By David Saleh Rauf
ANNAPOLIS (February 17, 2011) In roughly one month as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, Gov. Martin O'Malley helped it raise more than $670,000, according to an IRS filing.
In all, the DGA raised $670,916 between Nov. 23 and Dec. 31, the organization reported in its year-end financial disclosure filing. Only about $425 was donated before Dec. 1, the day O'Malley was elected chairman. He served as vice chairman the previous two years.
The DGA is the arm of the party that helps raise money to elect Democratic governors. O'Malley, who has shrugged off assertions that he'll run for higher office, will reach a national audience and attain a higher profile with his chairmanship.
The year-end report shows O'Malley and the DGA relied heavily on contributions from big corporations. Among them is a $100,000 contribution from pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which donated $400,089 to the DGA in 2010. O'Malley drew $100,000 contributions from BNSF Railway Co. and Duke Energy Corp. and a $50,000 check from San Francisco-based biotech firm Genentech.
Maryland-based companies kicked in a total of $55,000 during the roughly five-week reporting period, including $10,000 checks from Salisbury-based Perdue Farms and Annapolis-based lobbying firm Capitol Strategies.
There were only a few individual contributors to the DGA during the period. The biggest individual donor was former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, the founder of Austin-based lobbying firm Ben Barnes Group LP. Barnes gave $10,000 during the period for a total of $20,000 during the year.
Democrats hold governorships in 20 states across the country. Money pumped into the DGA will help fund upcoming gubernatorial elections in Louisiana, Kentucky, and Mississippi.
The Republican Governor's Association reported raising $1.5 million during the period, according to this filing.
O'Malley was scheduled to appear in Washington today to present the state's legislative wish list to the Maryland delegation, but the event was canceled because lawmakers are working to pass funding legislation.