Thursday, August 19, 2010

Where Did The Rule 11 Money Go?

Back in May, The Gazette newspaper and other media sources reported that the Republican National Committee waived a rule banning it from making contributions to GOP candidates running in contested primaries so it could infuse badly-needed cash into the campaign of just-announced gubernatorial candidate Bob Ehrlich.

Waiving so-called Rule No. 11, which bans contributions of money or in-kind aid to GOP candidates who are not unopposed or in races where the filing deadline has not yet passed, required the concurrence of Maryland’s RNC committeeman and committeewoman, Louis Pope and Joyce Tehres, and state GOP chair Audrey Scott. The move angered supporters of Brian Murphy, Ehrlich’s long-shot primary rival.

At the time, Chairman Scott explained that the RNC had made Maryland’s governor's race a, “priority race, and when that happens they're inclined to support that race financially.” Chairman Scott’s comments implied, as did the article itself, that the monies would be going directly to the Ehrlich campaign.

But today, as I looked at Ehrlich’s campaign finance report, I did not see any reference to the RNC money. Moreover, I did not see any reference to a sizable RNC lump-sum payment to the state GOP central committee, either.

Can anyone shed any light on this matter? Has the money been paid yet? If so, which account received it? And, how much money was involved? I heard from more than one party activist back in May that the amount totaled $1 million, but do not know that to be a fact. I am genuinely curious to see if it was used for Ehrlich campaign start-up costs, or if it is dedicated to other purposes such as the party's ambitious GOTV efforts.

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