Big spenders' campaign tactics paid off All primary winners outspent opponents

November 02, 1991|By Ann LoLordo | Ann LoLordo,Sun Staff Correspondent

ANNAPOLIS -- To clinch the Democratic nomination for Baltimore comptroller, city Councilwoman Jacqueline F. McLean

outspent her rivals nearly 7-to-1 in the final days before the September primary, including pumping $22,000 into a last-minute media blitz.

Mrs. McLean, who handily beat her two opponents, spent $74,848 in the final two weeks of the primary campaign, compared with $10,476 by city Councilman Joseph T. "Jody" Landers III and $1,028 by city registrar of wills Mary W. Conaway. During that same period, Mrs. McLean appeared in nightly television commercials, the only local political candidate to do so.

Mrs. McLean also spent $34,872 on a fund-raising gospel concert at the 5th Regiment Armory that netted her only $28.

As expected, of local candidates, Baltimore Mayor Kurt L.

Schmoke spent the most money in the final days before the Sept. 12 primary, $266,870. Nearly half of that amount -- $113,014 -- paid for a series of radio commercials that aired on 14 stations and to print mock ballots and other campaign materials for Election Day, according to the most recent finance reports filed with the state board of elections in Annapolis.

In contrast, former Mayor Clarence H. "Du" Burns spent $28,930, and William A. Swisher, the former Baltimore state's attorney, spent $11,729 in their final drives to win the Democratic nomination for mayor. As of Oct. 25, Mr. Burns had $8.65 in his treasury and owed $22,000, the bulk of it to two supporters who lent him money; Mr. Swisher had $1,700 in cash and $7,000 in outstanding loans, the reports show.

It's clear from Mr. Schmoke's report that his campaign, which raised a total of $1.6 million, bankrolled the bulk of polling place campaigning on Election Day. Not only did Mr. Schmoke pay to print mock ballots for his campaign and to feed his campaign workers, but he doled out $43,802 to political organizations and candidates throughout the city to do the same.

Larry S. Gibson, Mr. Schmoke's campaign manager and chief political strategist, collected $20,000 in salary from the campaign.

Heading into the Nov. 5 general election, Mr. Schmoke had $33,410 remaining in his treasury and Mrs. McLean had $845.

For the general election, the Schmoke campaign is carrying both the mayor and Mrs. McLean on its ballots. Mr. Gibson, the mayor's campaign manager, also said he would decide which of the Democratic council member nominees would be included.

The one person who most definitely won't be on the Schmoke ballot is Council President Mary Pat Clarke. Mrs. Clarke, who had no opposition in the Democratic primary, has a Republican challenger. Of the $50,924 raised, much of it went to help council candidates. She has only $7,311 in her treasury, according to finance reports.

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