Inaugural Invites in the Mail Soon
Formal invitations to Gov.-elect Martin O'Malley's inaugural celebration on Jan. 17 will be mailed out in the coming two weeks, according to an email sent to supporters of the Baltimore mayor this morning.
Aides say they expect close to 35,000 invitations will be sent for the event in Baltimore following O'Malley's swearing-in as Maryland's 61st governor.
"It's friends, it's supporters, it's really anybody who helped the campaign in any shape or form," said O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese, when asked who should expect an invite in the mail.
Admission will not be limited to those who are invited, however. Abbruzzese said that tickets to the event, which cost $75, will soon be available for purchase online.
To defray costs, O'Malley is turning to corporations and well-heeled residents to put up as much as $25,000 for inaugural festivities. It's a tried and true method that raised nearly $1 million for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s inaugural four years ago and more than $3 million for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine a year ago.
So who gives to these sorts of efforts?
Four years ago in Maryland, when Ehrlich set up a 5o1(c)(4), donors included some of the state's leading corporations and most prominent residents, several of whom later had business before the state.
They included Constellation Energy Group, the parent company of Baltimore Gas and Electric, whose planned 72.percent rate increase prompted O'Malley to bash Ehrlich for appointing the utility regulators who approved the increase.
Among the individual donors was construction executive Willard Hackerman, who later tried to buy state parkland in Southern Maryland at what lawmakers said was a bargain rate.
The O'Malley transition team is also recruiting volunteers to stuff envelopes over three days next week. "This will be a good opportunity to see friends from the campaign and be a part of this historic event," says an email from O'Malley campaign manager Josh White. "Food and beverages will be provided."
December 8, 2006; 11:29 AM ET
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