Patriotism Pays Off For Hopkins

Raises $14,000 With Star-spangled Affair

July 08, 1991|By Gary Gately | Gary Gately,Staff writer

Red, white and blue translated into a good bit of green for Annapolis Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins.

A decidedly patriotic April 2 affair atthe Annapolis Marriott -- announced in a Hopkins letter praising Operation Desert Storm and proclaiming, "What a great time it is to be an American!" -- raised some $14,275, a campaign finance report filed last week showed.

Hopkins had billed "Red, White and Blues" as a combination fund-raiser and celebration of the U.S. troops' speedy victory in Iraq and an improving local economy.

The cost for the event, featuring delicacies like iced shrimp and scallops wrapped in bacon and entertainment headlined by a blues band and a video starring Al Hopkins, was $7,450.

The first-term mayor detailed the expenses and contributions for the April dinner in a city campaign fund report for a one-year span ending July 1.

The April event, another major fund-raiser last year to erase campaign debts and other contributions boosted a campaign fund that had dwindled to only $38 a year ago by $22,374.

During the same period, Hopkins paid out $15,173, for fund-raising and campaign expenses, ending the budget year with a balance of $7,239. Among campaign debts, the Hopkins campaign owes state Sen. Gerald Winegrad, D-Annapolis, for a loan shortly before the 1989 primary.

Asked yesterday why he had scheduled a fund-raiser at a time when the 1993 primary election remained 2 1/2 years off, Hopkins said he wished he had waited.

"After having done it, I just wish I had waited until '92, the year before the election, because having a fund-raiser so early could give the wrong impression," he said.

"I just didn't wantto give the impression that I was trying to build up a big war chestso nobody would want to run against me."

Hopkins said he viewed the April fund-raiser as a "down payment" on a re-election bid that would help him avoid incurring big campaign debts later.

"It's a free country. You don't know who's going to be a candidate," Hopkins said. "I just want to be prepared."

The mayor added, however, that hewould schedule no more fund-raisers before 1992.

A wide range of contributors --including businesses, prominent attorneys, trade groups, community organizations and private citizens -- gave Hopkins money.

No other potential candidates for public office in the city -- those who maintain campaign accounts -- reported raising money during the past year.

But some of those required under the city code to file campaign fund reports by July 1 had yet to do so by Friday.

They include Aldermen John R. Hammond, R-Ward 1; Wayne C. Turner, R-Ward 6; Terry DeGraff, R-Ward 7; and former Annapolis Mayor Dennis M. Callahan, who maintains a campaign fund.

Of those who have filed, Hopkins and Alderman Carl O. Snowden, D-Ward 5, enjoy the biggest campaign accounts.

Snowden, who received no contributions in the past year, lists a balance of $6,945. He declined comment on whether he would make a run for the mayor's seat.

"As for future political aspirations, it's too early to talk about the office of mayor," Snowden said.

Among some $4,000 he paid out, Snowden gave $500 to former County Councilman Theodore J. Sophocleus' campaign for county executive;$100 to the City Council campaign of Michael T. Brown, a black activist who now heads the city's Democratic Central Committee; and $100 to the Anne Arundel County Community Action Agency.

Other campaign fund reports filed last week showed:

* Laurance Vincent, the Republican Hopkins beat in the General Election, has $113 on hand. He alsoused $432 of his own money for his campaign, technically a loan fromhim to his campaign that he lists as a debt.

* Alderman Ellen O. Moyer, D-Ward 8, had $1,024 on hand July 1, 1990. She spent $688, mostly for campaign expenses, and finished with a balance of $336.

* Alderman Ruth C. Gray, R-Ward 4, spent no money for campaign expensesand started and ended the year with $488.

* Alderman Dean L. Johnson, I-Ward 2, had $94 on hand at the beginning and end of the year.

* Alderman Samuel Gilmer, D-Ward 3, had $3.77 on hand at the beginning and end of the year.

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