Foreign Money and Possible Campaign Finance Violations in District 9A Race
We’ve had quite a bit of fun with Judd Legum (D-Soros) and his out of state campaign contributions. However, another Democratic candidate for the House of Delegates is taking out of state campaign cash to a whole new level.
Maryann Maher, a Democrat running in District 9A in Howard County has raked in nearly $40,000 in campaign contributions. A tidy sum for a delegate race to be sure. A quick look at Maher’s 2010 campaign finance report shows that she received $39,176 from 108 donors.
The bulk of that sum $30,650, (78% of her total take) came from eight donors. Not one of those donors is from the state of Maryland let alone the district she seeks to represent. Of those eight donors, two live in the Dominican Republic, one lives in Canada, and two live in Puerto Rico. The other three live in South Florida. Five donors, including the two Florida donors wired $18,650 of their contributions through the same foreign bank, Banco Polular Dominicano.
Now, to be fair to Maher there is nothing illegal in any of this as Maryland law allows foreign donors. Given that Maher was born in Puerto Rico and spent significant time in the Dominican Republic, she’s probably following the old “family, friends, and fools” method of raising funds.
However, Maryland law states “A person can contribute no more than $4,000 to one campaign finance entity, and a total of $10,000 to all campaign finance entities, during the four-year cycle.”
Looking at Maher’s 2010 report it appears possible that her committee accepted $750 in contributions over the $4,000 legal limit. The spreadsheet below shows a $3,500 contribution to Maher from a Leo Perez Freixas of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on December 23, 2009, wired through Banco Popular Domincano. It also shows five separate $250 contributions totaling $1,250 between June and October 2009, from a Leo Perez with the listed address 8260 NW 14th St., Doral FL.
8260 NW 14th St. is the address of the Miami office of the foreign company Express Parcel Service International, which just happens to be headquartered in–Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. EPS specializes in international parcel shipping and correspondence from the Dominican Republic. Many EPS customers use the 8260 NW 14th St as their mailing address.
EPS does not list it’s corporate officers, management team, or employees on it’s website. I called the Miami office and the woman on the other end of the line could not confirm or deny if a Leo Perez Freixas or Leo Perez was affiliated with EPS. She did say Leo Perez was most likely a customer, meaning he was using EPS as a drop address or PO Box.
A Google search of Leo Perez Freixas returns his public Facebook page, which just happens to show he is a fan of…EPS, and a friend of Maryann Maher.
Leo Perez Freixas _ Facebook
Does this prove conclusively that Leo Perez and Leo Perez Friexas are one and the same, and made illegal contributions to Maher’s campaign? No,
However, the coincidence of a man with a similar name as $3,500 foreign donor,using the domestic shipping address of foreign shipping company said foriegn donor is a “fan” of to make five separate contributions is to say the least, highly suspicious.