Happy New Year! Lawmakers Want You to Hand Over Your Wallet

Harry Browne's, across the street from the State House, will be the site of many fundraisers in early January.

The run-up to the General Assembly session, which begins this year on Jan. 9, features the annual mad scramble for campaign cash.

State politicians are banned from raising money during the three-month legislative session, so they rush to vacuum up as many contributions as they can in the week or so beforehand – the better to collect tribute from special interests that may need their support in the session to come. It isn’t pretty.

By our count, there are at least 50 fundraisers scheduled involving members of the legislature between Jan. 2 and Jan. 8, just hours before the fundraising ban takes effect (and, symbolically, Elvis’ birthday).

If you stood in the triangle between Harry Browne’s on State Circle, across the street from the State House; the Calvert House, next door; Red Red Wine Bar on Main Street; and DRY 85, a couple of doors down, you’d catch the parade of lawmakers and lobbyists heading to the bulk of these fundraisers – though a few legislators have decided to shake the tin cup outside of Annapolis.

Just about everybody is getting in on the act. Speaker of the House Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) has a fundraiser scheduled. So do the two top Republicans in the House. So do four of the six House committee chairmen. So do the top two Republicans in the Senate. So does new Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Chairman Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George’s).

The chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus has a fundraiser on the docket. So does the chairwoman of the Women’s Caucus.

Some lawmakers have sponsored fundraisers strategically. For example, all four legislators from Montgomery County’s District 14 have back-to-back fundraisers scheduled in Annapolis on the same evening.

What follows is a list of all the fundraisers that have hit our radar screen. If we’ve missed any, please let us know!

Wednesday, Jan. 2

** Del. Ben Brooks (D-Baltimore County)

Special Guest: House Economic Matters Chairman Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s)

7:30-9 a.m. Harry Browne’s Restaurant, Annapolis

Tickets start at $100

Thursday, Jan. 3

** House Economic Matters Chairman Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s)

7:30-9 a.m., Governor Calvert House, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** Del. Michael Jackson (D-Prince George’s)

7:30-9 a.m., The Sweetgrass Restaurant, Clinton

Tickets: N/A

 

** Senate Majority Leader Guy Guzzone (D-Howard)

7:30-9 a.m. Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** Del. Sid Saab (R-Anne Arundel) and Del.-elect Brian Chisholm (R-Anne Arundel)

7:30-9 a.m., IHOP, Gambrills

Tickets start at $75

 

** Sen.-Elect Antonio Hayes (D-Baltimore City)

8-9 a.m., Melody, Baltimore

Tickets start at $100

 

** Del. Kirill Reznik (D-Montgomery)

8-9 a.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $150

 

** Sen. William C. Smith Jr. (D-Montgomery)

9-10:15 a.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $125

 

** Sen.-elect Melony G. Griffith (D-Prince George’s)

5-6:15 p.m., DRY 85, Annapolis

Tickets start at $125

 

** Sen. Craig Zucker (D-Montgomery)

5:15-6:30 p.m., Red Red Wine Bar, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** Del.-elect Alice Cain (D-Anne Arundel)

5-7 p.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $125

 

** Del.-elect Julian Ivey (D-Prince George’s)

6-7:30 p.m., private home in Cheverly

Tickets start at $150

 

** House Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County)

Special Guest: House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel)

6-8 p.m., Overhills Mansion, Catonsville

Tickets start at $50

 

** Del. Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George’s), chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus

6-9 p.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** Del. Pamela Queen (D-Montgomery)

6:30-7:45 p.m., DRY 85, Annapolis

Tickets start at $75

 

** House Ways and Means Chairwoman Anne Kaiser (D-Montgomery)

6:45-8 p.m., Red Red Wine Bar, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

**  Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Montgomery)

8-9:15 p.m., DRY 85, Annapolis

Tickets start at $125

 

** Del. Eric Bromwell (D-Baltimore County)

8:15-9:30 p.m., Red Red Wine Bar, Annapolis

Tickets start at $125

 

Friday, Jan. 4

** Sen. Bob Cassilly (R-Harford)

7:30-9 a.m., Main Street Tower Restaurant, Bel Air

Tickets start at $100

 

** Del. Pat Young (D-Baltimore County)

8:30-9:30 a.m., Monaghan’s Pub, Baltimore

Tickets start at $200

 

** Del. Jazz Lewis (D-Prince George’s)

8:30-10 a.m. Overdue Recognition Art Gallery, Bowie

Tickets start at $100

 

** Del. Alonzo T. Washington (D-Prince George’s)

5:30-7 p.m., Burton’s Grill & Bar, Riverdale Park

Tickets start at $100

 

** Del. Erek Barron (D-Prince George’s)

Special guest: Retired U.S. District Court Judge Alexander Williams

6-8 p.m., Potter, Burnett Law, LLC, Bowie

Tickets start at $100

 

Saturday, Jan. 5

** Del. Bob Long (R-Baltimore County)

9-11 a.m., Boulevard Diner, Dundalk

Tickets start at $25

 

** Del. Alfred Carr (D-Montgomery)

9:30-11 a.m. Los Chossos Restaurant, Wheaton

Tickets start at $100

 

** Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings (R-Baltimore County)

7-9 p.m., Maryland Golf & Country Clubs, Bel Air

Tickets start at $100

Monday, Jan. 7

** House Economic Matters Committee Republicans: Del. Chris Adams (Middle Shore), Del. Steve Arentz (Upper Shore), Del. Mark Fisher (Calvert), Del. Seth Howard (Anne Arundel), Del. Rick Impallaria (Baltimore County), Johnny Mautz (Lower Shore), Del. Warren Miller (Howard)

Guest Speaker: House Economic Matters Chairman Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s)

7-9 a.m., Calvert House, Annapolis

Tickets start at $100

 

** Del. C.T. Wilson (D-Charles)

7:30-9 a.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $125

 

**      House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel)

8-9:30 a.m., Crowne Plaza, Annapolis

Tickets start at $500

 

** Sen. Justin Ready (R-Carroll) and Sen. Michael Hough (R-Frederick)

8-9:30 a.m., Calvert House, Annapolis

Tickets start at $400

 

** Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Prince George’s)

9-10:30 a.m., Maryland Inn, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes (D-Middle Shore), chairwoman, Women’s Caucus

5-6:15 p.m., DRY 85, Annapolis

Tickets start at $75

 

** Del. Susan Krebs (R-Baltimore County)

5-6 p.m., Blackwall Hitch, Annapolis

Tickets start at $100

 

** Del.-elect Nino Mangione (R-Baltimore County)

5-6 p.m., Blackwall Hitch, Annapolis

Tickets start at $100

 

** Sen. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery)

5-6:30 p.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** Del. Vanessa Atterbeary (D-Howard)

5:15-6:30 p.m., Red Red Wine Bar, Annapolis

Tickets start at $125

 

** House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch (D-Baltimore City)

5:30-7 p.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** Sen.-elect Cory V. McCray (D-Baltimore City)

5:30-7 p.m., National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore

Tickets start at $45

 

**      Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Chairman Paul G. Pinksy (D-Prince George’s)

6-7:30 p.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** House Minority Leader Nic Kipke (R-Anne Arundel) and House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga (R-Baltimore County)

Special Guest: Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R)

6-8 p.m., Blackwall Hitch, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** Sen.-elect Sarah Elfreth (D-Anne Arundel)

6-8 p.m., Market House, Annapolis

Tickets start at $150

 

** Sen.-elect Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City)

6-8:30 p.m., Gertrude’s at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore

Tickets start at $250

 

** Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D)

6-8 p.m., Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant, Baltimore

Tickets start at $250

 

** Del. Susie Proctor (D-Prince George’s)

6:30-7:45 p.m., DRY 85, Annapolis

Tickets start at $75

 

**      Del. Jay Walker (D-Prince George’s)

6:30-8:30 p.m., Location: TBA

Tickets start at $100

 

** House Health & Government Operations Chairwoman Shane Pendergrass (D-Howard)

6:45-8 p.m., Red Red Wine Bar, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** Del. Benjamin Barnes (D-Prince George’s)

8-9:15 p.m., DRY 85, Annapolis

Tickets start at $125

 

** Del. Kris Valderrama (D-Prince George’s)

8:15-9:30 p.m., Red Red Wine Bar, Annapolis

Tickets start at $125

Tuesday, Jan. 8

** House Environment & Transportation Chairman Kumar P. Barve (D-Montgomery)

8 a.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** Sen.-elect Katie Fry Hester (D-Howard)

8-9 a.m., Maryland State Education Association, Annapolis

Tickets start at $100

 

** Senate Finance Committee Republicans: Minority Leader J.B. Jennings (Baltimore County); Minority Whip Steve Hershey (Upper Shore); Senator Edward Reilly (Anne Arundel)

8:30-9:30 a.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Republicans: Sen. George Edwards (Garrett); Sen. Addie Eckardt (Middle Shore); Sen. Andrew Serafini (Washington); Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (Baltimore County)

8:30–9:30 a.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Republicans: Sen.-elect Mary Beth Carozza (Lower Shore); Sen. Bryan Simonaire (Anne Arundel); Sen.-elect Jack Bailey (St. Mary’s); Sen.-elect Jason Gallion (Harford)

8:30-9:30 a.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $250

 

** House Judiciary Republicans: Del.-elect Lauren Arikan (Baltimore County); Del.-elect Daniel Cox (Frederick); Del. Robin Grammer (Baltimore County); Del.-elect Wayne Hartmann (Lower Shore); Del. Michael Malone (Anne Arundel); Del. Susan McComas (Carroll); Del.-elect Jesse Pippy (Frederick)

Special guests: House Minority Leader Nic Kipke (R-Anne Arundel), House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga (R-Baltimore County), Sen. Michael Hough (R-Frederick)

8:30-10 a.m., Harry Browne’s, Annapolis

Tickets start at $100

 

** Sen.-Elect Christopher R. West (R-Baltimore County)

8:30-10 a.m., AIA Maryland, Annapolis

Tickets start at $150

 

** Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D)

6:30-8:30 p.m., Pacci’s Neapolitan Pizzeria, Silver Spring

Tickets start at $250

 

** Women Legislators of Maryland Foundation, Inc.

6:30-8:30 p.m., Calvert House, Annapolis

Tickets start at $100

 

[email protected]

 

Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.

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