By Adam Pagnucco.
On August 5, I reported that a combination of developers and county employee unions had accounted for most of the Nine Districts for MoCo group’s financial support. At that time, the leading contributors were:
Charles Nulsen, Washington Property Company: $50,000
UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO: $10,000 (in-kind)
Bob Buchanan, Buchanan Partners: $5,000
Fraternal Order of Police: $5,000 (in-kind)
Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters Association PAC: $5,000 (in-kind)
Gingery Development Group: $5,000
Arlene Hillerson (listed as being in real estate): $2,000
Nulsen, Buchanan, Gingery and Hillerson are all in the real estate industry. As of August 5, the four comprised 94% of Nine Districts’ cash receipts.
On August 13, I reported that a number of prominent county Republicans, including seven members of the county party’s central committee, had supported Nine Districts with cash or in-kind contributions. Republicans support a nine district council structure because they believe it might lead to a Republican council seat.
The county Republican Party is asking voters to vote for Question D, which would create nine council districts.
On August 24, Nine Districts amended its financial reports and new information about its contributors is now available. Of notable interest is that Gingery Development Group contributed another $25,000 on August 3 and Willco, a Potomac developer, directed a $15,000 contribution to the group’s campaign consultant, Rowland Strategies of Baltimore, on August 5. If Willco’s contribution, listed as in-kind but relieving the group’s obligation to Rowland, is counted as a cash contribution, that means that 96% of Nine Districts’ cash support has come from developers.
One more interesting fact emerges from the group’s amended financial report: a nine dollar contribution from Brad Botwin. The contribution is probably a response to the county Republican Party’s “$9D for 9D” solicitation for Nine Districts. Botwin is the county GOP’s contact for volunteer opportunities. But he is a lot more than that. Botwin is the director of Help Save Maryland, a group opposing illegal immigration. Help Save Maryland has been designated as a “nativist extremist group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, provoking a counter-attack describing the center as “a demagogic bully.” Help Save Maryland’s denunciation of an “illegal alien child rapist freed by MoCo County Executive Elrich” is standard fare for the group.
Botwin’s contact info on the MoCo GOP’s website. His phone number has been redacted.
The line between Botwin and Nine Districts is already drawn through the MoCo Republican Party, which supports Nine Districts and lists Botwin as its volunteer contact. If Botwin is more directly involved in Nine Districts than that, that would be big news in MoCo politics.