Newer, Slicker Methods Send Campaign Costs Soaring

December 09, 1990|By Adam Sachs ,Dan Clemens ,Maria Archangelo and Greg Tasker | Adam Sachs ,Dan Clemens ,Maria Archangelo and Greg Tasker,Staff writers

The 1990 election forever changed the way political campaigns will be run in Carroll, say county politicos.

The low-key, conservative, neighborly atmosphere that characterized many past elections has been replaced by "more professional" campaigning, which carries a higher price tag, say Carroll Republican and Democratic central committee members.

Local cable television advertising, available for a county election for the first time, was a chosen medium for many candidates. Direct mailings and phone banking were used more than ever before.

The modernized methods and competitive races combined to produce unprecedented money-raising and spending levels for Carroll, highlighted by a Senate contest in which the candidates spent more than $200,000 combined.

The bigger spenders weren't all successful, however, losing in bids for state Senate, House of Delegates and county state's attorney.

Here is a look at the final campaign finance reports of the 1990 election, in the final reporting period, from Oct. 22 to Nov. 20:


In this election, spending equated with success. The candidates with the largest bankrolls -- Republicans Julia W. Gouge and Donald I. Dell and Democrat Elmer C. Lippy Jr. -- prevailed.

Gouge, the only incumbent, spent $27,492, the most of any candidate, including $4,518 on media and mailings in the final period. She placed third, edging Republican Richard T. Yates by 556 votes. Yates spent $9,955, lending his campaign $7,197.

During the final period, Gouge received $3,000 from the Maryland Realtors Political Action Committee and $500 from Lehigh Portland Cement Co. of Union Bridge.

Dell, the top vote-getter, spent $22,586 -- more than double the $11,108 he spent in his 1986 election bid. He received $1,000 from Maryland Realtors PAC and $250 from Carroll Educators Political Action Club during the last period.

Lippy spent $11,475, lending $7,000 to his treasury. He received $250 from Carroll Educators PAC.

Sharon L. Baker spent $8,867, and Richard F. Will Sr. spent $4,121. The Democrats finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

Baker was the only candidate to end with a deficit -- $1,393 -- excluding repayment of loans candidates made to their own campaigns.

The three victors spent a combined $61,553, or 60 percent more than the $38,449 spent by the three winners in 1986.

General Assembly

Democrat Jeff Griffith amassed $114,495 for the Senate District 5 race, spending $109,780, but lost to Republican Larry E. Haines, who also enjoyed strong financial support. Haines spent $94,994.

In an attempt to overcome Haines' projected lead, Griffith spent $35,630 -- excluding an $8,112 transfer to another campaign -- during the last period, compared to $25,949 for Haines.

Griffith received $42,781 in political action committee contributions and transfers from party and other candidates' accounts for the entire campaign; Haines received $20,080 from those sources.

Haines finished with a deficit, owing $1,385 for campaign expenses and $10,000 to his treasurer, W. Wilson Lippy.

In the House District 5A race, Democratic challenger Ellen L. Willis spent the most of four hopefuls, at $20,627, but couldn't beat incumbents for either of two seats. Incumbent delegates Richard N. Dixon, D-Carroll, and Richard C. Matthews, R-Carroll -- spent $17,133 and $9,694, respectively.

In a year marked by voters' displeasure with incumbents and a GOP resurgence, two-term Delegate Lawrence A. LaMotte, D-Carroll, Baltimore, took nothing for granted. He spent $47,280, compared to $2,225 for little-known opponent Albert J. Craemer. LaMotte -- who received $9,490 in transfers from other campaigns, including $8,112 from Griffith's the week before the election -- won 61 percent of the vote.

Delegate Donald B. Elliott, R-Carroll, Howard, spent $10,399 to recapture his House District 4B seat, compared to $450 for challenger William D. Henley Sr.

State's Attorney

By giving their campaigns hefty personal loans, the candidates in this bitter race boosted their war chests to almost $30,000 each.

Republican winner Thomas E. Hickman gave himself a $9,000 loan in the final weeks of a campaign plagued by personal attacks and wide-ranging accusations.

Hickman lent his campaign $14,800, or more than half of the $27,300 total he raised.

He spent a total of $26,643 in his successful bid to keep the $60,000-a-year job he has held since 1974.

Hickman's opponent, Democrat Jerry F. Barnes, raised $8,215 in the final weeks, lending his campaign $8,200. Barnes raised a total of $28,817.

He spent $10,326 on advertising just before the election, bringing total spending to $28,789.


In the close race for county sheriff, Republican winner John H. Brown raised no money in the final reporting period of his successful campaign to unseat incumbent Democrat Grover N. "Sam"' Sensabaugh. In the previous reporting period, he raised only $100.

Brown raised a total of $7,266.

He spent $2,097 from Oct. 22 to Election Day, bringing his total spending to $7,046.

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