Miller's roadside delay stymies Schaefer's effort to stall...

State House Swirl

March 11, 1991|By From The Evening Sun's legislative bureau

Miller's roadside delay stymies Schaefer's effort to stall 0) gun-bill vote

What do assault weapons, telephones and stalled cars have in common? All three played a part in a Senate committee's vote Friday to kill major anti-gun legislation sponsored by the Schaefer administration.

Hearing that the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee had scheduled an early-morning vote on two of his gun bills, Gov. William Donald Schaefer made a hasty phone call to committee chairman Sen. Walter M. Baker asking the Eastern Shore Democrat to please delay the vote.

Schaefer's legislative staff wanted time to lobby a couple of committee members who seemed to be swing votes and could have saved the governor's bills.

When Baker, who took the call as the committee was meeting, refused the request, the governor got Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.'s car phone number and called the powerful Prince George's County Democrat.

Miller said he was driving to Annapolis but had come upon a car stalled in the middle of the lane just outside Clinton. Miller had stopped and was trying to help push the disabled car off the road when the governor called. Miller took the call and agreed to comply with the governor's plea to call Baker and ask the committee chairman to delay the vote.

But, before he made the call to Baker, Miller went back to the stalled car and finished moving it to the side of the road. By the time Miller was able to call Baker, the committee already had voted down one gun bill and was about to kill the other.

You are what you read?

If the seeds of political philosophies are sown in great writings and teachings, what's on the minds of the women who work on the second floor of the House office building in Annapolis?

The women's restroom, not far from the women legislators' office, offers an array of reading material for those using the facility.

The most prominent feature of the reading selection is a collection of Harlequin Romance paperbacks. Among the 42 little books are these titles: "House of Mirrors," "A Grand Illusion," "Roses All the Way," "Night Train," "True Enchantment," "No Gentle Loving" and "Send Me No Flowers." Could the last tome represent a little anti-lobbyist sentiment?

A portrait in software

There are personal computer programs to do practically anything these days, including putting together a fairly accurate personality profile.

Based upon the adjectives selected by its user, a program called Prophecy, designed by a West Coast outfit, came up with the following description of one William Donald Schaefer:

"Schaefer is that character that everyone wishes they could figure out. He seems to march to his own drummer, and couldn't care less whether he is leading a parade, or disappearing alone into the distance.

"Schaefer lets nothing stand in his way of getting what he wants. The question now is, what does he want? You can bet if it's something nobody has ever had before, tried before or accomplished before, it will lure him irresistibly.

"Schaefer likes to get there first with the most. Add an element of risk and uncertainty, and season it with competition, add points for aggressiveness and single-mindedness, and Schaefer will remain happily absorbed (some say obsessed) with his project for months on end.

"Work may just be what Schaefer lives for. He is probably the most single-minded, determined person in the workplace, and he wants to see things done his own way. With his strong, controlling and often insensitive personality, Schaefer may make enemies, but he doesn't care who wins the popularity contest. His project is everything to him, and he will bend every effort to see that it is carried through successfully.

"His intensity is probably quite daunting to anybody who has to work alongside him. Expect Schaefer to be intrigued with anything new. He is like a kid with a new toy. The bigger the idea and its consequences, the more fascinated he will be. But in his preoccupation with projects, he will tend to neglect details, procedures, protocol; he is an informal, do-it-now person, and stepping on toes is in his nature. When something needs to get done, Schaefer thinks, damn the red tape, full speed ahead."

All that from a computer.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.