Past allegations against and statements by Maya Rockeymoore Cummings are dogging her as she enters the race for the House seat previously held by her late husband, Elijah Cummings. On Wednesday, she was accused of lying about the events that led her to enter the race.
Larry Gibson, a law professor at the University of Maryland Frances King Carey School of Law, is a longtime confidant to both the late Rep. Elijah Cummings and former Rep. Kweisi Mfume. He was with Mfume when he announced his entry into the race to succeed Cummings, who died last month.
Maya Rockeymoore Cummings told The Baltimore Sun this week that Mfume and Gibson asked her pastor to set up a meeting "less than 36 hours after my husband passed."
She said they scheduled a meeting and it didn't happen and that she texted Mfume and Mfume never responded.
Gibson categorically denied that timeline, telling C4 "that would've been ridiculously insensitive."
Gibson said Mfume contacted the Cummingses' pastor more than a week after the congressman's death, requesting a meeting to learn Maya Cummings' intentions.
"Elijah had not mentioned to me any prospect of her replacing him, and he and I talked about just about everything," Gibson said.
The meeting was set for Oct. 28 at Gibson's home. Three hours before it was to begin, Maya Cummings called to cancel, citing exhaustion, Gibson said.
"I'm hurt," Gibson said. "It's hurtful to be falsely accused of such insensitive conduct as she alleged."
Maya Cummings announced her campaign Monday, then held a campaign event at her home Tuesday. One of those present was Peter Flaherty, chairman and CEO of the right-leaning National Legal and Policy Center. He wasn't there to endorse her. Rather, he was there to ask her for her nonprofit's 2017 Form 990. Internal Revenue Service regulations state that an organization must provide copies of its three most recent such filings to anyone who requests them.
In May, Flaherty's organization filed a complaint that alleges that Maya Cummings' nonprofit and business interests were illegally intertwined and may have been linked to business before the committee Elijah Cummings chaired. She ran the Center for Global Policy Solutions while also running the for-profit consultancy Global Policy Solutions.
"And she falsely claimed to me that she provided the form to everyone who's asked," Flaherty told Bryan Nehman. "At that point, she brushed by me and didn't want to speak to me anymore."
Flaherty said there is no timetable on when or whether the IRS will act on his group's complaint. Maya Cummings has denied wrongdoing.
"Mrs. Cummings said that she's willing to stand before anyone and refute these claims but so far all she's done is call us names and she's not specifically addressed any of the charges we make in our complaint to the Internal Revenue Service," Flaherty said.
Also this week, Maya Cummings stood by statements made about Gov. Larry Hogan in her earlier capacity as chair of the state Democratic Party. She had called Hogan a "dog whistle white nationalist" in response to Hogan's remarks likening his own politics to those of Ronald Reagan.
Hogan said Wednesday that comments like hers are "not appropriate for a congressional candidate."
"I don't really feel like getting into it with her," Hogan said. "It's not really worth a response. I didn't say anything the first time she made those crazy, outrageous comments."