Kenyan McDuffie’s At-Large Bid Receives Funds from GOP Donor and Lobbyist David Carmen – Washington City Paper | Region & Cash


The bad news for the Ward 5 councillor Kenyan McDuffie is that he will have to start from scratch in raising funds for his new bid at large, considering he must return all the public funds he earned from his ill-fated Attorney General campaign. The good news is that he has at least one well-funded, well-connected friend to help him on this front.

lobbyist David Carmen has effectively passed the hat after McDuffie moved on to this independent bid, according to a July 15 email forwarded to Loose Lips. Under the ominous subject line “Urgent – Please read ASAP,” Carmen laments the “insane rules here in DC” that are forcing McDuffie to return the approximately $845,000 in public funds he paid for the AG’s bid under the… DC’s fair elections program. And Carmen urges his staff to give the maximum donation to the council member since he is no longer bound by the program’s contribution limits.

The email spends some time praising McDuffie’s virtues as a lawmaker, noting his time as chair of the Council’s Economic Development Committee amid the disruptions of the pandemic, as well as “his experience as a prosecutor in developing his tough stance on crimes that are… in contrast to his opponents”. But most importantly, the letter emphasizes the urgency of donors, who immediately queue up behind McDuffie: “No time for house parties!” Carmen writes. The plea for cash was so urgent that it came before McDuffie even officially set up his new campaign committee for his general bid — a spokesman for the Office of Campaign Finance says that didn’t happen until July 22.

“I TRY [sic] Go on the site and donate the $1000 max like I did and get your spouses and friends to do the same and do it THIS WEEKEND so we Kenyans can get the blocks strong” , wrote Carmen. “Whether you live or work in DC, this is the best $1000 you will ever invest. Help get the Council back on track by keeping our city safe, our schools thriving, and our businesses hiring and serving their customers with excellence.”

Carmen confirms to LL the accuracy of the email and says he regrets that he managed to misspell “beg” but otherwise stands by the content. He notes in an email that he met McDuffie as a co-parent to a Georgetown Day School student and that he has been an “excellent” council member who “administers important diversity priorities with respect for the needs of employers and DC’s competition in Has brought challenges with surrounding jurisdictions.”

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