Clinton provides political heft for O'Malley fundraiser; Bill Clinton, that is
Former President Bill Clinton plans to appear at a fundraising reception this week for Gov. Martin O’Malley, providing significant star power to a race that hasn’t even geared up yet. Maryland’s incumbent governor hasn't yet drawn any high-profile opponents in the 2010 election — but he appears to be pulling out all the stops in amassing a campaign war chest.
Donors are invited to join Clinton and O’Malley at the home of investment banker James Passin and his wife, Sydney, in New York City on Wednesday. In an online RSVP form, contributors can indicate they plan to give $4,000, the maximum an individual can donate to a single campaign under law, or enter another amount.
O’Malley has long fostered ties with the Clintons. Most recently, he backed Hillary Clinton in her failed presidential bid last year even when many fellow Democrats hopped on the Obama bandwagon. But the relationship extends back more than a decade. O’Malley accompanied Bill Clinton to Ireland for peace talks in the late 1990s, and Bill Clinton appeared in an O'Malley campaign commercial and visited Prince George’s County on his behalf before the 2006 gubernatorial election.
Thomas Russell, O'Malley's campaign manager, said Clinton and O’Malley talk periodically and the former president offered to “pull something together in New York.” Russell added: “We were happy to take him up on it.”
Public campaign finance reports aren’t due until January, and Russell isn’t revealing how much the governor has raised so far. But the governor has been fairly active on the fundraising circuit, considering his biggest nemesis, former Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, hasn’t decided whether he would seek a re-match. O’Malley had another fundraiser at a private home in Potomac less than two weeks ago.