Autumn is time for fund raising Gubernatorial: All the major candidates for governor in 1998 and their supporters are involved with fund-raisers aimed toward the September primary.

The Political Game

October 28, 1997|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF

IT'S THE SEASON for raising dough.

In an effort to make a good showing on campaign finance reports due next month -- and to beat the holiday dry spell -- Maryland candidates for governor are furiously raising money these days.

The campaign finance filings, due Nov. 10, will show all contributions and expenditures since last November. The reports are considered a good early indication of how each candidate will fare going into 1998, money being an important measure of political success.

Eileen M. Rehrmann, the Harford County executive challenging Gov. Parris N. Glendening in September's Democratic primary, is outpacing other gubernatorial hopefuls, at least in sheer numbers of events. Rehrmann had three fund-raisers last week and another last night, though each varied in size and amount of the take.

Notably, some Baltimore area high-rollers -- and supporters of former Gov. William Donald Schaefer -- have had a role.

Henry A. Rosenberg, chairman of Crown Central Petroleum, who over the years has supported Democratic and Republican candidates, held a $250-a-head event for Rehrmann at his home last week.

Among the prominent players attending another Rehrmann fund-raiser -- a $250-a-ticket affair Thursday at an Anne Arundel County restaurant -- were two old friends of hers, John Paterakis, the H&S Bakery king, and Louis J. Grasmick, the Baltimore lumber magnate and husband of state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick.

But even those close to Rehrmann say it is too soon to proclaim that the Baltimore big-money crowd is solidly behind her. Like many others in the game, they're still playing the field.

Meanwhile, Glendening, the state's erstwhile fund-raising maestro, has scheduled his annual autumn fund-raiser for tomorrow night at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore. His is a two-tier affair -- $125 gets you in the door, while $1,000 yields entry to the VIP cocktail reception.

Tim Phillips, a Democratic campaign gypsy who has just signed on with the campaign, promises strolling entertainment, including a juggler (not, presumably, Budget Secretary Frederick W. Puddester).

Perhaps the juggler will attract more of the state's elected Democrats this year.

While Glendening raised more than $300,000 at his B&0 bash last fall, several key Democrats were conspicuous by their absences, including Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, Baltimore County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan.

On the Republican front, Ellen R. Sauerbrey will hold a cocktail reception and dinner Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Baltimore.

Sauerbrey, who is eager for a rematch with Glendening after losing to him by just 5,993 votes in 1994, also has a two-tier ticket price for her event, which features Rep. John R. Kasich, an Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee.

She's asking $200 a head for dinner; $500 gets you dinner and a spot at the VIP reception.

Not to be outdone, Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker, who is expected tomorrow to announce his intention to run in the GOP gubernatorial primary, has a handful of fund-raisers scheduled in the coming weeks, including a $250-a-head gala next month in his home county.

MSTA gives Glendening 'Friend of Education' award

The Maryland State Teachers Association honored Gov. Parris N. Glendening at its convention last week with its first "Friend of Education" award.

In a news release announcing the award, the 47,000-member teachers union noted Glendening's increased funding for schools and support of teacher licensing standards.

The "p-word" -- pensions -- was not mentioned, though clearly the group is aware of the governor's position on that.

Glendening, who is counting on the teachers' endorsement in his re-election bid, has blessed a plan to significantly boost pensions for tens of thousands of state workers -- many of them teachers -- whose benefits are among the lowest in the nation for government employees.

The pension enhancement plan, which would cost the state nearly $2 billion over 40 years, is a top priority of the union.

Pub Date: 10/28/97

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