WASHINGTON -- Calling him "one of the most effective governors in this nation," Vice President Al Gore helped Maryland's Parris N. Glendening raise nearly $200,000 last night at a a fund-raiser for Glendening's bid to win re-election this year.
Attendees included corporate and labor officials, state officials and Washington figures such as former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, now a lobbyist. They paid up to $4,000 to hear Gore and Glendening profusely praise one another at the Madison Hotel.
"In the Bible, it's written: 'By your fruits, you shall know them,' " Gore said. "Maryland has done extremely well under the leadership of Parris Glendening."
Glendening said: "We're all headed in the same direction. Things are going well in Maryland, because we're part of the team."
Despite their different backgrounds -- the vice president is the scion of a Tennessee political family, and the governor was the first in his family to go to college -- the pairing of Gore and Glendening appears to be natural.
Both politicians are considered pragmatic. Both have set environmental policy as a major emphasis -- examples are Gore's activism on global warming and Glendening's initiatives to curb suburban sprawl. And, both seem more comfortable engaging in policy discussions than being in the spotlight at large public appearances.
Before his comments saluting Glendening, Gore glanced at the governor and said, "I don't think I look so stiff next to him." Glendening laughed and blushed.
The two men have also both generated sharp criticism for their intense pursuit of money to pay for their re-election bids.
In 1996, for example, Glendening flew to New York for a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser arranged by the chief executive of a New Jersey health services company that was seeking contracts from the state. The governor flew on the company's jet to the event, though he later returned the donations of company officials and compensated the firm for the cost of the flight.
Gore came under fire when it was revealed that he had made rTC calls from his official offices seeking donations and had solicited contributions at a Buddhist temple in California. Both actions appeared to violate U.S. election law.
Last night, Joyce Lyons Terhes, the Republican chairwoman in Maryland, criticized the governor for his choice of company.
"I imagine Glendening will learn how to really work the fund-raising circuits, how you can solicit foreign contributions and how you can launder money -- maybe through Buddhist temples," Terhes said.
Retorted Michael D. Barnes, Glendening's campaign chairman: "The governor and the supporters who were there tonight were all honored to have the vice president of the United States with us. Clearly, the chairwoman of the Republican Party is disappointed they don't have someone of that stature."
Last night's event was part of a weeklong sprint to obtain donations before the start of the General Assembly's legislative session this month triggers a 90-day moratorium on fund-raising by state officials.
Between November 1996 and November 1997, the most recent period for which figures are available, Glendening had raised a little more than $1 million.
Other likely gubernatorial candidates include Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann, a Democrat, and former state Sen. Ellen R. Sauerbrey, the Baltimore County Republican who nearly defeated Glendening four years ago.
Glendening may also have to contend with Ray Schoenke, a Democrat and former Washington Redskin.
Pub Date: 1/09/98