Garagiola Says Felon’s Fundraiser Invite Was Not Approved

Posted December 7, 2011 at 4:28pm

The campaign of Maryland Democrat Rob Garagiola says a convicted felon did not have its permission to advertise a fundraiser.

On Tuesday evening, Maryland state lobbyist and convicted felon Gerard Evans sent an email to prominent Marylanders with an invitation attached to “an evening reception featuring a selection of fine Maryland wines” on Dec. 21 in Annapolis. The invitation included a “suggested contribution” of $1,000.

Evans backtracked this morning and canceled the event, citing “extenuating circumstances, conflicting schedules … and general holiday craziness.”

Garagiola campaign manager Sean Rankin told Roll Call they had not approved the invitation.

“He asked for a date to hold an event, and the campaign started the vetting process,” he said. “While we were vetting him, he sent an invitation without our permission or approval.

“We require that invitations go through our process, and we were surprised when it went out,” Rankin added. “As soon as we learned of the invitation being sent without our approval, we canceled the event.”

The initial email invitation was sent to at least 400 email addresses. Several prominent Republicans were on the list, including state Sen. David Brinkley, who is running for the same 6th district seat as Garagiola.

Another recipient was former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan (D), who recently told the Washington Post that he was inclined to support businessman John Delany for the Democratic nod.

Evans was convicted in 2000 for federal mail and wire fraud. His trial and conviction set off a round of hand wringing about ethics between state Legislators and lobbyists. According to published reports, a federal court allowed Evans to return to lobbying in 2004.

Roll Call rates the race Leans Democratic.