"It shows the influence and access these lobbyists and therefore their clients have," she said. "It's not illegal, but what's the message that's being sent to the public about who really matters?"

Brown also has reserved seats for Prince George's County pastors and union leaders from the Washington area.

Pastors Harry L. Seawright of Union Bethel African Methodist Episcopal; Church in Brandywine, Jonathan L. Weaver Greater of Mount Nebo AME in Bowie, and Grainger Browning of Ebenezer AME in Fort Washington attended the Aug. 29, 2012, game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Union leaders are also well represented: R. Thomas Buffenbarger, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; Joslyn N. Williams, president of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO; and Vance Ayres, executive secretary of the Washington DC Building Trades Council, all attended games recently.

Brown's office invited William M. Pallozzi, a Maryland State Police supervisor, to the Aug. 19 game this year.

Pallozzi's subordinate, Lt. Charles Ardolini of the executive protection unit, was the author of a December 2011 memo to Pallozzi accusing Gansler of routinely telling his state police drivers to speed and run red lights. The comments were reported last month in The Washington Post. Gansler fired back, calling Ardolini a "henchman" of O'Malley and Brown.

The state police then issued a statement criticizing Gansler's comments. In the release, Pallozzi defended the agency as "completely unattached and unaffiliated with any political party, cause or candidate."

A Republican candidate for governor, Del. Ron George of Anne Arundel County, said he believes the state's boxes are being used to reward people who have supported the administration. "I would like to use it for things like a Boys' or Girls' club." George said.

Gansler, too, said he believed the box would be best used by inviting community groups.

"Doug Gansler believes these boxes also provide an opportunity to bring children and families who might not otherwise have an opportunity to attend a game," said Bob Wheelock, Gansler's campaign spokesman.

Though the Redskins' stadium is privately owned, the team has an agreement with the state providing the free skybox and parking to the governor's office. At the Ravens stadium in Baltimore — built with $200 million in public financing — the Maryland Stadium Authority provides suites to the governor and mayor under a lease agreement that also stipulates that concessions are to be sold to their guests at cost.

Johns Hopkins University political science professor Matthew Crenson said he sees the invitations to Brown's box as "pretty innocuous."

"In a way, I think this is a good arrangement," he said. "It means he can reward people without distorting public policy."

luke.broadwater@baltsun.com

twitter.com/lukebroadwater

michael.dresser@baltsun.com