Virginia Gov. Charles S. Robb used $52,230 in undisclosed contributions that came in after his election to pay off campaign debts and for parties at the Executive Mansion, dues for the Democratic governors' conference and the mailing of 4,000 Christmas cards to friends and campaign supporters.
The uses to which the money was put as part of a political action committee fund were disclosed today, along with a hand-written list of 75 previously unnamed contributors who sent in checks to Robb's campaign committee after his 1981 election. It showed a heavy concentration of Tidewater businessmen, lawyers and real estate developers along with a handful of coal companies and out of state corporations.
"We looked on this as a political thing," said Del. Alson H. Smith (D-Winchester), when asked about the use of the contributions. "It was the governor's. It didn't have anything to do with the Democratic party."
Today's disclosure was ordered by Robb following news stories reporting the existence of a new "Virginians for Good Government Inc." political action committee. The committee was set up by Smith with $96,760 in funds from Robb's campaign committee, more than half of which came from the previously undisclosed postelection contributions. The list, prepared by Winchester accountant Anthony Barone and released by Smith, was sparse on details. Some of the names were hard to read and there were no addresses or places of businesses attached, as is required in official reports to the Board of Elections.
Virginia election law does not require disclosure of postelection contributions.
Del. Alan A. Diamonstein (D-Newport News), chairman of the state Democratic party, said most of those named on the list were businessmen who came to a fund-raiser attended by Robb that Diamonstein organized at a Newport News restaurant about a week after the election. "The checks were given to me and I accumulated them," said Diamonstein. "I kept them in my pocket . . . There was nothing that was done illegally."
The Newport News donors, who gave between $250 and $1,000, were listed as contributing on Jan. 13, 1982, apparently the date Diamonstein turned over the checks to the Robb campaign committee. The final large contribution on the list, $5,000, was made on June 16, 1982, by "Monument Associates-Wash. D.C." Smith identified this company as being owned by Washington area condominium developers Myer Feldman and Gary and Scott Nordheimer. None of the principals could be reached for comment.
Of the $26,686 in previously unreported expenditures by the Robb campaign committee, most went to pay off old campaign debts, such as telephone bills, printing and airplane expenses. The report shows that $8,291 was spent for a series of parties at the mansion in May for contributors, and $748.72 was spent for a smaller affair at the Commonwealth Club in Richmond in March.
The list also showed that Robb used $2,000 of the funds to pay his dues to the Democratic Governor's Conference. Last month, he spent $2,392 to pay for 4,000 Christmas cards, with a picture of Robb and his family, which were sent to campaign contributors, political supporters and staff members, according to George Stoddart, Robb's press secretary.