COLLEGE PARK – With a substantial fund-raising lead over his Democratic challenger in the 6th District, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett has begun donating funds to other Republican campaigns in Maryland and elsewhere.
The Frederick Republican had raised $482,009 for his 2004 campaign and spent $320,743 as of June 30, the date of the last filing with the Federal Election Commission. Democratic challenger Kenneth Bosley has not yet raised the minimum $5,000 that would require him to file a report with the FEC.
With that lead, Bartlett’s latest FEC report reads like a political travelogue: In the last quarter, he sent $1,000 each to the Coburn for Senate Committee in Muskogee, Okla., the Demint for Senate Committee in Columbia, S.C., the Nethercutt for Senate campaign in Bellevue, Wash., the Schaffer for Senate campaign in Centennial, Colo., and the Vitter for U.S. Senate campaign in Metairie, La.
Bartlett also gave closer to home, sending $4,000 to the Bob Ehrlich for Maryland campaign, $225 to the Washington County Republican Central Committee and $100 to the Maryland Federation of Republican Women, among other expenditures.
But aides deny that the recent donations to other Republican campaigns is evidence that Bartlett thinks he has an easy race of ahead of him.
“The level of seriousness remains the same,” Lisa Wright, Bartlett’s press officer said. “He serves at the pleasure of the voters and he takes that very seriously.”
And Bosley denied that his lack of funding is an impediment to his campaign.
“We haven’t collected our financial obligations yet. We’ve told people to hold it off and do it later rather than earlier,” Bosley said. “When the campaign heats up that’s when we will make our biggest effort.”
Besides, he said, “money is not the issue as far as the ability to collect votes.” Bosley cited Bartlett’s decision to attend a banquet in honor of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon earlier this year as an example of political folly that will cost the incumbent votes.
While this is Bosley’s first run in the 6th District, it is not his first bid for Congress from Maryland. He ran three times — in 1998, 2000 and 2002 — for the 2nd District seat in the Baltimore suburbs before redistricting landed him in Bartlett’s 6th District, which stretches across central and Western Maryland.
-30- CNS 08-20-04