Vice President Biden traveled to Baltimore Wednesday evening for an “official” event that seemed to have another, more political, purpose: Donor maintenance.
Biden appeared last night at the “opening ceremonies” for a new building at a law school in Baltimore
“Vice President Joe Biden is helping Baltimore celebrate the new University of Baltimore law center,” trumpets the lede of a story on the website of a local Baltimore news outlet. That would seem odd, since vice presidents don’t normally travel to local law schools to “celebrate” a new building.
Strange, until you find out that the new John and Frances Angelos Law Center is named for the parents of Baltimore Orioles owner – and Democratic megadonor – Peter G. Angelos. Not only has Angelos earned a warm “thank you” from Democrats – and President Obama and Biden in particular – but he is someone whose help Biden most certainly will want if he hopes to become president in 2016.
In just the last few years, Angelos and his family have contributed millions of dollars to the Democratic Party, Democratic PACs, and a broad swath of Democratic candidates, including Obama and Biden. On the same day Obama ordered the flags at half staff on federal buildings in mourning for the victims of the Boston tragedy, Biden staged an event that seemed as much about political money as anything else.
According to the campaign finance watchdog opensecrets.org, the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos is the fifth biggest Biden contributor in the years since 1989, with individuals who work at the firm donating $164,100 to Biden through 2012. Peter Angelos’s son Louis works at the firm and is a Biden contributor.
Angelos family members cut thousands of dollars in checks to Biden in 2007 as he campaigned for the Democratic nomination for president. Biden would undoubtably want to make sure the family in his corner again in just two short years, when the presidential campaign starts to heat up.
In August 2012, Peter Angelos spread the love on heavily, contributing half a million to Priorities USA Action, the super PAC devoted to reelecting Obama and Biden, and $575,000 to Majority PAC, a super PAC supporting Democratic Senate candidates. During the summer and fall of 2012 he sent another $450,000 to the House Majority PAC, which was working to help Democrats try to recapture the House.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Biden during his appearance Wednesday evening “said he considers Baltimore ‘the best city in America,’ cracked jokes, then turned solemn as he spoke about the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday and the shootings in December in Newtown, Conn.” He also discussed the prospects for gun control legislation.