Mayoral contenders disclose finances

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Some of the largest donors to Andrey Bundley's underdog campaign for mayor are himself, the 4 Aces Bail Bonds company of East Baltimore and Tyrone's Fried Chicken of West Baltimore.

The biggest donors to Mayor Martin O'Malley's re-election effort include Ravens owners Art and Patricia Modell, the prestigious law firm of Whiteford, Taylor and Preston and the Phillips Restaurant at the Inner Harbor.

Not surprisingly, O'Malley has a bit more money. To be exact, the incumbent has 88 times as much campaign cash in the bank -- $2 million compared to the $22,753 for Bundley, the principal of Walbrook High School making his first run for office.

The figures were released yesterday as part of the first of two disclosures of campaign finance reports required before the Sept. 9 municipal primary. The next reporting date is Aug. 29.

"I think the people like what the mayor has done over the last four years, and they share his vision for Baltimore, and that's why we've had the success in fund raising that we've had," said Colleen Martin-Lauer, a fund-raising and campaign consultant hired by O'Malley.

O'Malley said he was encouraged by the number of unions that contributed to his campaign. He received $6,000 from the United Industrial Workers, $4,000 from the International Union of Operating Engineers, and $2,000 each from the local teachers union and local bricklayers, among several other groups.

He said the contributions suggested that most local working people support him, despite the attempts by a few leaders of a public employees union to block an AFL-CIO endorsement of him July 18.

"The overwhelming number of unions are with me," O'Malley said. "Every working person benefits from a city that is growing and building again. All of the unions benefit from our city's progress."

The finance reports highlight the stark differences between the campaigns.

O'Malley has hired experts from across the nation.

He has paid $67,466 to the Tyson Organization phone services firm of Fort Worth, Texas, to call voters and ask for their support, and $28,000 to Houston-based consulting firm Varoga Rice and Shalett for reports and advice on urban issues.

He is paying $1,882 every two weeks to new campaign spokeswoman Kimberlin Love, who worked for Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.

He has paid $35,000 to Washington-based polling firm Peter D. Hart Research Associates Inc., and $35,000 to the Washington-based Dixon/Davis Media Group to make TV ads.

Much of O'Malley's fund raising has been led by Martin-Lauer, a Baltimore-based campaign consultant who has received $56,356.

Bundley has collected a total of $107,000. He has spent $87,000, $19,000 of which was paid to Julius Henson's company, Politics Today. Henson is Bundley's campaign consultant and a veteran of Baltimore politics.

"I knew he wasn't going to have a lot of money," Henson said. "He couldn't afford to pay me a lot of money. We're just like the people who are voting for us -- we don't have a lot of money."

Bundley's own contributions total $4,179, campaign finance records show, making Bundley his own biggest benefactor.

Most of his largest contributors are local companies -- Tyrone's Fried Chicken ($3,000), 4 Aces Bail Bonds Inc. and the Bridges Project ($4,000 each).

"We have enough money to finish strong," Bundley said.

The most notable politician to contribute was City Comptroller Joan Pratt, who transferred $1,500 from her account to his.

"O'Malley was way off on his projections to bring the murder rates down. We've spent a lot of money on policing, and what good has it done?" said Pratt.

Bundley also received $1,000 each from attorney William H. Murphy Jr. and the Rev. Jamal Bryant, pastor of the Empowerment Temple, and $2,500 from attorney Warren A. Brown.

The many who donated the maximum of $4,000 to O'Malley's campaign include: the Rev. Frank M. Reid III, who leads one of the city's largest churches; Richard O. Berndt, attorney and political adviser; developer Otis Warren Jr.; Phillips Harborplace Inc.; and the developers of the North Shore at Canton Town Homes.

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