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Maryland Politics
Posted at 10:29 AM ET, 01/27/2012

Martin O’Malley, Andrew Cuomo headline New York City event

NEW YORK – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are set to appear here Friday morning in a rare meeting of two of the Democratic Party’s most talked-about governors.

Unless you contribute to the Democratic Governors Association, however, you may not see the two together.


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Mike Groll - AP)

O’Malley, who chairs the DGA, and Cuomo are scheduled to be among eight Democratic governors attending a closed-door meeting on “public-private partnerships.”

The topic may sound a little dry alongside the latest in the raucous battle for the Republican presidential nomination.

But O’Malley and Cuomo this year are pushing for increased infrastructure spending to create jobs. They are eyeing such public-private arrangements, which can give states wider latitude to approve deals with private companies, to jumpstart construction spending.

According to two attendees, the cost to corporate sponsors to participate in the panel alongside the governors is $50,000. The invitation price was first reported by The New York Times.

Representatives of several New York companies are expected to attend, giving the DGA a rare chance to capitalize on fundraising for access to Cuomo, who rarely leaves the state.

The DGA has recently launched a super Pac, DGA Action, which has begun buying online ads against GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney. As of last week, it had spent just over $1,000.

The bulk of the organization’s resources are focused on electing or re-electing Democratic governors, which might be no easy task in November. Eleven states, including eight now controlled by Democrats, will hold elections for governor.

The task may not have gotten any easier for Democrats on Thursday. O’Malley’s vice chair at the DGA, North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, announced she would not seek re-election amid poor approval ratings.

The DGA cast the move as a chance for Democrats to rally behind a fresh face, but whomever becomes the nominee will now start behind former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory (R), who was expected to face off in a close rematch with Perdue.

For O’Malley, Friday’s appearance will cap a whirlwind two days in New York City.

On Thursday, he met with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to discuss jobs, same-sex marriage and several other topics. And Thursday night, he attended a reception with DGA donors atop Rockefeller Center.

Friday morning, he appeared on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, and taped another appearance on the news network for later in the day, where he was also expected to discuss legalizing same-sex marriage, which he is pushing for this year in the General Assembly.

O’Malley is scheduled to deliver his annual State of the State address next week in Annapolis.

By  |  10:29 AM ET, 01/27/2012

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