Glendening sprinkles dollars where his name will promptly sprout CAMPAIGN 1994

POLITICAL GAME

September 07, 1994|By John W. Frece and Thomas W. Waldron | John W. Frece and Thomas W. Waldron,Sun Staff Writers

Parris N. Glendening is trying to buy himself a little Election Day name recognition in Baltimore.

Since the middle of last month, the front-running Democratic candidate for governor has spread at least $36,000 of his $3.2 million war chest to candidates and political clubs in almost every legislative district in the city.

The Prince George's County executive has transferred money to nine city candidates or political clubs, among them: $8,000 to the 40th District Democratic Club, whose members include House Appropriations Committee Chairman Howard P. Rawlings, and $7,500 to Our Neighborhood Team, which is the 44th District club of state Sen. Larry Young.

Smaller donations were made to two nonincumbents: $3,500 to Richard A. Ingrao, a civic activist in Little Italy who is running for the House of Delegates in a nine-way race in East Baltimore's 46th District; and $5,000 to Randolph M. Collins, a lawyer running in a six-way battle for two seats in South Baltimore's subdistrict 47A.

Other recipients of Glendening largess have included the Eastside Democratic Organization ($2,500), the 43rd District Democratic Club ($1,200),the Vanguard Political Organization ($3,500) and the 46th District Democratic Club ($2,000).

The money, said Glendening campaign manager Emily Smith, will assure that Mr. Glendening's name appears on someone's ballots or T-shirts or placards in almost every district in the city by Tuesday's primary.

"This is like a coordinated campaign," she said. "You share resources with candidates to accomplish the same goal. Instead of printing 50 different ballots, you print a unified ballot."

The only place Mr. Glendening has not donated is in Northwest Baltimore's 42nd District, which Ms. Smith said has remained neutral in the gubernatorial race.

Ms. Smith said donations should not necessarily be construed as Glendening endorsements. Take, for example, the $3,000 the campaign transferred in late August to the Committee to Re-elect Nathaniel Oaks.

Ms. Smith said she was not aware that Mr. Oaks was seeking re-election to a seat he lost after receiving a five-year suspended sentence on a conviction of stealing more than $10,000 from his re-election fund in 1988. Ms. Smith said she -- and not Mr. Glendening -- approved the transfer.

"Parris has not endorsed Nat Oaks' candidacy," Ms. Smith said. "His [Mr. Oaks'] campaign is just doing campaigning for us, so it is ballots on election day, poll workers, T-shirts, hats."

"Parris did not know he made this campaign contribution," she said. "And, had I known [about Mr. Oaks' record], I may have made a different decision."

A neighborly pitch for his candidate

Money is nice. But for many candidates, tight races will be won on the backs of volunteers.

Consider Grenville Whitman, a longtime community activist who has been putting in countless hours for Maggie McIntosh, a Democratic candidate for the House of Delegates in the 42nd District.

Thanks to redistricting, Ms. McIntosh is one of four incumbent delegates vying for three seats in the district that sprawls from Charles Village in Baltimore to Pikesville in Baltimore County. (The others are Samuel I. Rosenberg, James W. Campbell and Leon Albin.)

Mr. Whitman's job is to roll up big numbers for Ms. McIntosh in his neighborhood -- the Abell community on the eastern edge of Charles Village.

Mr. Whitman, 56, trades his time for tangible reasons.

Elected officials, he figures, are more responsive to neighborhoods that actually get out and vote. When neighborhood complaints about a local bar come up before the city liquor board, for example, it helps to bring in a state delegate.

"Who knows when you might want to have a friend in the legislature?" he says.

As are thousands of other volunteers across Maryland, Mr. Whitman is doing the grunt work of state politics.

For many weeks, he has been going door to door in the nine-block Abell neighborhood passing out McIntosh literature and persuading people to put one of the candidate's red-and-white signs in their yard.

Many mornings Mr. Whitman can be found with Ms. McIntosh waving at sleepy motorists driving through major intersections such as the corner of Charles Street and University Parkway.

These days, he's recruiting people to hand out literature at nine different shopping centers in the district this weekend. And there will be one last walk through the neighborhood with the candidate.

Finally, Mr. Whitman is firming up his list of volunteers to distribute pamphlets at the Waverly library polling place on Election Day. He's hoping to find 15 people to cover the polls from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. None will be paid.

After so many campaigns, it's not much of a thrill anymore, says Mr. Whitman, who works as a consultant to nonprofit organizations when he's not a political volunteer.

"Everyone gets tired and testy and excited and they're not themselves," Mr. Whitman says. "It's really nice when the election is over."

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