In time of inflated prices, Giuliani's visit is a steal Bargain: Republicans can rub elbows with New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani at a fund-raiser for $25, a fraction of what lesser-known politicians are charging.

The Political Game

Campaign 1998

May 26, 1998|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF

WHO WOULD HAVE thought that Rudy's such a cheap date?

New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani is coming to Baltimore next month to help raise money for city Republicans.

But instead of pulling down the big GOP dollars, as one would expect, Giuliani is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Baltimore Republican Central Committee's annual $25-a-head fund-raiser June 15.

By today's standards -- where even small-fry incumbents in the House of Delegates are getting $250 for a night of elbow-rubbing and gubernatorial candidates are picking $4,000 a pop -- this one's a steal.

Asked about the bargain-basement price, Giuliani spokeswoman Cristyne F. Lategano explained, "We leave it for the host to decide the cost of the event.

"He's just pleased to be the keynote speaker and happy to help in any way," said Lategano, a one-time Capitol Hill staffer for former Rep. Helen Delich Bentley who still has ties to Maryland.

There is hope for the 30,000 registered city Republicans for picking up a little bit of cash. For $100, guests at the World Trade Center event will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with Giuliani.

David R. Blumberg, the four-term city GOP chairman who is not seeking re-election, said the central committee's fund-raisers have always carried a $25 price tag, and he's not changing that now.

"Obviously we need the money, but we want the exposure," said Blumberg, whose city Republicans are outnumbered by Democrats 8.5-to-1.

"We're looking for urban Republicans who are role models, and you can't find one better," he said. "Even though he's interested in going national, I think it says something about him, that he's willing to come into an area like this, which is not historically Republican."

Of course, there is another reason the mayor of the Big Apple is coming to the Crab Apple of the Patapsco.

"It wasn't an accident that the date chosen for the event was one when the Yankees would be in Baltimore," Lategano said.

Giuliani, who's shown an interest in replacing Yankee Stadium, has never been to Oriole Park at Camden Yards and is looking forward to seeing the O's on their home turf, his spokeswoman said.

When news of Giuliani's trip to Baltimore reached the campaign headquarters of the GOP's likely gubernatorial nominee, Ellen R. Sauerbrey, it didn't take long for supporters to seize on the opportunity to raise some cash for her by piggy-backing on the city event.

So, after the city central committee fund-raiser, Giuliani will be in the Fox 45 sky box, courtesy of Sauerbrey supporter J. Duncan Smith, a principal in Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., one of the nation's biggest owners of radio and television stations.

At that event, 20 Sauerbrey supporters can enjoy the game with Mr. Mayor for a mere $1,000 a head.

"As long as we keep Armando Benitez away from him, he should have a good trip," Blumberg said.

Spring fund-raiser nets $400,000 for Curry bid

Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry picked up a cool $400,000 last week for his virtually uncontested re-election bid.

Almost 400 people forked over $1,000 each to pay homage to Curry at his home in Upper Marlboro, where he held his annual spring fund-raiser Thursday evening.

So far, Curry's only opposition is Republican Randy McRae, a tax lawyer and a political neophyte.

Conspicuously in attendance at the bash was Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann, who is challenging Gov. Parris N. Glendening in the Democratic primary and would love an endorsement from Curry.

Curry has not given his nod to any of the Democratic candidates for governor.

Accompanying Rehrmann to Wayne's World was her campaign manager, Larry S. Gibson, a political adviser to Curry and Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.

Rehrmann is having a $1,000-a-head fund-raiser tonightat the Baltimore Convention Center, organized by Schmoke, a one-time Glendening supporter who has changed horses.

House Speaker goes west to raise campaign funds

House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. is moving his annual spring fund-raiser from Martin's West to, well, further west.

Taylor is taking his $250-a-head fund-raiser to the new Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort -- The Other House that Cas Built -- outside of Cumberland in his home county of Allegany.

"I guess I'm just trying to show off Rocky Gap a bit -- and bring a little business to Western Maryland," the Democrat said by way of explanation.

Instead of the perfunctory cocktail reception, this year's Tribute to Taylor is a brunch, scheduled for May 31, followed by a separate, $20-a-head afternoon bull roast for the locals at a nearby picnic grounds.

Mr. Speaker has raised $659,120 in the last 3 1/2 years, and spent all but about $100,000 of it, mostly in anticipation of a possible bid for governor, an idea that died quietly.

While Taylor won't need that kind of money to be re-elected to his seventh term, he may need it to buy a little more goodwill by spreading some of it around the state among fellow House Democrats running this year.

There have been faint rumblings of a possible coup attempt to replace him as speaker -- mostly from Montgomery County Del. Leon G. Billings and Prince George's County Del. James W. Hubbard, Democrats and mavericks both.

Pub Date: 5/26/98

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