Federal anti-drug czar William Bennett doesn't have anything against Gov. William Donald Schaefer. In fact, he says, Maryland has a good reputation when it comes to fighting drugs.
But, being a loyal Republican, Bennett yesterday endorsed Schaefer's Republican opponent, William S. Shepard.
Bennett helped raise about $10,000 at a $125-a-head breakfast on the fogged-in 16th floor of the USF&G building, which probably qualified the event as the most successful fund-raiser of Shepard's financially strapped campaign.
"There's a lot going on in Maryland that's right [regarding the battle against drugs]," Bennett said. "But, I think more needs to be done."
In particular, Bennett suggested the state needs to build more prisons to house drug offenders.
Bennett quickly conceded that he couldn't remember Schaefer's stance on prison construction. In fact, Schaefer has pushed for several new prison projects and has called for a new large prison in Western Maryland.
Bennett concluded, "Maryland's reputation is pretty good on drugs."
The lukewarm criticism of Schaefer didn't seem to bother Shepard, who is predicting a photo finish in Tuesday's election.
A poll released this week showed Shepard had picked up some ground on Schaefer, with the governor holding a 59-30 lead, with 11 percent undecided.
Schaefer, meanwhile, hosted a rally attended by several hundred people at Mondawmin Mall.
He was headed to Western Maryland today, where a stop was planned at a Hagerstown McDonald's outlet, which is changing its name to "Donald's" for the day.