Contributions from billionaire Donald Trump, U.S. House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller and Clinton attorney-general nominee Zoe Baird helped Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend amass more than $1.8 million over the past 12 months for her gubernatorial bid next year.
On a roster that brought her fund-raising total to more than $4.36 million and her cash on hand to better than $3.26 million a year before the election, Mrs. Townsend added donors who are national and local business powers.
Contributing $4,000 to the Townsend campaign in July was the Oracle Corp. whose Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison called for the creation of a national identification card after the September 11 attacks, and offered free software to implement it.
Giving $2,000 in December was Parsons Transportation of Chicago, part of an international engineering and consulting corporation that the Maryland Department of Transportation hired to assess whether a project labor agreement that gives preference to union contractors was the best way to construct the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge east of the District.
While the New Yorker known simply as “The Donald” gave $2,000, the New Yorker now known as the mayor-elect media mogul, now-Republican Michael R. Bloomberg did not add to the $4,000 he gave Mrs. Townsend last year.
Other leading contributors include Pepco Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Derrick at $2,000; Karin De Francis, whose family owns Maryland’s major Thoroughbred racetracks, at $1,990 bringing her total since the last election to $4,000; William Haseltine, chairman of Human Genome Sciences at $1,000, bringing his total to $2,000.
At least two noted public relations firms or their officers were major contributors to Mrs. Townsend, the eldest daughter of Robert F. Kennedy.
The Hawthorn Group of Alexandria gave $4,000; and Michael Kempner, CEO of the East Rutherford, N.J.-based MWW Group, which is the nation’s sixth largest PR and marketing firm, gave $3,000.
Surprising was a $1,000 contribution listed as being from the WBAL Division of the Hearst Service in Charlotte, N.C. WBAL is a television station in Baltimore whose news departments cover state government in Maryland. Such contributions can call a media organization’s objectivity into question.
Donations included in the report were made from Nov. 22, 2000, to Nov. 1.
Of the donations of $2,000 or more, $221,330 came from Maryland addresses.
Out-of-state donations of $2,000 or more totaled $176,000, with Massachusetts home base for the Kennedy family leading at $30,000.
The number of in-state contributors to Mrs. Townsend’s campaign was 4,315; out-of-state, 2,209.
The average contribution was $277.86.