Governor vs. his own ego

Newswatch...on Maryland politics

October 26, 1990|By Peter Kumpa

With only 11 days to go before the election, Gov. William Donald Schaefer is out campaigning as hard as he did in his primary four years ago against then-Attorney General Steve Sachs. He will be spending the weekend in Western Maryland, then a day each in Montgomery and Prince George's counties. And he's working as his television spots hit the screens in full force.

Why the big push? Schaefer keeps seeking that great mandate he believes he deserves. Statewide polls to be published this week are expected to show little change in his overwhelming lead over Republican William S. Shepard.

The governor will take it hard if he loses some Eastern Shore counties, or even individual localities, like a Dundalk.

What buoys his sometimes gloomy spirits is that glossy rally that a committee of Italian-Americans, headed by Carl T. Julio and Anthony Piccinini, held for Schaefer out at the Days Hotel in Timonium. The master of ceremonies, Dan Zaccagnini, had the governor glowing when he said this isn't his last campaign. "There's only two places for him to go [in 1994] and we don't think he'll want to run for the Senate," shouted Zaccagnini, "so it will be a go for the White House!"

After telling the audience that he is "worried" because of the "kick 'em all out" mood of the electorate, Schaefer closed by saying, "If you think we're going to sit on our butts until we run for the White House -- you're wrong."

The Republicans for Schaefer reception at the lavish Inn at the Colonnade was another ego-boosting trip for the governor. Over 200 Republicans were there because, in the words of Dr. Allan Levey, the former GOP state chairman, Schaefer is "a doer, someone who made our state something to be proud of." The only fumble of that evening was co-chair Courtney McKeldin's confusion about Election Day. She thought it was Nov. 7, not Nov. 6.

Some half-dozen college Republicans picketing the meeting had chat with the governor before the reception. He praised them for taking an active political role. They didn't seem to know that state tax money goes to private as well as public higher education. When the governor left, the pickets put away their Shepard signs, took off their badges and went inside for wine and snacks.

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Potential shockers: If any Republican wins a race in Prince George's County. If GOP challenger Willie Rush wins over Sen. Tommy Bromwell in Baltimore County's 8th District. If one of the two GOP candidates edges out House Majority Leader John Arnick in Dundalk. If the "Brewster" confusion means Sen. John Pica has a close race in a city contest when no voters bother to turn out. If Larry Epstein is confused with Comptroller Louis Goldstein and comes close. If the GOP candidate for Montgomery County executive, Albert Ceccone, beats either Neal Potter, the Democrat, or Sidney Kramer, the write-in hopeful. If 50 percent of the voters turn out. If the Howard County GOP makes no gains.

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By the way: The true grit award goes to Baltimore City GOP Chairman David Blumberg, who hobbled out of the hospital in his neon-blue cast yesterday evening to attend a central committee meeting. He broke his left ankle in three places in a game of touch football with "a bunch of Democrats." Blumberg welcomes suggestions for a Republican mayoral candidate for next year.

City Councilman John A. Schaefer, D-1st, feels it's never too early for those elections. The five-term incumbent raised close to $50,000 Tuesday night for his re-election effort. Schaefer has already announced he will form a ticket with fellow incumbent Dominic Mimi DiPietro and State Central Committee member Joseph R. Ratajczak.

Bantering with reporters in Howard County the other day, Governor Schaefer suggested that the Democratic 1994 ticket for governor would be Prince George's County Executive Parris Glendening and Howard County Executive Elizabeth Bobo. Joke?

Former Sen. Victor Cushwa was 66 last Monday but kept to a new and tough schedule without complaint. Three times a week the Williamsport Democrat drives down to Baltimore for his work at the Public Service Commission. Twice a week he drives to Bethesda for treatment at the National Cancer Institute, receiving chemotherapy for a lung tumor. He is in a special group that treats former smokers who have never had any previous treatment. He continues working because he says "I really enjoy it." He promises to "stick it out." He insisted his wife, Sen. Patricia Cushwa, continue her campaigning in a tough and close race against Del. Donald Munson.

Rep. Helen Delich Bentley has taped radio spots for Roger Hayden, the GOP challenger to Baltimore County Executive Dennis Rasmussen. Bentley is calling for a vote for Hayden because she says he's high qualified, has school board experience and is an excellent fiscal manager.

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