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Former MoCo Planner Raises Money For Wynn

Former planning board chairman Derick Berlage has gone into the political fundraising business. Berlage, who joined Venable's land use section, recently joined forces with the law firm's lobbyist Jake Seher to hold a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Al Wynn (D-Md.) whose district includes parts of eastern Montgomery.

As Washington fundraisers go, admission to the breakfast was relatively modest. For $1,000 you could be a "friend" of Wynn," and for $500 a "supporter" and sip coffee and dine on breakfast goodies in Venable's office on 7th Street NW in the District.

Berlage, trying to drum up support for Wynn, sent an e-mail to a long list of county residents, including, it turns out, some Donna Edwards' supporters, urging them to attend the breakfast. Wynn narrowly fended off Edwards in last year's primary.

Dan Parr, who ran unsuccessfully for the school board and formerly was on the staff of council member Tom Perez (D), responded to the e-mail by criticizing Wynn. "We would be better off with a representative who protected us and not his high priced contributors---like the banking industry and the pharmaceutical industry and the credit card industry and the predatory lenders who have ruined so many lives in Montgomery and Prince George 's Counties," Parr wrote.

This prompted a reply from former council member Mike Subin, who now heads the county's criminal justice coordinating committee. "Can't you get a grip on reality and understand that not everybody thinks exactly the same. Cong. Wynn is capable of thinking, not just reacting," Subin wrote.

Stephanie Mellinger, an aide to Wynn's campaign, did not return phone calls or an e-mail asking for the amount the breakfast raised.

Meanwhile, Wynn is making his presence known in Montgomery, where his district, though primarily in Prince George's, includes about 30,000 residents. Wynn is holding a community meeting for his Montgomery County constituents next Thursday. The schedule calls for a one-hour session beginning at 7 p.m. at the Silver Spring fire station, 8110 Georgia Ave. On the agenda: everything from the Purple Line to Iraq war. He's also holding a job fair in Silver Spring on Nov. 1.

-- Miranda S. Spivack and Ann E. Marimow

By Anne Bartlett  |  October 16, 2007; 2:52 PM ET
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