WASHINGTON – Maryland residents and companies have donated more than $600,000 to the fund for President-elect George W. Bush’s inaugural, according to reports filed by the inaugural committee.
On closer examination, however, many Maryland donors listed by the Center for Responsive Politics, are lobbyists for or executives of companies based elsewhere.
Only a handful of the state’s donors are private individuals. Thomas Graham, Jr. is one of that handful. He’s also one of only four of the more than 220 donors nationwide who contributed less than $5,000.
Graham’s $2,500 donation bought him a ticket to Thursday’s candlelight dinner.
“I’ve been making personal donations for a couple of years,” he said. The Bethesda resident is an arms-control expert and the president of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security. Graham also bought two ball tickets and two bleacher tickets for the inaugural parade.
Patricia Bush, a Chevy Chase homemaker who is not related to the president-elect, said she has donated to the party and the candidate in the past. She wasn’t sure why she was listed as a donor, finally attributing it to her candlelight dinner tickets. She was one of the 20 donors who gave $5,000.
“I believe he’s a good man. I believe we have a good administration coming up,” said Bush, who “grew up a Democrat” but has been a Republican since Barry Goldwater ran for president in 1964.
Other Maryland donors included James W. Ziglar of Potomac, the sergeant at arms of the Senate and a former managing director at PaineWebber who gave $25,000.
Russell Wisor of Potomac was listed as giving $100,000, but an aide said it was the donation was made on behalf of the Pittsburgh aluminum giant ALCOA. Wisor is a lobbyist for ALCOA, the Aluminum Corporation of America. Paul O’Neill, the incoming Secretary of the Treasury, was chairman and CEO of ALCOA until May 1999.
Therese Shaheen of Potomac and Thomas Collamore of Chevy Chase each gave $100,000 to the committee. The Center for Responsive Politics said Shaheen’s donation came from the USAsia Commercial Development Corp. and Collamore’s donation is from Philip Morris.
There’s also a $200,000 donation from Bethesda’s Lockheed Martin, said the Center for Responsive Politics, which took its data from the inaugural committee report. Although the committee limited donations to $100,000, Lockheed Martin and Teaneck, N.J.-based Lockheed Martin IMS each contributed the maximum.
Another $100,000 donor, Robert L. Mitchell of Rockville, is the chairman of Mitchell and Best Homebuilders. Baltimore resident Kenneth A. Bourne Jr. is executive vice president of Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Co. He reportedly gave $25,000 to the inauguration.
Maryland was tied for eighth in number of donations from a state and 10th in total amount given, according to the center’s date. Bush’s home state of Texas was leading the nation Friday, with 37 donations totaling more than $3.2 million.