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Baker releases donors, voluntarily

Prince George's County Executive candidate Rushern L. Baker III (D) voluntarily released his list of campaign contributors this week -- though no state filing deadline is near -- showing that he has raised $153,168 since January 15.

Baker's slate, County 1 Now, also updated its donor list.

The voluntary disclosures are part of a pledge Baker made when kicking off his campaign, to bring transparency to his fundraising by releasing his donors early, and they come on the heels of sweeping ethics reforms he proposed Monday.

The disclosures are also an apparent attempt to blunt criticisms from rivals in the early days of Baker's campaign, when the candidate was dogged with questions about the unknown source of $206,000 that came from his slate.

Baker released the slate's donors in March, showing that the bulk of the account's balance came from a $200,000 loan from local apartment complex mogul David Hillman. According to the updated list, the slate has raised $229,060 since its inception.

The campaign's donor list also shows a $10,000 donation from Michael Federici on April 1. The legal limit for single donations to a candidate is $4,000, but Baker campaign spokesman James Adams said he believes the entry is "a typo" that will be corrected shortly. If the donation did come in over the limit, the campaign would be responsible for returning $6,000 to the donor, Maryland State Board of Elections auditor Ruth Maynard confirmed Wednesday.

At the time Baker announced his pledge to release his donors periodically throughout the campaign and challenged other candidates to do the same, rather than wait until the next state-mandated filing in August, county Sheriff Michael A. Jackson (D), who is also running for county executive, said in an interview with The Washington Post that he would also release his campaign's donors on the same schedule.

No word yet on whether Jackson has followed through on that. A call to his campaign spokeswoman Wednesday morning was not immediately returned.

By Jonathan Mummolo  |  May 19, 2010; 12:19 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Jonathan Mummolo , Prince George's County  
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