Still concerned about asserting his political prowess at the polls next month, Gov. William Donald Schaefer continues to raise campaign money, most recently tapping big givers in New York and the District of Columbia.
The governor, who raised more than $2 million before last month's Democratic primary, wants enough money to mount a major advertising blitz in the next few weeks, said Jim Smith, his campaign manager.
"The governor needs a strong hand and strong support in the General Assembly," Smith said. "The best way to do that is to have a strong campaign, to have a significant victory on Election Day."
Schaefer took in about $60,000 last night at a unpublicized $500-a-head party in Washington.
Last week, the governor raised approximately $25,000 at two small events in the New York City area. The events preceded a non-political luncheon hosted by Schaefer and the Maryland Port Administration for the New York shipping community.
The night before the luncheon, Schaefer attended a $1,000-a-head dinner at a Jersey City, N.J., restaurant hosted by Edwin F. Hale, a Baltimore trucking and barge executive. The event was supposed to have been held on Hale's 85-foot yacht, but was rescheduled when the craft broke down, Hale said.
Eighteen people from the shipping business attended the event, said Hale, who also owns the Baltimore Blast soccer team. Among them were representatives of shipping companies that do business in the Port of Baltimore, including Evergreen Lines and Polish Ocean Lines.
"He is highly regarded by them," Hale said. "They were really honored to be there in most cases. They enjoy being close to him."
The next morning, Morris W. Offit, a New York investment banker and the chairman of the board of trustees of Johns Hopkins University, invited other members of the financial world to a small breakfast for Schaefer. There was no set ticket price for the breakfast event but some who attended wrote checks for amounts ranging up to $1,000, Smith said.
Schaefer's Republican opponent, William S. Shepard of Montgomery County, has had trouble raising money, in part because so many would-be contributors in the Republican Party have given money instead to Schaefer, who is considered a strong favorite for re-election.
Shepard, whose campaign fell into debt before the primary, according to financial reports filed with the state, said yesterday he is raising money in small chunks. Last night, for example, he was attended a gathering in Ruxton hosted by businessman Basil B. Bradford.
"We'll pass the hat," Shepard said yesterday.
Meanwhile, Smith said it is natural for Schaefer, like other governors and U.S. senators, to raise money in places like New York and Washington.
"This is a time when the governor of Maryland and the affairs of the state of Maryland matter not just throughout the country, but throughout the world," Smith said.
Schaefer was reported to be upset that he received "only" 78 percent of the vote in the Democratic Primary, when he faced an all but invisible candidate with almost no name recognition.