Lobbying Firm Hosting D.C. Waterfront Fundraiser for New Speaker
For the past few years, around the start of the annual General Assembly session, the lobbying firm Cornerstone Government Affairs has held a fundraising reception for the legislature’s presiding officers on Capitol Hill – with several members of the state’s congressional delegation in attendance.
Cornerstone is a national lobbying shop, run by Marylander Geoff Gonella, with an office in Annapolis.
Because the House of Delegates is now under new management following the April 7 death of former speaker Michael E. Busch (D), Cornerstone is holding a mid-year fundraiser for his successor, new Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County). Once again, several members of the congressional delegation are scheduled to attend.
“This is a great opportunity to talk with members of Team Maryland’s federal and state leadership in Annapolis and Washington and to congratulate Speaker Jones on her historic victory,” the invitation says.
The cocktail-hour fundraiser will take place on June 25 at the lobbying firm’s Washington, D.C., office in the hot Wharf District. The host committee for the event, according to an invitation: Gonella; John Bohanan, the former state legislator from St. Mary’s County who is now a stalwart in Cornerstone’s Annapolis office; Timothy Maloney, the powerbroker attorney and former state lawmaker; Nicole Pollard, a top official with the government workers’ union AFSCME; Craig Thompson, an attorney at Venable LLC; and Michael Whitson, a St. Mary’s County businessman with close ties to U.S. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.).
Also listed on the invitation: U.S. Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) and Chris Van Hollen (D), Hoyer, and Reps. Elijah E. Cummings (D) and Anthony G. Brown (D). The invitation identifies the congressional lawmakers by the most powerful positions they held in state government: House speaker in Cardin’s case; state senator in Van Hollen’s; state Senate president for Hoyer; House speaker pro tem for Cummings; and lieutenant governor for Brown.
Ticket prices start at $500 and go to $6,000 for event sponsors.
Meanwhile, Jones is hosting her first fundraiser since becoming speaker this Thursday evening at Bar Vasquez, an Argentine restaurant between Fells Point and Harbor East in Baltimore. Ticket prices start at $500.