Political signs fade away at Halloween

October 28, 1990|By John W. Frece and Dennis O'Brien of The Sun's metropolitan staff contributed these notes.

Anthony Carroll is sure that political motives lie behind the thefts of two Roger Hayden lawn signs from the front yard of his home on the 2800 block of Louisiana Avenue.

Mr. Carroll, a state traffic engineer, said the signs for the GOP challenger for Baltimore County executive were stolen Oct. 10 and last Wednesday. Both times, he said, they were the only ones taken in his predominantly Democratic neighborhood in Lansdowne.

The dozen or so signs up and down his block that promote Democratic candidates have been left intact, he said.

Police have said they will keep a closer eye on the neighborhood.

Democratic Party officials say that they are not responsible and that they, too, have lost signs.

Robert Infussi Sr., incumbent Dennis F. Rasmussen's campaign manager, said the loss of signs was a political fact of life.

OC He has stored signs until after Halloween to replace what he ex

pects will be stolen and vandalized on the traditional night of mischief.

Mr. Carroll said he had ordered a new Hayden sign.

One is to be delivered in the next few days, he said.

In the meantime, he has put up a new sign.

RF This one warns passers-by that the theft of signs is a criminal of



It was, the state's secretary of transportation thought, a somewhat premature political obituary.

So, when Richard H. Trainor read in a newspaper the rumor that had been circulating in state government circles for months -- that he might be leaving Gov. William Donald Schaefer's Cabinet after this fall's election -- he decided to respond.

In an Oct. 12 memo "from your beloved leader" to the chiefs of his department's various divisions, Mr. Trainor said:

"The report in yesterday's paper that I'm preparing for retirement is absolutely true. Unfortunately, at the pace I operate, said preparation may take four more years.

"For those who may consider my retirement as an opportunity -- my regrets. And, to those who would sorely miss me -- have a nice week."

Mr. Trainor laughed when asked about the memo. "I may get fired, but I'm not planning on retiring," he said.

Since taking over in transportation, Mr. Trainor has had hidifficulties with the General Assembly.

He came under intense fire from legislators and his boss when the cost of the light-rail line from Hunt Valley to Glen Burnie came in 50 percent over budget.

"I had heard the rumors. Two or three people had called me, asked if there was any truth to it," he said, explaining why he --ed off the memo.

K? "When people think you're leaving, everybody gets nervous."

To the victor may go the spoils, but along with victory come some tough decisions.

Just ask Vincent Gardina -- who won the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County Council in the 5th District but must still win Nov. 6.

Mr. Gardina, 34, is a political newcomer who beat a four-term incumbent to win the Democratic slot in the 5th District.

But Mr. Gardina, who ran as a political outsider concerned about growth and environmental issues, decided after winning the primary to join the Democratic ticket headed by County Executive Dennis F. Rasmussen.

Some of his followers, who harbor hard feelings against Mr. Rasmussen, felt betrayed and came out to a press briefing earlier this month for Mr. Gardina's GOP opponent, Patricia Fullagar.

Nancy Hastings, one campaign worker, said she felt Mr. Gardina abandoned many of his strongest supporters with the decision.

"He was independent. Now, he's just like the rest of them," she said.

Mr. Gardina said he faced the option of running as an outsider and "just blowing hot air" for four years as a councilman or joining the Democratic ticket and working to secure the new school, road improvements and environmental measures that are needed.

"It was a tough decision," he said. "I guess I'll have more of them ahead of me."

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