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Maryland: Steele steers state grants to non-profits and their board members give contributions to Steele

The Baltimore Sun reports: Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele has collected thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from board members of the not-for-profit organizations selected by his office to receive unrestricted state grants, a review of campaign finance records shows.

Officials with three of four African-American groups that in early 2004 received a combined $250,000 - the result of an insurance settlement received by the state - gave $13,711 to the lieutenant governor about the same time or in the months after, according to a state elections board database. ...

The grant money was awarded by the Maryland Insurance Administration, whose administrator, Alfred W. Redmer Jr., asked Steele to recommend African-American organizations to receive the proceeds of a settlement with the Monumental Life Insurance Co. The Maryland-based company had been accused of race-based pricing policies.

The proceeds were distributed to four groups without a competitive application process and were announced in letters stating that the money was given "on behalf of Lieutenant Governor Michael S. Steele." -- Donations scrutinized - baltimoresun.com

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