Marks now seems more comfortable with what he once called "a Tammany Hall-style political machine." Enough so that Gildea is helping raise up to $4,000 per person for the Perry Hall Republican at a November event in Carney.
Not that Marks is willing to talk about it.
Gildea and Michael Paul Smith, son of former County Executive Jim Smith, were involved in raising tens of thousands of dollars for Democrats Cathy Bevins, Gordon Harden and Tom Quirk. The pair raised the money through house parties where attendees were charged $1,000 per person—at the time an unprecedented amount for a council race, much less for candidates who had never run for office before.
At the time, Marks and other community leaders said they worried that Gildea and Smith were attempting to elect councilmembers who might be friendly to their client's development proposals. Land use and zoning are primarily controlled by individual councilmembers.
In a 2009 story I wrote for the Baltimore Sun, Marks was highly critical of the involvement of the attorneys—specifically Gildea.
"The image of a Tammany Hall-style political machine, selecting candidates to run in open council districts is troubling," said Marks, who was president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association at the time.
Gildea is now part of a host committee that sent out invitations to a fundraiser for Marks that will be held in November at the Bowman Restaurant.
The Towson development attorney in May was responsible for authoring "significant portions" of a bill (Marks' words) that benefited clients of Gildea and his law firm. Marks was the lead sponsor of the bill.
I emailed Marks the 2009 statement and asked him to reconcile the 2009 statement with the upcoming fundraiser.
Here is his response in full:
"The people who selected me were the voters of the 5th District from all political persuasions," Marks replied. "I ran with community support and have proven to be an independent member of this County Council, limiting development on more than 400 acres of land and authoring numerous bills that make government more open to the public."
Marks declined Monday to answer questions about whether or not the event in any way conflicted with his statement made months before he announced his candidacy for the County Council.
A day later, Marks avoided the press and at one point left a council work session through a public entrance in order to access a backdoor into the council office suite, rather than use an exit that leads directly to the offices because it meant walking past a reporter.
Marks, through an aide, declined requests to be interviewed Tuesday.