Records show most Md. legislators get majority of their funds from PACs

August 01, 1991|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Washington Bureau of The Sun

WASHINGTON -- Political action committees were very kind to members of the Maryland congressional delegation during the past six months, with most members picking up a majority of their donations from special interest groups, according to federal records.

Representative Tom McMillen, D-Md.-4th, collected $195,710 between January 1 and June 30, with $120,550 coming from PACs and the rest from individual donations, records filed with the Federal Election Commission show.

Representative Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.-5th, pulled in $138,432 during the same period, with $86,815 coming from PACs.

Three other Maryland congressmen got most of their donations from special interest groups:

* Representative Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md.-3rd, with $14,300 total, $9,500 from PACs.

* Representative Kweisi Mfume, D-Md.-7th, with $16,500 total, $15,000 from PACs.

* Representative Wayne T. Gilchrest, R-Md.-1st, with $5,236 total, $4,000 from PACs.

But Representatives Helen Delich Bentley, R-Md.-2nd, and Constance A. Morella, R-Md.-8th, drew most of their money from individual contributions.

Mrs. Bentley, the biggest fund-raiser in the first six months of 1991, picked up $250,892, with $188,377 coming from individuals. Mrs. Morella collected $37,115, of which $33,105 was in individual donations.

The report of Representative Beverly B. Byron, D-Md.-6th, was not immediately available.

Many of the PAC donations, not surprisingly, reflect the issues handled by the various committees on which the members serve.

For example, Mr. Mfume, a member of the Banking Committee, picked up donations from the U.S. League of Savings Associations ($1,000), American Bankers Association ($500) and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions ($500).

Mr. Cardin, a member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee's Health and Social Security subcommittees, received donations from New York Life PAC ($1,000) and the General American Life Association Federal PAC ($1,500).

Mr. Hoyer, chairman of the Democratic Caucus, showed that even when Democrats retire from the House they remember their friends. The Prince George's County lawmaker picked up a $250 donation from former House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr.

Mr. Hoyer's report also was a reflection of things to come.

There is wide speculation that Mr. Hoyer will represent a new area that includes Southern Maryland after much of his current district is taken during reapportionment this year to forge a new majority-black district centered in Prince George's County.

The congressman's report includes spending in his possible new district: $100 for two tickets/donations for the Tri-County Alternative for Youth in Hughesville and $75 for three dinner tickets for the Tri-County Youth Services in Charlotte Hall.

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