirds of that sum came from donors who are not yet public.
According to state records, $206,000 of Baker's money came from a slate called "County 1 Now" that was established on Jan. 5. The three-member slate -- which includes Del. Barbara A. Frush (D-Prince George's), Del. Tawanna P. Gaines (D-Prince George's) and Baker himself -- transferred the money in three payments into Baker's campaign coffers on Jan. 13, about a week after forming.
In response to a request by the Washington Post, Baker campaign spokesman James Adams said he is working on releasing the slate's donor list but that he could not immediately get the information Monday because both Baker and the campaign treasurer are on vacation.
"There's no secret," Adams said of the slate's funding sources. "There are going to be no secrets about anything in our campaign."
Del. Gerron S. Levi (D-Prince George's), who also is running for Prince George's executive, said she is concerned about not knowing where the money came from and how it was raised so quickly.
"I think the purpose of campaign finance reporting is to be transparent about who is donating to campaigns, and who has an interest in influencing the outcome of campaigns, and here we have a large lump sum transfer and we don't know where it came from -- how the money was raised -- in a very short period of time," Levi said. "I think we all have to try to be as open as possible about it -- all of us, as candidates."
Frush said Monday she did not know where the slate's money came from. Gaines did not return a call for comment.
Baker, who has run twice before for county executive, came into his latest campaign with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. His latest finance report showed an outstanding loan balance of $172,900, which Adams says is from a previous loan Baker made to his own campaign.
After Baker's last bid for county executive, it was revealed that much of the impressive $1.2 million he had raised came from loans, including money Baker made to himself. More than $300,000 came from a single entity, Southern Management Corp., a Fairfax County-based company that operates thousands of apartment units in Prince George's County.
January 26, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , Jonathan Mummolo , Prince George's County
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