One man's $50 campaign leads the austerity race

August 19, 1994|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Pat Gilbert contributed to this article.

An article in The Sun yesterday on campaign financing reports filed by Baltimore County Council candidates incorrectly characterized the amount 7th District candidate Louis L. DePazzo's report has spent on the race. Mr. DePazzo has spent about $1,700 in the current County Council race.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Paul S. Knipe of Arbutus calls himself a "nonpolitical" County Council candidate and puts his money where his mouth is -- all $50.

That's how much money Mr. Knipe, a Republican, reported raising through Aug. 9 for his campaign to win Baltimore County's 1st District County Council seat. He's already spent $33 of it.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

Despite running for the office, Mr. Knipe said, he really doesn't want to be a politician and therefore hasn't asked anyone else to pay for his campaign.

Incumbent Republican Berchie Lee Manley, his Sept. 13 primary opponent, reported raising $21,300 over the last three years, and still had $3,078 at the Aug. 9 reporting deadline.

Otherwise, council candidates have been all over the fund-raising lot in their approach to the primary, according to reports filed this week at the election board office in Parkville. They range from Mr. Knipe's extreme low to nearly $80,000 raised by an incumbent Democrat.

Candidates often try to use their shortages of contributions to their own advantage, with poorly funded ones typically claiming they are purer of heart and will be beholden to no individuals or special interests.

That's always been Dundalk Del. Louis L. DePazzo's stated reason for paying for his campaigns out of his own pocket. Mr. DePazzo, a Democrat, is running for the 7th District council seat.

Also using that tactic this year is County Council Chairman William A. Howard 4th, who has no opponent in the Republican primary in the 6th District but is worried about a tough general election fight.

Lately, he has criticized candidates he said are "on the dole from special-interest groups," namely county employee unions backing Joseph Bartenfelder, considered the leading Democratic council candidate in the 6th District.

Mr. Bartenfelder has raised more than twice the amount reported by Mr. Howard, and several county employee unions have contributed to his campaign.

"When I ran for the council in 1990, I campaigned on only $4,200," Mr. Howard reminded a crowd at a candidates forum in Rosedale Tuesday. "So I haven't owed anyone anything for the past four years."

But his most recent campaign finance report shows that the county firefighters union bought $80 in tickets to one of his affairs, and he got money this time from groups such as Bell Atlantic, the Maryland State Teachers Association and the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. He also received contributions from two sources giving to both candidates -- lawyers who do county zoning and development work and haulers who do nonbid residential trash collections. Since the last election, Mr. Howard reported raising $30,384 and spending $17,680.

Mr. Bartenfelder reported raising $71,444 -- mostly from when he was considering a run for county executive. He has $15,623 left.

Among incumbents, fund-raising champions so far are Vincent J. Gardina, 5th District Democrat, and Douglas B. Riley, 4th District Republican. Mr. Gardina reported raising $78,702 since the 1990 election and spending $53,858, leaving him $24,844. Mr. Riley reported raising $69,898 and spending $52,504, leaving him $17,394.

In the 7th District, Mr. DePazzo's report shows $30,400 in loans to himself, the path he traditionally followed in being elected to four terms in House of Delegates.

He reported having $218 left.

His only opponent is Jean Jung, former county zoning and housing official, who raised $13,781 and has spent $9,656.

This year's crop of novice candidates hasn't reached the lofty levels of the three leaders but two Democrats are doing pretty well.

I. William Chase, a lawyer and former county Planning Board member seeking the 3rd District council seat, reported $54,680 raised since November 1993. He's spent $35,793 of that. Not far behind is Kevin Kamenetz, 2nd District candidate and county party Central Committee chairman, who reported raising $38,355 and spending $26,315.

Most candidates raised far less, seeking to substitute personal effort for the big money a few have to spend.

For instance, William A. Spiegel, a first-time candidate in the 6th District, reported raising $1,100, all his own money, and spending $977. He's been on a six-day-a-week regimen of waving signs, knocking on doors and distributing signs and literature to counteract Mr. Bartenfelder's big money.

Marie Q. Simoes, another 6th District Democrat, is working on a budget of $13,996 raised and $11,343 spent, her report showed.

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