WASHINGTON -- Ross Perot spent $155,000 in Maryland be- tween last spring and the end of August, according to federal records. A quarter of that helped finance his Cecil B. DeMille-like arrival in Annapolis in June to celebrate the petition drive that put him on the Maryland ballot.
The Texas billionaire, who last week re-entered the presidential race, also spent thousands of dollars for office supplies, phone bills and staff salaries in Maryland after abruptly ending his campaign in July, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
But officials with Mr. Perot's Maryland campaign said no workers are currently on the payroll and that all are volunteering their time to put their man in the White House. "Maryland is 100 percent volunteer," said Brett Cosor, a spokesman for the Perot effort in Maryland and owner of a Gaithersburg electronics company.
"It's an effort that's totally grass roots," said Bert Keith, a salesman and state director for "United We Stand, America," Mr. Perot's political group. "I've got a job, I work during the day and come here."
Mr. Keith said the operating budget for the Maryland effort is now $7,500 per month, used for office expenses.
According to the FEC records, some $40,000 was spent by the Perot campaign for Mr. Perot's June 24 arrival in Annapolis -- a colorful event that included a brass band, placards, flags and T-shirts, a flotilla of boats, an estimated 4,000 volunteers and a plane flying overhead.
Among the expenses paid by the Dallas-based Perot Petition Committee for the Annapolis event were $5,000 to the Annapolis Bus Co. for chartered buses and $11,000 to the Loews Annapolis Hotel for room rentals, food, lighting and other costs associated with a news conference.