Statewide candidates gather at GOP fund-raiser in Carroll Rep. Dornan stirs the crowd

November 12, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Republican candidates from throughout Maryland and almost 500 party loyalists gathered in Westminster last night to raise money and hear outspoken conservative California Republican Rep. Robert K. Dornan, a regular substitute host on Rush Limbaugh's radio show.

With his incendiary style, the red-haired and red-bearded Mr. Dornan made the crowd laugh with his put-downs of President Bill Clinton.

The reception and dinner at Wilhelm Ltd. raised an estimated $19,000 for the Carroll County Republican Central Committee.

A dinner ticket was $35. A $75 ticket included a chance to be photographed with Mr. Dornan or Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a Maryland 6th District Republican.

The politicking was so fierce that introducing all the politicians in the room took half an hour.

"The next governor of Maryland is in this room," said Sen. Larry E. Haines, R-Carroll and Baltimore.

The three Republican candidates for governor were there -- U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley of Baltimore County, state Sen. Ellen R. Sauerbrey of Baltimore County, and William S. Shepard of Montgomery County -- shaking hands and distributing bumper stickers

Attorney general candidate Dick Bennett and U.S. Senate candidate Ron Franks, an Eastern Shore delegate, attended.

Local candidates for delegate, state Senate, commissioner, state's attorney and sheriff also were there.

Mr. Dornan, 60, who is serving his eighth term in Congress representing Southern California's 46th District, was popular with the crowd.

With his caustic style and gravelly voice, Mr. Dornan called Mr. Clinton "a draft dodger" and criticized the president's foreign policy.

He called Hillary Clinton "Miss Hillary" and criticized her health-care plan for not including the cost of dealing with AIDS.

Mr. Dornan said Republicans agree on fiscal and defense issues, but cannot agree on social issues.

Democrats, on the other hand, cannot stop talking about "abortion and sodomy," he said.

"Sodomy in the military" is a big issue for Democrats, he said.

But the worst social problem in the United States is crime, Mr. Dornan said, eliciting applause.

The crowd disagreed with Mr. Dornan at only one point in his speech -- when he called Westminster "Winchester."

The congressman is a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Armed Services Committee.

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