Taxpayers footed the bill for state's tent at Preakness. Who got to go?

The entrance to the Maryland state government hospitality tent at last month's Preakness Stakes in Baltimore.

Maryland taxpayers footed a $145,500 bill for the governor and state agencies to entertain guests in a corporate tent at the 144th Preakness Stakes last month.

The tent was among a line of corporate tents ringing the track at one end of the infield at Pimlico Race Course in Northwest Baltimore.


Politicians and others streamed in and out all day, but reporters weren’t allowed inside. The governor’s office later said it was a mistake not to allow a reporter inside.

Most of the guests were invited by Gov. Larry Hogan, the Department of Commerce or the Department of Transportation. The guest list included politicians from both parties, Cabinet secretaries and executives from companies with a presence in Maryland.


The cost amounted to $755 per person, according to the governor’s office, which had about 100 guests for a total of $75,500.

The Department of Commerce contributed $50,000 for the tent, while the Department of Transportation paid $20,000 for its guests, according to representatives from those agencies.

The Republican governor sent invitations to a crowd of mostly politicians and Cabinet secretaries, including:

» House Speaker Adrienne Jones of Baltimore County

» Former Gov. Parris Glendening

» Housing Secretary Ken Holt

» Aging and Disabilities Secretary Carol Beatty

» Budget Secretary David Brinkley


» Appointments Secretary Chris Cavey

» Higher Education Secretary James Fielder

» Glenn Fueston, director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention

» Corrections and Public Safety Secretary Rob Green

» Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles

» Michael Higgs, director of the state Department of Assessments and Taxation


» Patrick Lally, senior executive director of the Governor’s Coordinating Offices

» Information Technology Secretary Michael Leahy

» Steve McAdams, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives

» Planning Secretary Robert McCord

» Col. William Pallozzi, superintendent of the Maryland State Police

» Wendi Peters, special secretary for smart growth


» Jimmy Rhee, special secretary for small, minority and women business affairs

» Dennis Schrader, chief operating officer of the Maryland Department of Health

» Maj. Gen. Linda Singh of the Maryland National Guard

» Acting Labor Secretary Jim Rzepkowski

» Mary Beth Tung, director of the Maryland Energy Administration

» Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz


» Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley

» Harford County Executive Barry Glassman

» Len Foxwell of the Maryland Office of the Comptroller

» Del. Nic Kipke of Anne Arundel County, minority leader in the House of Delegates

» Sen. Bobby Zirkin of Baltimore County

» Sen. Steve Hershey of the Eastern Shore, minority whip in the state Senate


» Del. Wendell Beitzel of Western Maryland

» Del. Kris Valderrama of Prince George’s County

» University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace Loh.

The Department of Commerce invited executives from several businesses that either have a presence in Maryland or have signed deals to open facilities here, including:

» Kite Pharma, which is opening a facility in Frederick County

» Dietz and Watson, a Philadelphia-based meat company that sells hot dogs and sausages at Ravens games


» Shimadzu Instruments, a company with North American headquarters in Columbia

» Thales, a defense and security contractor with an office in Clarksburg

» Great Wolf Resorts, which is planning a family resort in Cecil County

» Food Network, which has some TV personalities who have interests in restaurants in Maryland

» AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company that employs 3,000 workers in Gaithersburg

» Floor and Decor, which is planning a 1.5 million-square-foot warehouse at Tradepoint Atlantic in Sparrows Point


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» Morgan Stanley, an investment company that has offices in Harbor East, Hunt Valley and Columbia.

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s guests included:

» James Mao, logistics manager for Evergreen Shipping Agency Corp., a port of Baltimore customer

» David Richardson, director of governmental affairs for Southwest Airlines

» Mark Shaw, executive vice president and chief legal officer for Southwest Airlines

» Greg Slater, State Highway Administration administrator


» Ed McDonald, Maryland Department of Transportation chief of staff.