November 29, 2022

With Black Friday approaching, a nonprofit group that spotlights the undue influence of money in politics has issued a scorecard that catalogues the campaign contributions that U.S. Fortune 100 companies have made to political candidates who denied the outcome of the 2020 White House election.
The advocacy group, Accountable.US, reports that retailers ranked among the worst offenders when it comes to supporting election deniers and anti-democracy lawmakers with big donations. In a prior study, Accountable.US listed members of Congress that it referred to as “The Sedition Caucus.” U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, the lone Republican in Maryland’s congressional delegation, was part of that group.
In compiling the American Democracy Scorecard, Accountable.US used 14 criteria, including looking at whether corporations made pro-democracy statements or were affiliated with pro-democracy organizations, and others that involve looking at their contributions to elected officials and candidates who are undermining democracy and voting rights.
Overall, the average score was a failing grade of 57 out of 100 — with 80% of the corporations in the report having donated to federal lawmakers who opposed federal voting rights legislation. Only 13 of the 100 companies had grades of A or B.
Keeping with the holiday theme, Accountable.US said the scorecard will help consumers know which companies have been naughty and which have been nice.
“The good news is, we get to vote with our wallets this holiday season — with better access to information on which retailers think it’s better to be in the good graces of extreme politicians than have a healthy democracy,” the group wrote.
Wes Moore’s financial head start on 2026
One week after Election Day, Gov.-elect Wes Moore had almost $2.7 million in his campaign war chest and affiliated accounts.
New campaign finance reports for state and local candidates were due to be filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections on Tuesday night, covering financial activities between Oct. 24 and Nov. 15.
Moore, who defeated Del. Dan Cox (R-Frederick) by 32 points, reported raising $504,716 in that three-week period — most of it before Election Day. Moore’s running mate, former Del. Aruna Miller (D-Montgomery), raised $131,652 during that period, while a joint fundraising committee did not take in any contributions but was used as a pass-through for money that the two candidates collected.
As of Nov. 15, Moore had $2,493,085 left in his war chest; Miller reported $184,789 on hand, while the joint committee was left with $3,745.
Overall, the Moore-Miller campaign raised more than $16 million over the course of the election cycle.
Attorney General-elect Anthony Brown (D) reported banking $283,706 after raising $161,204 between Oct. 24 and Nov. 15, while Comptroller-elect Brooke Lierman (D) had $188,032 on hand after raising $164,807 during that three-week period.
Dinner honoring Sen. Kelley to benefit new Planned Parenthood fund
Next Wednesday evening — the same night Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is having a big fundraiser for his political action committee at the Maryland Live! Casino and Hotel in Hanover — Planned Parenthood of Maryland is holding a dinner to honor the career of state Sen. Delores Kelley (D-Baltimore County), the chair of the Finance Committee who is retiring after 28 years in the Senate and 36 years in the General Assembly overall.
The dinner will be held at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in downtown Baltimore, and proceeds will benefit the new Delores G. Kelley Health Equity Fund that Planned Parenthood is establishing to support underserved communities, with a focus on Black women’s health.
Kelley was the chief Senate sponsor of legislation this year that expanded the list of health care providers who can provide abortion services in the state.
The co-hosts of the Nov. 30 event are Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) and Jan Carter, president of the Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Founding Editor Josh Kurtz is a veteran chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He was an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, for eight years, and for eight years was the editor of E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill. For 6 1/2 years Kurtz wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz regularly gives speeches and appears on TV and radio shows to discuss Maryland politics.
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