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Rushern Baker's slate definitely has two other members

Jonathan Mummolo

Here's one for the super campaign finance wonks out there.

In case there was still any doubt, we just wanted to point out once again that a slate of candidates in Prince George's County called "County 1 Now" has three members--count them: one, two, three--and in the hopes of settling the matter once and for all, below are the documents to prove it.

The slate grabbed headlines due to
due to $206,000 it transferred to the campaign of Prince George's County Executive candidate Rushern L. Baker III, and the fact that the source of the money has not yet been publicly released. Meanwhile, a mini-dispute has broken out in the blogosphere over whether Baker was the slate's sole member, which would be against campaign finance rules.

He's not. Dels. Barbara A. Frush (D-Prince George's) and Tawanna P. Gaines (D-Prince George's) are also members. However, if you searched the online campaign finance database as of Thursday, Baker was the only County 1 Now member listed there--a glitch of sorts that prompted this recent exchange between Maryland Politics Watch blogger Adam Pagnucco and Baker campaign staffer David Byrd.

But the Web site is misleading, and the reason Baker's name is the only one displayed stems from an error in the way Frush's and Gaines' paperwork was filled out when they joined the account, according to Jared DeMarinis, director of the division of candidacy and campaign finance at the Maryland State Board of Elections.

The state's "slate designation/resignation form" contains two relevant sections--one where the candidate wishing to join the slate is to print their name and address, and one where that candidate is to sign their name after checking a box saying they wish to join the slate.

Baker's form--the first document displayed below--was filled out correctly. On Frush's and Gaines's first tries, Baker's name appeared in the candidate field, and their signatures appeared below it, which, DeMarinis said, left election officials uncertain whether they were intending to join the slate or not. So, their names didn't get entered in the campaign finance database, which is managed by the University of Maryland.

"We wanted to verify that the candidates joined," DeMarinis said.

Frush and Gaines have since submitted correct forms to the board, and DeMarinis said officials will consider them as having been members of the slate since Jan. 5, the date the first attempts were received. Both versions of the forms are displayed below, fresh off the copy machine at the board of elections in Annapolis.

The Post has previously reported that all three candidates were members of the slate, but did not fully explain the reason only Baker was listed online. We trust the painstaking detail you have just survived will put the matter to rest.

Baker Form

Frush Form 1

Frush Form 2

Gaines Form 1

Gaines Form 2

By Jonathan Mummolo  |  March 5, 2010; 7:40 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Jonathan Mummolo , Prince George's County  
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I asked DeMarinis for clarification on this. He did not respond to my request.

Adam Pagnucco

Posted by: acp1629 | March 5, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

So, Adam, to review:

1) You ran a six-part series of allegations of wrongdoing by Baker without once calling his campaign for comment?
2) You alleged that he formed an illegal slate without actually checking with the experts?

Have you learned anything from this experience?

Posted by: readerinterest | March 5, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

The blogger, Adam Pugnucco, owes Baker an apology for his ill informed, one sided, and dishonest hit job. He even trashed a campaign worker for his day job as part of the series, as if all candidates should be held responsible for where supporters work and make their living, as an extension of the candidate and campaign This all demonstrates a deliberate mendacity.

Who is behind this? My guess is that it is someone in the race.

Posted by: amaledemocrat | March 5, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Sensational stories always get the most press, but the truth is an also-ran... I'm sure the fact that Adam's series was based on half-truths won't get nearly as much attention as the fact that Rushern did nothing wrong.

Is Adam a pawn of Gerron Levi?

Posted by: | March 5, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

You know what i find interesting about the forms. Both of the slate members filled out the paperwork in December, yet it seems they waited until later to file with the Board of elections. It just makes me think they waited in order to deliberately avoid the need to file a finance report. They wanted to bask in the media limelight of having a big fundraising number but avoid the need to tell the public where the money came from. Did the others also get $206k? Hmmm...Keep up the excellent reporting Mr. Pagnucco!....

Posted by: mdfldr | March 6, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

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