Real estate political action committee contributions to local Republican candidates have outpaced contributions to Democrats by about four to one over the last two years, according to a survey of Federal Election Commission documents.
PAC contributions from realtors, homebuilders and realty lenders to Maryland and Virginia Republican winners were $71,200 for that period, compared to $17,650 for their Democratic counterparts.
Among the major Republican recipients in the Maryland and Virginina delegations were Rep. Stan Parris (R-Va.), with $19,200 in real estate money; Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) with $12,000, and Senator-elect Paul Trible (R-Va.) with $15,000.
Rep. Roy Dyson (D-Md.) was the Democratic leader with $3,650. His closest competitor was Rep. Beverly Byron (D-Md.) with $3,400.
The most active among the contributors is the Realtors Political Action Committee (RPAC) of the National Association of Realtors. RPAC gave roughly $2.3 million during the current congressional session -- up from $1.6 million during the congressional session ending in 1980 -- according to Executive Vice President Jack Carlson.
RPAC uses a report card to evaluate the performance of legislators, gauging 25 of his or her votes on issues affecting mortgage interest rates; housing starts and sales; commercial and industrial real estate construction; inflation, and employment.
The lion's share of the votes RPAC scrutinizes are directly or indirectly concerned with tax and budget bills. Although there is a generally conservative cast to the issues with which the Realtors are concerned and to the candidates to whom they contribute, they are not entirely predictable.
One member of the association's political affairs division described the specificity of the group's interests."We are trying to reduce the [federal] deficit. . . . We're not interested in what the surgeon general says about video games."
The association supported earlier this year an amendment to defer or eliminate the 1983 individual income tax cut in favor of "a fiscally prudent tax cut which distributes benefits fairly to all working and middle-income Americans."
This stance represented a moderate mid-course correction for the group, after its earlier, strong support of President Reagan's economic recovery program.
The group also supported the $90 billion tax increase passed this summer.
William Ellingsworth, the association's Washington news director, said the group originally had opposed the first three-year, 30 percent individual tax cut because of its size.
"We said, 'That's insanity,' " Ellingsworth said. "We didn't see the spending cuts to offset the loss in revenue."
He said the group was "out in front" on the 25 percent tax reduction that eventually was adopted.
The association had reviewed its position in light of the sagging economy. Earlier this year, they proposed a deferral of the second installment of the tax cut, Ellingsworth said, to avoid revenue loss during that critical time. "We are in the same position on the next cut," he said.
Ellingsworth was doubtful about the administration proposal to accelerate the third installment of the tax cut to Jan. 1, 1983.
"I don't think it's going to happen," he said.
He said the association still has reservations about the use of tax cuts as a vehicle for motivating the economy, given the increasing size of the federal deficit.
Ellingsworth said the association could not support these measures until "they [the administration] identify the spending cuts to go along with the decrease in revenue."
Although the argument can be made that the group has shown a certain flexibility on the tax law, their report card ratings still overwhelmingly favor Republican candidates.
All of the Republican winners in Virginia and Maryland received an "A," or most favorable, rating on the Realtors' report card for 1981 and 1982, while only three of the Democratic winners, Maryland Reps. Dyson and Byron and Virginia's Dan Daniel, earned that mark.
Another group active in PAC contributions is the National Association of Home Builders. Their totals for contributions to candidates are more evenly distributed between the two parties.
The winners and losers had their own theories about why PAC money goes where it does.
Dick Leggitt, spokesman for Rep. Parris, -- a top recipient of real estate PAC contributi ns -- attributed the volume of contributions given Parris to the closeness of his race with former representative Herb Harris.
"I think you will find that the PACs will contribute where they think it will do the most good," he said.
Meanwhile, a staffer for Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) showed little surprise at the congresswoman's grade of "F" on the RPAC report card.
"Barbara has not traditionally been a leader in these areas," she said. "It's not one of our big constituencies."