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Campaign cash 'part of the process'

September 11, 1998|By BRENDAN KIRBY

The pace of fund-raising in local Maryland General Assembly races slowed during the last reporting period with one notable exception - the hotly contested primary battle between Del. John P. Donoghue and Paul D. Muldowney.

According to campaign finance reports filed last week, Donoghue has turned up the heat in his bid to win the nomination to District 2C, which roughly comprises Hagerstown.

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Between Aug. 4 and Aug. 30, Donoghue raised $10,050, giving him a total of $32,149 for the election. He has $8,651 remaining for the final stretch, according to the report.

"Campaigns cost money. It's part of the process," Donoghue said.

More than half of Donoghue's fund-raising in the most recent period - $5,950 - came from political action committees. Maryland House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr., D-Allegany, transferred $2,000 to Donoghue from his campaign treasury.

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Muldowney, who raised $5,575 during the last period, noted the special interest money Donoghue has collected.

"All of it has come from outside the county, Taylor, insurance companies, trial lawyers," said Muldowney, who has $5,190 cash on hand. "I want to be obligated to the people who elected me. I don't want to be obligated to large contributors who live outside the district."

Muldowney said he returned a $50 contribution from the Maryland Chiropractic PAC. He said he received two $100 donations from friends who live outside the district.

"With those two exceptions, every dime of my support has come from Washington County," he said.

Muldowney suggested Taylor's contribution might be payback for Donoghue's decision to abstain from the vote to approve public financing of the Baltimore Ravens stadium.

"Absolutely not," Donoghue said.

After the 1996 vote, Donoghue said he abstained because the investment firm he works for might benefit from the sale of state bonds. Donoghue later voted for the capital budget that included the stadium project.

Donoghue also flatly denied that PAC money influences his vote.

"No, absolutely not. I'm beholden to no one," he said.

The heavy fund-raising stands in contrast with other races in Washington County.

Del. D. Bruce Poole, D-Washington, who has raised a total of $5,016, took in only $1,400 during the last reporting period. He has $6,800 cash on hand heading into the primary, in which he is unopposed.

Christopher B. Shank, who is running for the Republican nomination in Poole's district, raised just $75 from two donations. That compares with $5,773 that he raised in the last period. He has $1,500 cash on hand.

David M. Russo, who is challenging Shank for the nomination, loaned himself $1,000. He has raised a total of $4,025 - all from loans he has made - and has $625 cash on hand.

Primary challenger Victoria "Vikki" Nelson out-raised Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, $1,335 to $900 in the last period. Munson still commands a hefty overall lead and has $12,278 cash on hand compared with $624 for Nelson.

In the contested race for circuit judge, sitting judges Donald E. Beachley and W. Kennedy Boone III raised $9,300 for their slate. They have $995 remaining.

Challenger Gregory C. Bannon, a Hagerstown attorney, raised $2,224 in the last period. He has $1,305 cash on hand.

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