O’malley endorses Garagiola in House race
ANNAPOLIS | State Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Garagiola is in the fight of his political life as he seeks the state’s 6th District congressional seat, but he received an endorsement Thursday that he hopes will put him over the top in advance of Tuesday’s Democratic primary.
Gov. Martin O’malley threw his support behind Mr. Garagiola on Thursday, telling supporters that the 39-yearold senator is the best Democrat to challenge likely Republican nominee and incumbent Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett in November’s general election.
“He has already been an extremely effective state senator,” said Mr. O’malley, a Democrat. “He is a person that his colleagues trust and that they turn to for leadership time and time again.”
Mr. Garagiola was considered a virtual lock for the Democratic nomination last fall, when the General Assembly approved a new congressional map that critics argued was tailor-made for him to challenge the 85-year-old Mr. Bartlett, who has been in office since 1993.
for the Maryland State Board of Elections, said the board referred the case to prosecutors after BIZPAC failed to file reports as required by state election law.
“The state prosecutor is our enforcement agency, and once they get the case they have complete carte blanche over its entire disposition at that point,” he said.
James Cabezas, chief investigator for the state prosecutor’s office, while not commenting on Mr. Bazilio’s case specifically, said such cases typically are filed against the treasurer or person legally responsible for a campaign committee.
“If reports aren’t filed timely, the Maryland Board of Elections starts sending out notices saying you have to file,” he said. “If they still don’t meet the requirements, the case gets referred to us, and we try to get them to file. If they’re still unresponsive, then we file criminal charges.”
At that point, Mr. Cabezas said, most campaign officials file the reports and pay fines and the case is dropped, which is what appears to have happened in Mr. Bazilio’s case, according to court records.
But according to online records from an earlier case, it wasn’t the first time Mr. Bazilio found himself in legal trouble over campaign finance issues.
The State Prosecutor’s Office filed another failure-to-file campaign finance report case against Mr. Bazilio in 2005, and the outcome appears the same. Court records in that case list an address for Mr. Bazilio in Washington, while the more-recent case lists an address in Bowie.
It’s unclear whether the earlier case stemmed from Mr. Bazilio’s role as treasurer of BIZPAC, which despite the years of regulatory problems seems to have done little fundraising or donating to politicians. Both cases ended when prosecutors filed a “nolle prosequi” motion, which means they decided not to proceed.
Members of the media film Maryland Gov. Martin O’malley as he casts his ballot during early voting in the primary at his precinct at the Public Safety Training Facility in Baltimore on Thursday. Early voting for the Maryland primary began on Saturday and ended on Thursday.