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Mayor Schmoke spends $2 million, has $50,000 debt in re-election bid Expenses in 1995 exceed 1987 and 1991 campaigns; fund-raiser held last night


Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has spent nearly $2 million in his bid for a third term, leaving him with a debt of slightly more than $50,000, according to his latest campaign finance report.

The debt resulted from interest-free loans to The Kurt Schmoke Committee of $25,000 each from Mr. Schmoke and his wife, Patricia, and $35,000 from attorney Ronald M. Shapiro, his campaign treasurer, the report shows.

Mr. Schmoke held a fund-raiser last night at Martin's West to retire the debt and replenish his campaign coffers. Tickets ranged from $50 to $500. The event was attended by scores of politicians, city officials and business leaders.

His 1995 campaign expenses of $1.896 million are about 20 percent more than the $1.6 million he spent when he was elected in 1987 and nearly 50 percent more than the $1.3 million he spent when he won a second term in 1991.

In last month's Democratic mayoral primary, Mr. Schmoke trounced City Council President Mary Pat Clarke by 20 points in an often-bitter race that was much more hard-fought than the final margin of victory would indicate.

Mrs. Clarke's campaign expenditures totaled $967,198, or about half those of the mayor, and she had a balance of $6,782, according to her report.

Larry S. Gibson, Mr. Schmoke's campaign chairman, said the primary was more costly than expected. "If there was one surprise, it was that Mary Pat Clarke raised more money than I had anticipated and therefore, we had to do more at the end," he said.

Mr. Schmoke is considered a virtual lock to win a third term against Republican Victor Clark Jr. in the Nov. 7 general election.

Democrats outnumber Republicans 9-1 in Baltimore, and Mr. Clark has raised just $1,000, with half coming from his own pocket.

As of Oct. 22, Mr. Schmoke had raised $1.932 million, about a third since the end of the previous reporting period Aug. 27, his report shows. That figure includes the loans from the Schmokes and Mr. Shapiro.

Of the mayor's $1.896 million in expenses, $668,811 was spent since Aug. 27, a period that included the final weeks leading to the Sept. 12 Democratic primary.

After expenses, he had $36,050 in the bank. Besides the $85,000 in loans, the mayor had unpaid bills of $3,813. That left obligations of $88,813 and a debt after applying his cash balance of $52,763.

The $25,000 interest-free loans to the campaign from Mayor Schmoke and his wife were made Aug. 30. the report shows. The loan of $35,000 from Mr. Shapiro was made Oct. 5.

Among the largest contributors to the mayor's campaign during the two-month period covered by the current report are New York financier George Soros, $4,000; Black Entertainment Television of Washington, $4,000; and Grotech MWA Limited Partnership, a Timonium firm that operates a medical waste incinerator in South Baltimore, $4,000.

Also contributing were Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, $2,000; Martin L. Grass, chairman and chief executive officer of Rite Aid Corp., $1,000; and Annapolis lobbyists Gerald E. Evans, Charles A. Dukes Jr. and Joel D. Rozner, $1,000 each.

The campaign spent the bulk of its money during the period on a last-minute primary blitz of television and radio commercials ($221,314) and booklets and newspapers ($187,002). The campaign spent $392,630 on advertising and $363,511 on literature.

During the reporting period, the campaign gave $38,750 to the campaigns and political organizations of several local politicians.

They include 4th District Democratic nominee Keiffer Mitchell, $2,500; 6th District Councilman Norman A. Handy Sr., $2,000; and unsuccessful 3rd District council candidate Nina Harper, $1,000.

Also receiving funds were the campaign organizations of several Baltimore members of the General Assembly, including Del. Ruth M. Kirk, $2,800; State Sen. Clarence W. Blount, $2,500; and State Sen. Ralph M. Hughes, $750.

In another finance report filed yesterday, Joan M. Pratt, the Democratic nominee for comptroller, reported raising $239,928 for her campaign and having $8,566 on hand.

The report for Lawrence A. Bell III, Democratic nominee for council president, was not available late yesterday afternoon.

Reports had to be delivered to the election board or postmarked no later than Friday.

Last week, Republican council president candidate Anthony D. Cobb reported collecting $2,530, and GOP comptroller candidate Christopher McShane reported raising less than $300.

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