A Democratic operative alleges Republican gubernatorial hopeful Blaine Young paid him for campaign advice, opposition research, and other political activities in a relationship lasting from October 2012 through April 2013. The operative also alleges Young used his position on the Frederick County Board of Commissioners for private gain.
According to a report from Patrick Allen, a former Democratic operative in Virginia, he and Blaine Young began a political relationship where Young paid Allen “off the books,” for opposition research, communications, strategy and tactics, information regarding other Republican gubernatorial candidates, and “investigative findings regarding prospective candidates running for the 2014 Frederick Charter Government Executive position.”
Allen claims that Young suspended his gubernatorial campaign in late April, and is considering using his considerable war chest for a run for Frederick County Executive, or act as “king maker” for other candidates. Young has denied the allegations.
Allen stated his relationship with Young dates back to March 2012 and their work on Mid-Maryland Live on WFMD radio in Frederick.
Allen alleges that after Young approached him seeking his services they devised a plan to keep payments off the books so that Allen’s “involvement as a paid political adviser would remain hidden from public scrutiny.”
According to Allen, he and Young had “worked out a plan to channel payments from his [Young’s] political contribution/campaign account to a Frederick County commercial business owner, who would then pay me on a weekly basis.”
In the report Allen provides copies of emails detailing the reimbursement of receipts for expenses and a copy of a check stub one of the 14 consulting payments he received.
Allen believes that none of the front office secretaries or the company accountant were aware of the payment arrangements. “The secretaries would meet me at the door and hand me an envelope with my name on it, we would occasionally exchange small talk … then I would turn and walk away,” he said.
“During the only conversation I had with the company accountant, it seemed like she only knew that funds arrived from an unknown external source, to be assigned a specific Ledger ID, and those funds would be doled out to me on a weekly basis, Allen said.
“I would show up on Mondays for our private meeting … pick up my check from the commercial business location on Tuesdays…then, wander into WFMD once a week for our Fun Fact Fridays radio show.”
The two had also arranged to revisit Young’s political career decisions in September 2013 where Allen would continue to advise Young if he ran for governor, or pay him $5,000 in “walk away money,” if Young decided against running for Governor.
Allen alleges that, in addition to Republican gubernatorial candidates, Young was also interested in Frederick County Executive candidates, specifically, Democratic Board of County Commissioners President Jan Gardner. According to Allen, Young wanted information on “her previous relations, liaisons and/or separations—letting me know I could obtain normally inaccessible documents from the courthouse if I needed them.”
Although there is no proof, Allen alludes that Young was willing to use his position and influence to obtain documents pertaining to a potential political challenger not normally available to the public.
Also, Allen makes two other serious allegations. Allen states that in ad hoc conversations with him, Young described his work to privatize Frederick County services was a “ruse” to shield other plans from public view, and that Young may have had a $35 million “sweetheart deal” in place for the sale of the county owned Montevue Assisted Living Centers.
By April 2013 Allen believed Young was not going to run for Governor. Allen says that that Young’s personal comments citing his reluctance to challenge Dan Bongino in a primary indicated he was not running for governor.
In an emailed response Young denied Allen’s allegations. Young said Allen was paid from Engage LLC, which he states was his mailing firm and has done work for him in the past. “Blaine Young for Maryland pays these bills and reports them on the expenditure report,” Young said. “My mother is my treasurer and we always dot the I’s and cross the T’s – I DO NOT play with fire with it comes to election law.” Young also denied that he has suspended his campaign. “I have NOT suspended my gubernatorial quest – I have a 65,000 direct mail piece going out next week (some of his research is included in the piece) and a poll being done in July. A final decision will be made in August.” “Patrick was a contractor researcher that I dismissed and his ego could not take it,” Young said. “He is very disgruntled and seeking revenge. I have a Republican, democrat and Independent – researchers and consultants. I felt he brought no value to Blaine Young for Maryland anymore.“