Gingrich to speak at GOP fundraiser

June 28, 2005|by TONY BUDNY

FREDERICK, Md. - Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, will speak at a Republican fundraising breakfast Saturday at the Francis Scott Key Holiday Inn in Frederick.

Gingrich comes to the event in the midst of a promotional tour for his newest book, "Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America." Gingrich will sign copies of the book and mingle with the public during the event.

The Western Maryland Republican Victory Fund, a new political action committee, is holding the event, according to state Del. Joseph Bartlett, R-Frederick. The PAC is a fundraising tool for seven current GOP state House of Delegates members.


Bartlett said the seven Republicans have formed a slate and could use the funds raised through the PAC for their campaigns, or those of other Western Maryland Republican candidates running for the House or state Senate. Bartlett said the group also could decide to donate to another candidate outside Western Maryland, such as Gov. Robert Ehrlich.

"If we decide that we want to give funds to the Bob Ehrlich campaign, we are bound by the same $4,000 donation limit for individuals, but there is unlimited transfer between the members inside the slate," Bartlett said.

Bartlett and six other Maryland delegates - Leroy Myers Jr., R-Washington; Christopher Shank, R-Washington; Richard Weldon Jr., R-Frederick; Robert McKee, R-Washington; Paul Stull, R-Frederick; and Patrick Hogan, R-Frederick - formed the slate to help coordinate efforts to bolster the number of Republicans in the House of Delegates.

Bartlett said there could be as many as 11 delegates on the slate as election time draws nearer.

"We hope to gain a specific number of seats in the Maryland House of Delegates to help form a veto-proof majority for Gov. Ehrlich," he said.

Weldon said the slate has two goals.

"The first ... is to assist Republican challengers who are trying to get campaign plans organized for 2006. The second is to provide financial support for the current incumbent legislators," Weldon said.

Saturday's breakfast begins at 8:15 p.m. Tickets cost $100 per person. Recognition at the breakfast and a six-ticket package can be purchased for $500. A photo opportunity, private meeting and autograph session costs $1,000 per person.

Advance arrangements may be made by calling Bartlett at 240-367-6146 or Weldon at 301-788-3381. Tickets are available at the door.

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