« General election Early voting exceeds primary total | Main | Tea leaves and early voting »

October 26, 2010

Danny Schuster puts another $47,200 behind Harris

With a big new investment in Andy Harris' congressional bid, Baltimore area concrete magnate Danny Schuster appears to be cementing (ahem) his status as Maryland's top donor of the 2010 midterm campaign.

The vehicle for Schuster's largesse, DGS Construction Inc., which he owns, just put $47,200 into a radio ad campaign on behalf of Harris, the veteran Republican state lawmaker who is challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil in Maryland's First District (parts of Baltimore, Harford, Anne Arundel counties, plus the Eastern Shore).

In addition to Harris, the big beneficiaries of Schuster's latest spending are WBAL radio, which charged DGS $25,600 for airtime, and--interestingly--Radio One, which sold $21,600 worth on its stations, which include WOLB, that largely aim their programming at African American audiences.

Black voters make up about ten percent of the district's population but aren't expected to turn out at nearly that rate in the election. A recent Sun poll found a tiny number of black voters who were either undecided or were Kratovil supporters who said they could change their mind; a total of 12 voters who said they were African-American were included in the survey (of 520 likely voters) and none said they were supporting Harris.

Earlier this month, Schuster's company put $300,000 into a Super PAC that has gone on the attack against Kratovil.

To put Schuster's giving into context, bigtime Democratic money man Peter G. Angelos, the Baltimore lawyer who owns the Orioles and historically ranks among the state's biggest political donors, has contributed a total of $128,700 to a variety of candidates and Democratic Party committees in the 2010 campaign.

Schuster, you may recall, had $600 of the money he donated directly to Harris refunded, because it exceeded the $2,400 limit an individual can give a candidate for each election. The rest of his 2010 giving on Harris' behalf is for so-called independent expenditure ads, which typically copy what a candidate is saying but are not supposed to be coordinated with the campaign.

It's all legal as a result of a Supreme Court ruling last winter, and related federal court action, that opened the spigots for unlimited spending by corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals.

Posted by Paul West at 6:20 PM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010


Voter fraud on the part of the Democrats has already been seen in Nevada, North Carolina and Texas.

I vote against the attack ads with my mute button. Election day can't come soon enough for me to free me from this incessant burden of false and distorted claims.

This is not a democracy when a rich moron like Schuster can put hundreds of thousands behind a candidate because he has a bug somewhere. Out country, our troops and our citizens deserve better than bought elections from such a fool.

This is truly outrageous. How are we different than the Taliban when we let one businessman - no doubt either because Harris shares his extreme religious positions and both want to make law based on their religion or because he wants to buy favor for his business - override the will of the people and buy the election. That is too much influence for any one individual and not what a Democracy is about. I hope the voters override his phat cash and elect Frank Kratovil. If there was any doubt that Harris really isn't for those in his district, this sure makes that crystal clear. Let's not let extremists and businesses run Maryland.


Voter fraud affects one vote per conviction. There may be a few cases of voter fraud (how many can you document?).

However, ELECTION FRAUD, which is a GOOPer specialty, could affect a dozen to hundreds per conviction. All the Kirk campaign 'election watchers' in Illinois? Why are they all in heavily Democratic precincts? To scare off potential voters for the Democratic candidates?

No offense, but the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United did not limited unlimited spending on issue ads to --as you put it, "wealthy individuals". Poor and middle-class individuals enjoy the same right under Citizens United as the wealthy.

Yes, they cannot exercise that right easily, but at least say "individuals" instead of trying to slant your post (inaccurately, in my opinion).

Schuster (Dgs Construction) bemoans "out-of-state" contributions but fails to mention all the out-of-state surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other big tag physicians. Or his own $300,000 to a Super PAC bloated with untraceable money. This is what the GOP is all about, buying elections.

Why is the sun paper not reporting that over 80% of OMalley funds come from out of State. His big contributor are the Kennedys. He was promised this if he didnt run against KAtheen T. Kennedy. she lost but he is still getting there support. If you to report on one please try and report on all. Kratovil has yet to show his face in Harford county.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):


Headlines from The Baltimore Sun
About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
Most Recent Comments
Sign up for FREE local news alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local news text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Breaking News newsletter
When a big news event breaks, we'll e-mail you the basics with links to up-to-date details.
Sign up

Blog updates
Recent updates to news blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected