The Baltimore Sun today published a story outlining a handful of companies that have given big bucks to Gov. Martin O'Malley's Democratic Governors Association, and also have strong interests before the state.
As we point out in our story, there's nothing improper about the gifts, though government ethics types don't like the practice.
The donations haven't guaranteed success, in some cases companies opened their wallets but didn't get anything in return. (It reminds us of the famous quote by Jesse Unruh, the longtime speaker of the California House: “If you can't drink a lobbyist's whiskey, take his money, sleep with his women and still vote against him in the morning, you don't belong in politics.”)
One of the challenges of writing about DGA donations is the federal agency that releases the information, the Internal Revenue Service, turns it over in a very difficult to manipulate format.
Through some contortions we were able to put much of the data in an excel document, which is easier to work with. And, we've posted a list of all donors who gave more than $5,000 in the last six months.
Take a look, let us know if you see anything interesting that we missed.