Sposors of a $20-per-person bull roast Sunday for Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel said yesterday they plan to make no public accounting of who buys the tickets, many of which are being paid for in cash, and aren't by Mandel.
James (Jay) White III, a Republican atorney from Chastertown who is chairman of the beef-and-beer party for the Democratic governor at the Kent Island Yacht Club on the Eastern Shore, said the proceeds "will be ueed in any manner he (Mandel) directs."
The profits, which will likely range between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the turnout, will "likely" be used to help defray the cost of attorners' fees Mandel has inccurred during the prolonged defense against political corruption charges, even though Mandel already has a legal defense fund accumulated of between $100,000 and $200,000. There had been no public accounting of that money either.
"It's his money. It's all perfectly legal," said White, who described his role in the affair as largely that of a figurehaead, White said he agreed to be chairman at the request of Frank H. Harris, mandel's legislative liaison officer and constant companion.
Harris said sponsors of the event "haven't made up their minds yet" what to do with the profits. "Maybe we'll buy him a gift or something," Harris said.
The treasurer of the event, Lester Leonard, said, however, that the money "probably will go directly" to the governor's criminal lawyer, Arnold M. Weiner.
Leonard, like White a Republican lawyer (and land developer, with offices in Washington and Queenstown), said "I heard legal fees (for the first trial) were more than $100,000, and lawyers don't work two (trials) for the price of one."
(Mandel and five codefendants are scheduled to stand trial on charges of racketeering and mail fraud for a second time beginning May 31. The first trial was aborted Dec. 7 because two jury-tampering incidents were revealed to jourors.)
Leonard said the idea for the fund-raiser grew out of a conversation shortly after the mistrial was declared. "We were just sitting around feeling sorry for him," Leonard said. "It was sort of a humanitarian gesture."
The governor's recent illness "compounded" the sympathy for his situation, Leonard said.
But the fact that Mandel will not attend the affair has hurt ticket sales, Leonard said. Mandel is still recuperating from an apparently slight stroke that hospitalized him for more than three weeks last month.
The governor's wife, Jeanne, and Lt. Gov. Blair Lee III are expected to make appearances at the afternoon-long party.
"We were hoping to sell 400 or 500 tickets," Leonard said he hopes there will be a rush of tickets sold at the party, "or it's not going to be a howling success."
Deputy Attorney General George A. Nilson said that if the proceeds go to the defense fund it is "not subject to election laws" that require financial disclosure of contributors' names.
If the money is given directly to the governor, "he might have to report the income on his next financial disclosure report, and it might have some tax consequences," Nilson said, but again, there is no requirement to list the names of the ticket purchasers.
Should Mandel decide to seek public office at some future date (he cannot suceed himself as governor), he would be free to use the money on that campaign, Nilson said.
J. Carson Dowell, a Cumberland businessman who is the head of the formal Mandel defense fund, said he had heard about the bull roast, but had not been contacted by its sponsors.
While "we'll be happy to take whatever we can get," Dowell said, "we're going to have to ask a lot of questions" about the affair. Dowell said the fund's attorney had indicated "we may have an IRS problem because it may be considered a project for profit."
Dowell said there was a "lull" in contributions following the mistrial but there has been "a makred increase in unsolicited contributions to the fund since Mandel was hospitalized. He attributed the upsurge to "an emotional response - people feel sorry for him."
Dowell would not disclose how much money has been collected since the fund was begun in February, 1976, except to indicate the total was between $100,000 and $200,000.
Leonard said that while the names of buyers of Sunday's bullroast tickets will not be announced, he will be "happy to disclose all receipts and disbursements" if White approves. The major expense will be the $2,000 or so that will be paid to the yacht club for preparing and serving the food and drinks.
Although nearly a dozen physicians, most of them specialists, have examined or treated the governor since he was hospitalized on April 5, most of the medical expenses are likely to be covered by his Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurance.
Hans F. Mayer, Mandel's administrative officer, said the state pays 80 per cent of the cost of the governor's health insurance, which is supposed to cover "reasonable and customary" charges, and Mandel pays the other 20 per cent, which amounts to $9.25 every two weeks.