A partnership controlled by heavyweight developer David S. Cordish contributed $4,000 to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s reelection committee a month before he first approached the city to try to reduce the rent on his Power Plant complex in the Inner Harbor.
This campaign check – plus an earlier donation by his wife, Susan Cordish – brings to $21,000 the contributions identified so far as coming from Cordish-controlled companies to the mayor, who has final say on whether to grant the company $3 million in rent relief.
The Brew revealed Tuesday that Cordish gave $16,000 to the mayor’s campaign committee through a cluster of corporate entities not readily identified with the developer.
Cordish is building a large slots casino at Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover and is expected to bid on the city’s planned casino south of M&T Bank Stadium.
Lower-level staff at the Baltimore Development Corp. (BDC) first reviewed Cordish’s rent-abatement proposal in February, according to agency minutes.
By early May, when Cordish made the bulk of his political contributions, the BDC board had heard his pitch for rent relief and the idea was under discussion by BDC president M.J. “Jay” Brodie and deputy mayor Kaliope Parthemos.
Public disclosure of the rent-reduction plan was first reported by this website in June, when the proposal was sent to Rawlings-Blake.
Today, the mayor said she still has not reviewed the Cordish proposal. She defended the contributions – criticized by two of her opponents – as fully within Maryland election laws.
From The Doubles to RC Ventures to Reed Cordish
The Brew’s review of state election records shows that The Doubles LP donated $4,000 to the Rawlings-Blake campaign on January 11, 2011.
The group lists RC Ventures, Inc., as the resident agent, which in turn lists as its agent Reed Cordish, son of David Cordish and vice president of the Cordish Co. The partnership’s address is Cordish’s Power Plant headquarters.
On April 2, 2010, Susan Cordish donated $1,000 to the mayor’s political campaign committee. The money came in her own name, with the couple’s 28-acre Greenspring Valley estate given as the address.
Maryland election law does not require businesses contributing to candidates to register their owners’ names. That makes it difficult to trace what individuals bankroll a campaign – and how much they bestow.