Republican J. Glenn Beall Jr. yesterday said he revealed two years ago that he received $180,000 from a secret White House fund for his 1970 Senatorial campaign and that the subject should be closed.
"I figure we must be doing something right if my opponent has to bring that issue up," Beall said at a luncheon interview with Washington Post reporters and editors.
On Wednesday Democrats Harry R. Hughes revived the issue calling on Beall to disclose how much money he had received from the secret fund and how it was spent. Hughes claimed that Beall had actually received $250,000 and some $40,000 of the money was not fully accounted for.
"Hughes is getting it confused with the total Republican Party assistance I received then," said Beall. The money he received from the secret Townhouse fund amounted to $180,000 while another $70,000 was contributed by the national committee of the Republican Party, Beall said.
"We followed the law as it was then," he said. "I've been cleared by all the investigations."
During his successful 1970 campaign against the incumbent Democrat, then Sen. Joseph D. Tydings, Beall received considerable White House support. Former president Richard M. Nixon and his wife campaigned for Beall as did then-vice president Spiro T. Agnew. But that was eight years ago, Beall stresses, and has no place as an issue in this year's gubernatorial race.
"Why doesn't Hughes talk about the issues, like whether he would veto an increase in the income tax?" Beall asked.
Beall would veto any increase because he contends that a change in the income tax rate is unnecessary since the state has a surplus of at least $80 million this year.
"He (Hughes) is bringing up old issues because he doesn't want to talk about the current ones," Beall charged.
Yesterday Beall received the endorsement of the Maryland Classfied Employees Association, the union representing 30,000 state government employes - which he takes as a sign for him that his campaign is picking up support despite a recent poll showing that Hughes is leading him by more than 30 percentage points.
The classified employes chose Beall over Hughes because they preferred the Republican's proposals for keeping their salaries abreast of the cost of living and because they preferred Beall's funning mate, Aris T. Allen, over Hughes's lieutenent governor candidate.
The employes association endorsed two Democrats for the other statewide positions: Steve Sachs for attorney general and Louis Goldstein for comproller.
Beall focused most of the interview on his proposals for cutting taxes and controlling the growth of the state budget but he refused to take a stand on similar local ballot issues.
When asked if he would vote for tax cutting charter amendments in Prince George's and Montgomery counties, Beall said he did not want to get involved in local issues. "I believe in home rule," he said.
Hughes has said he opposes constitutional or charter changes that would give local governments little room to raise money should it be necessary.