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Lobbying Firm Hosting Virtual Fundraiser for Ferguson and Jones, With Guest Stars

For the past few years, the lobbying firm Cornerstone Government Affairs has thrown a fundraiser for the presiding officers of the Maryland General Assembly just days before the start of the annual legislative session — usually at the firm’s swanky offices overlooking the Potomac River in Washington, D.C.

That tradition is continuing next week — virtually.

The invitation to Monday’s fundraiser.

Cornerstone, a national lobbying firm with offices in 10 state capitals, including Annapolis, is helping House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) and Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) raise money at a virtual fundraiser on Monday afternoon, just two days before the start of session.

As is customary with these pre-session Cornerstone events, all nine Democrats in Maryland’s congressional delegation are scheduled to speak, according to an invitation obtained by Maryland Matters.

The event is sponsored by three Cornerstone executives — former Del. John K. Bohanan (D), Heather Molino and Mike Smith — along with Brian K. Norris, the head of a St. Mary’s County development company who is president of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance, and Michael Whitson, a St. Mary’s County businessman with close ties to U.S. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.).

Suggested ticket prices for the event start at $500; it costs $6,000 to be a full-blown host. Proceeds from the event will be shared between Jones’ and Ferguson’s campaign committees.

In Annapolis, Cornerstone Government Affairs’ clients include the American Petroleum Institute, AstroZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Capital One, CropLife America, Johnson & Johnson, Johns Hopkins, and the Maryland Hospital Association.

More than 40 lawmakers scheduled fundraisers between Jan. 1 and Jan. 13, when the three-month General Assembly session — and a corresponding ban on fundraising for state officeholders — begins.

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Lobbying Firm Hosting Virtual Fundraiser for Ferguson and Jones, With Guest Stars