Schmoke far outspends primary opponents Mayor raises $1.59 million. Burns and Swisher in the hole.

August 21, 1991|By Michael A. Fletcher | Michael A. Fletcher,Evening Sun Staff Thomas W. Waldron contributed to this story.

An article in Wednesday's Evening Sun misreported the amount of money Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke contributed to the campaign of Nina Harper, a Democratic candidate for City Council in the 3rd District. The correct figure is $500.

The Evening Sun regrets the errors.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, showing an ability to raise money even from his political foes, has collected $1.59 million for his reelection campaign, giving him an overwhelming financial advantage over his opponents.

Former Mayor Clarence H. Du Burns reported raising $118,802, according to campaign finance reports filed yesterday with the city election board.


Burns reported having $8,611 left in his coffers and $23,231 in outstanding loans and campaign bills. Schmoke, meanwhile, reported having $338,026 left in his campaign's bank accounts. He reported no outstanding loans or bills.

William A. Swisher, the former state's attorney whom Schmoke's campaign manager said he regards as the incumbent's top opponent, reported raising $23,137. Swisher has $925.24 cash on hand and $2,500 in loan obligations, according to his financial report.

While his opponents struggled, Schmoke raised money in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston. His donors included political action committees, unions, banks, contractors, city officials, other politicians and private citizens.

Among Schmoke's contributors were two firms controlled by Allen Quille, Burns' campaign manager. They gave the mayor a total of $3,500, according to Schmoke's finance report.

"Those contributions were made before Du even came back on the scene," Quille explained. Quille gave $1,300 and lent another $5,000 to the Burns campaign, according to Burns' financial reports.

Despite Schmoke's huge fund-raising advantage, the mayor has far run a quiet race. But Larry S. Gibson, his campaign manager, said he plans to pick up the pace three weeks before the Sept. 12 primary.

"We've been a little surprised at the [low-key] campaigns we have confronted," Gibson said last night. "But we are prepared to go into the next 23 days very aggressively and use some vehicles that we have not employed to date."

Schmoke quietly spent loads of money during the early phases of the campaign. For instance, he spent more than $100,000 on a handbook outlining his record as mayor. The booklet was mailed to voters throughout the city.

He also spent $230,333 in salaries for campaign workers -- including $20,000 to Gibson for four months' work -- and $129,829 for rent for a headquarters and office supplies.

Schmoke contributed $118,055 to the campaigns of other politicians. Much of that money went to the campaigns of legislative leaders.

"We are talking about spending $1 million, if you subtract the fund-raising expenses, for all of the mayor's political activities for the past four years," Gibson said. "This is not just a matter of the mayor's re-election."

Schmoke also contributed money to several City Council candidates. Among them: Perry Sfikas ($1,000); Nina Harper ($5,000); Bernard Young ($300), and 4th District incumbents Sheila Dixon ($200) and Agnes Welch ($500).

Burns and Swisher had no such luxuries; their campaigns are strapped for money.

Burns was able to raise money from a handful of businesses that do business with the city. He also did well among former city officials cast aside by Schmoke.

Among the former city officials who gave to Burns are former public works director Francis W. Kuchta, former health commissioner Maxie T. Collier; Richard C. Hunter, the former school superintendent; and Elva Edwards, a former Urban Services Agency official.

"The mayor's fund-raising advantage really points to the power of incumbency," but it does not necessarily translate into votes, said Robert Fink, Burns' campaign spokesman.

In 1987, Schmoke outspent Burns by a wide margin but beat him by only 5,000 votes.

Several lesser known candidates for mayor -- both Republicans and Democrats -- raised only small sums, their financial reports showed.

Council President Mary Pat Clarke reported $117,225 raised for her re-election campaign and cash on hand of $27,021. She got $14,975 from political action committees.

Daki Napata, her Democratic opponent, signed an affidavit saying he raised less than $300.

In the comptroller's race, Joseph T. Jody Landers 3rd reported raising $74,787 with two campaign committees and having $6,210 cash on hand. Mary W. Conaway reported receipts of $19,525 and expenditures of $24,094. The report from Jacqueline F. McLean was unavailable last night.

Among councilmanic races, Maegertha Whitaker, Democratic candidate in the 3rd District, had one of the best-financed campaigns, raising almost $12,000, including $500 from Schmoke. Schmoke also gave $250 to Arlene B. Fisher, a Democratic candidate in the 6th District.

Friends of the 6th District, which includes Democratic incumbents Joseph J. DiBlasi and Edward Reisinger, raised $21,800, including $2,000 from McLean.

Linda C. Janey, a candidate in the 3rd District, raised $2,210, nearly all of it her own or from family members.

0 Thomas W. Waldron contributed to this story.

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