Ivan J. Bates is dominating the fundraising circuit and monopolizing media buys as the Baltimore state’s attorney race enters its final month before the Democratic Party primary.
Bates has raised three times more money than incumbent Marilyn Mosby since mid-January, according to just-released campaign records, and spent eight times more on TV and radio advertising than Mosby and candidate Thiru Vignarajah combined.
While Mosby still has the electoral edge as the incumbent, the “money dynamics” of the race are tilting toward Bates, a 49-year-old trial attorney.
Because there is no Republican candidate on the ballot, the June 26 Democratic primary will effectively determine Baltimore’s next states’s attorney.
The biggest pot of money still belongs to Vignarajah, a former Maryland deputy attorney general, who reported a cash balance of just under $500,000 in last night’s disclosure to the Maryland Board of Elections.
But the candidate’s total is deceptive. Half of it consists of a loan he made to himself – and has yet to spend. Raising only $109,000 since mid-January, Vignarajah has used little of it getting his campaign in gear.
Vignarajah’s pre-primary report shows $0.00 in media buys, $5,688 in campaign wages, $10,100 for billboards, and $13,500 owed to staff for “salaries and other compensation.”
Mosby raised more than Vignarajah in the same time frame: $125,269. This was added to the over $300,000 she amassed in 2017.
But Mosby has frittered away cash through unforced errors, such as hiring Quincey Gamble as her re-election manager.
The campaign had paid Gamble $33,426 before he resigned last month to face outstanding criminal charges in Baltimore Circuit Court that he had harassed two former girlfriends.
Given his connection to Mosby, the state’s attorney’s office has had to hire an outside lawyer to prosecute the pending cases.
The Mosby campaign also forked over $16,000 for computer equipment, $21,600 for polling and $20,750 to Coco B. Productions, a Gambrills, Md., consulting firm whose founder promises to “curate. . . unforgettable experiences to crystallize, customize and cultivate your vision.”
Mosby has frittered away cash through unforced errors, such as hiring Quincey Gamble as her re-election manager.
In terms of media spending, Mosby allocated $10,000 for a TV ad and $2,500 for web advertising.
Bates, in contrast, targeted nearly $100,000 in media buys, including $39,000 in TV advertising and $41,370 in radio ads.
Vacuuming up the Cash
In the last four months, Bates has secured key sources of campaign cash among real estate developers, financiers, lawyers and contractors, with the help of Colleen Martin-Lauer’s golden Rolodex.
Leading the list of deep-pocket contributors to Bates:
• The Paterakis family and its H&S Bakery. The three sons of the late patriarch, John Paterakis, contributed $5,500, while grandsons Alex and Eric Smith chipped in $5,000 more.
• Knott Mechanical, a family-run HVAC contractor based in Hunt Valley, $6,000 (the legal limit for individual contributions in Maryland).
• Grant Capital Management and executive Derek Mitchell, $6,000. The Columbia-based leasing and finance company is run by J.P. Grant, a diligent backer of Mayor Catherine Pugh and former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
• Four executives at Brown Advisory, a Baltimore investment management firm, $13,500.
• Thomas Herman, head of CR Restaurants, franchisee of local Burger Kings, $6,000.
• Dunbar Armored and its president Kevin Dunbar, $5,000.
• Terry Arenson of the Chicago Title Insurance Co., $6,000.
• Cordish Companies through the LLC Havre de Grace Associates, $6,000.
• Earl Linehan of Woodbrook Capital in Towson, $6,000.
• Residential Title & Escrow Co., controlled by Howard Perlow, founder of the annual Maryland Party bash in Las Vegas attended by leading Maryland politicians, $2,500.
• Henry Rosenberg, philanthropist and former head of Crown Central Petroleum, $6,000.
• James Abrams, head of Abrams Development of Columbia, $6,000.
• Caves Valley Partners, $1,250.
• MCS Fort Avenue, owned by developer Mark Sapperstein, $2,500.
• Investor Jeffrey A. Legum through Park Circle Co., $6,000.
• Gordon Feinblatt attorney Marc Paul Blum, $2,500.
• Carl Saiontz of Saiontz & Kirk, $1,000.
• Julie Bowen Phillips, a star of the TV sitcom “Modern Family” and a native of Ruxton, $6,000.
A Staff that Gives
Compared to Bates, Marilyn Mosby has had to hunt for small game, sometimes in untraditional places.
A notable subset of the $125,269 she raised since January, for example, is money from her own staff.
Led by deputy state’s attorneys Michael Schatzow ($1,000) and Janice Bledsoe ($1,100), more than a dozen members of Mosby’s staff contributed her campaign. Most of the donations were under $100.
State law allows government employees to make contributions to political campaigns as long as they are not coerced and do not use public resources to help the candidate.
Other contributors to Mosby included:
• BTST Service, a mental health organization, $4,000.
• Former mayor and president of the University of Baltimore Kurt Schmoke, $1,000.
• Myoung Ouk Kim of Club Paradise, $1,000.
• GLOF Inc., owner of Oxford Tavern on West North Avenue, $1,170.
• J.P. Grant (hedging his $6,000 bet on Ivan Bates, see above), $6,000.
• GreiBO K Designs, headed by festival promoter Shelonda Stokes, $2,500.
• Leading By Example, a youth behavioral health service, $6,000.
• Frank M. Reid III, former pastor of Bethel AME Church, and his wife, $950.
• Catherine Hughes, founder of Radio One (now known as Urban One), $1,000.
• University of Maryland Law Professor Larry Gibson, $500.
• George Tinsley, the former basketball great and fast-food franchiser, $1,500.
• Commercial Group owned by Kevin Johnson, $2,000.
• Ronny Rosenbluth, owner of Tov Pizza, $500.
• George Tserkis of Captain James Landing, $1,000.
Mosby also picked up small cash transfers from the campaign committees of City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young ($1,000) and U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings ($1,500).
Hoping to add some spice to her campaign, Mosby has lined up actor and rapper Common to headline a concert for her at the Assembly Room on June 3.
Thiru Vignarajah reported $108,810 in campaign contributions, much of it coming from far-flung places.
For example, an entity in Bakersfield, Calif., listed as “Ravi Patel MD Inc.” contributed a check for $6,000 on May 15. On the same day a check for $4,000 was written by “Sky King LLC” from the same street address.
Closer to home, both a “Jayajanany Jeyasingham” and a “Jayasingham Thuraisingham” are listed as contributing $5,000 to the candidate on April 30 from the same address (5920 Old Frederick Road, Catonsville).
According to Maryland land records, “Jayasingham Thurasingham” (not Thuraisingham) is the sole owner of the Catsonville property.
Other contributors included:
• Collin O’Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation, $6,000. O’Mara is married to Krish Vignarajah, the candidate’s younger sister, who is running for Maryland governor as a Democrat.
• Rakhi Naik, Vignarajah’s wife and a Johns Hopkins hematologist, $6,000.
• Three persons with the last name of Vignarajah, $15,800, including $6,000 from sister Krish.
• Melissa Sueling of Lutz, Fla., $2,000.
• Author and former New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen, $1,000.
• Rogers Smith of Philadelphia, Pa., $6,000.
• Marshall Klein of Klein’s ShopRite, $4,000.
• Bruce Cleland of the Orokawa Foundation, $2,000.