Apparently tired of his candidate being broadsided by mayoral rival Clarence H. Du Burns, the manager of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's campaign committee says Schmoke will be firing a few shots of his own.
Larry S. Gibson told a recent gathering of the New Democratic Club that Schmoke's 1991 re-election campaign will talk about the "deficiencies of the mayor's opponents" as well as the mayor's record in office.
That is a marked change from Schmoke's 1987 campaign when, Gibson said, there was a "directive" not to criticize Burns to show "respect and deference to the city's first elected black mayor."
No such courtesy will be extended this year, Gibson said.
"He's taking credit for all sorts of things he had nothing or very little to do with," Gibson said of Burns. "Everyone knows that when he was on the City Council the body was little more than a rubber stamp for Mayor [William Donald] Schaefer. Now, Du wants to take credit for Harborplace. How many people are taking credit for that?"
For his part, Burns has been bashing Schmoke as a mayor whose impressive Ivy League credentials mean nothing when it comes to the realities of running a major city.
"I said in 1987 that if this guy won, the city would drift into the bay," Burns told the NDC meeting. "Well, we're in the water."
Pay back: The dust of a bitter councilmanic redistricting fight may have settled, but as this year's city election campaign begins to unfold, it appears candidates are looking to get even.
City comptroller candidate Joseph T. "Jody" Landers 3rd and Perry Sfikas, a City Council challenger in the 1st District, have agreed to support each other's candidacy in the upcoming municipal elections. Sfikas is challenging the three incumbents, two of whom voted to support the new redistricting map.
The 3rd District, which Landers now represents in the council, was drastically altered by the plan with many long-time communities in the 3rd, such as HARBEL and Gardenville, being moved into the 1st.
Landers, who is giving up his 3rd District council seat for the comptroller's race, said he decided to support Sfikas because they both have strong community ties. He has been taking Sfikas around in the greater HARBEL community he used to represent.
He is not supporting Councilman John A. Schaefer, D-1st, Landers said, because "he and I just haven't worked together well. We come from different perspectives."
The perspectives might be that Schaefer voted to support the new redistricting plan, which Landers fought hard to defeat. James McLean, the husband of Councilwoman Jacqueline F. McLean, D-2nd, is a member of Schaefer's fund-raising committee. The councilwoman is Landers' chief opponent so far in the comptroller's race.
Schaefer said he had not made up his mind who to support for comptroller.
Landers said he has not made a decision on whether to support long-time incumbent Dominic Mimi DiPietro, D-1st.
Gadfly drops out: Taking his cue from a recent poll, state Sen. Julian L. Lapides says he is abandoning his short-lived mayoral quest.
Lapides would not divulge the results of his poll, except to say that it shows Mayor Schmoke "is by far the leader."
In January, the legislative gadfly from Bolton Hill said he was considering challenging Schmoke in the September Democratic primary. At the time, Lapides said Schmoke was ineffective and that he was "disgusted" that Schmoke had proposed moving Bolton Hill from the 2nd to the 4th District in his City Council redistricting plan. But that decision was later reversed, much to Lapides' delight.
"It was a trial balloon," Lapides said of his mayoral flirtation. "But the numbers aren't there for me to win. And I didn't want to get in it to be a spoiler."