A chill in the air for Franchot
You can bet on Comptroller Peter Franchot making a stink today after being allegedly frozen out of last night's Democratic Party fundraising gala. After working the tables at the Baltimore Hilton, Franchot made an early exit last night. His chief of staff, David Weaver, said the Montgomery County Democrat and "chief fiscal officer" was denied a speaking slot at the annual fundraiser because party leaders didn't want the outspoken slots opponent to muss up the "Maryland: United for Change" theme by bringing up gambling.
Later in the evening, state party chairman Michael Cryor gave a shout-out to elected officials from the podium -- but Franchot's name was met with cold silence from the several hundred donors and pols present. Tough crowd.
Dems spokesman David Paulson adroitly sidestepped questions about Franchot's apparent persona non grata status among his own party, but said the fundraiser was altogether a success. The event raised about $400,000, about a fifth less than it did last year, but that was considered a healthy haul considering most of the donor base has been tapped for cash time and again during the lengthy election campaign that ends next week.
-- Gadi Dechter