"BGE is trying to buy this election," Mosby, a City Councilman, wrote in an email to supporters. "And it looks like they’ve already bought Catherine Pugh."
BGE is locked in a bitter dispute with city government over the cost of using the municipal conduit system. At the same time, the company is investing heavily in the campaign of state Pugh, who is running for mayor, The Sun reported over the weekend.
Campaign finance filings show that more than 30 employees of BGE and parent company Exelon have donated to Pugh’s campaign — including $4,000 in contributions from BGE’s political action committee — for total of $17,500. CEO Calvin G. Butler Jr. gave her $1,000.
The company last year tried to buy the city’s potentially-lucrative conduit system for $100 million, a figure city officials called too low. In September, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s administration chose to triple the rate the firms pay to use the system, costing BGE millions. The company has sued to try to block the rate hike.
In his email, Mosby, a former BGE project manager, called on Pugh to return BGE's donations.
"As Baltimore residents struggle to pay their energy bills, Catherine Pugh is taking thousands of dollars from BGE executives (and its Super PAC) that want to buy Baltimore’s City’s underground conduit system," he wrote. "It’s no secret that BGE wants to low-ball Baltimore City to take control of one Baltimore’s most valuable assets. ... Join me and demand that Catherine Pugh return BGE’s special interest money. "
Pugh has said she wouldn’t be influenced by BGE’s donations. She said she believed company officials donated because they think she is strong on energy policy.
“I’m a very smart person on energy issues,” she said. “They’re aware of my knowledge, and I know them.”
Rawlings-Blake is not seeking re-election.