RICHMOND -- The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's proposed rule banning political contributions does not appear to have dampened the enthusiasm of municipal firms and their employees for making contributions, judging by campaign finance documents for Virginia's gubernatorial candidates.
Campaign contribution reports for Democrat Mary Sue Terry and Republican George Allen show that the candidates this year have collected $156,009.36 from investment banks and their employees.
Of that figure, $32,869.36 has been collected since the beginning of September, when firms were clearly on notice that the MSRB is serious about curbing alleged abuses.
On Aug. 4, the MSRB announced its intent to propose an aggressive rule dealing with contributions, and on Aug. 30 came out with its proposal. The following day, MSRB executive director Christopher Taylor warned municipal bond underwriters not to try to circumvent the rule by giving heavily before the regulation's effective date. The MSRB said the rule will probably not go into effect until at least January.
Under the proposed rule, firms and individual dealers would have to be able to prove that any contributions made to issuers were made without the intention of getting, keeping, or "otherwise influencing" the award of bond underwriting business.
Taylor could not be reached for comment on the Virginia contributions.
Through the first eight months of the year, the candidates received an aggregate average of $15,392.50 per month from investment banks and investment bankers. But in September and October, the average rose to $16,434.68.
Terry, who is the state's attorney general, has been the clear favorite of municipal bond firms, collecting a total of $118,444.36 from them. Allen, son of the late Washington Redskins coach, has raised just $37,565 from investment banking concerns.
Moreover, Allen received contributions only from investment bankers, not from the firms that employ them.
Terry, on the other hand, received $5,000 from PaineWebber Inc. on March 8; $5,000 from Morgan Stanley & Co. on March 8; $5,000 from Bear Stearns on April 21 and $1,000 on Oct. 18; and $2,500 from Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. on Oct. 1.
Terry also received contributions from Pryor, McClendon, Counts & Co.; Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co.; Kidder, Peabody & Co.; Shearson Lehman; Glickenhaus & Co.; and Hawkins, Delafield & Wood. And on May 10, Terry received $15,000 from Prudential Bache.
But Allen, who has surged ahead of Terry in recent polls, received $21,775 from investment bankers in September and October, compared with the $11,094.36 that they gave Terry over the same period.
From January through August, investment banks gave Allen just $15,790 and Terry $107,350.
Although Virginia law does not limit the amount of money that firms and individuals can contribute, the state requires a fairly detailed accounting of contributions in excess of $100. Contributors of that size are required to provide their name, address, occupation, and employer.
However, not all contributions have complied. For example, nine contributors to the Allen campaign indicated that they were in the securities business, but failed to identify their firms or specialization. Those contributors gave Allen a total of $11,715, with more than $10,000 of that amount being given in September and October.
Only four of Terry's contributors could not be fully identified, and they provided the Terry campaign with $1,250. Only $250 of that amount was received by the candidate after Aug. 31.
The gubernatorial campaign, which draws to a close when voters go to the polls tomorrow, has drawn lively interest among some of the locally based investment banking firms.
For example, employees of Wheat, First Securities Inc. have given $11,950 to the Terry campaign, including $1,500 from chief executive officer Marshall Wishnack. The firm itself gave Terry $8,000 during the course of the year. Also contributing to Terry's coffers was J. Cameron Hoggan Jr., managing director of Wheat First's public finance department, who gave $500 on Sept. 24.
Meanwhile, other Wheat First employees provided the Allen campaign with $7,470 during 1993. Walter W. Craigie Jr., a managing director, gave $2,700 during the course of the year. And John S. Molster, head of the firm's municipal bond department, gave the Allen campaign $250.
Employees at Scott & Stringfellow Inc. were more narrowly divided between the candidates. Employees there gave $2,650 to Terry and $2,100 to Allen.
Craigie Inc. showed a similar split, though in the form of an individual contributor. William C. Boinest, chairman of the board, contributed $500 to both candidates.