Schaefer sends critic a bizarre greeting

December 20, 1991|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,Evening Sun Staff

Gov. William Donald Schaefer knows who's been naughty. And in his own special way, he's reminding them.

Just ask Annette Lavelle.

The 34-year-old school bus driver from Kent Island got a Christmas card from the governor in the mail last week. Inside the card were three photographs of Lavelle taken at an anti-Schaefer rally at the State House nine months ago.

Lavelle has no idea who took the pictures or how the governor tracked down her name and address.

"It really freaked me out when I saw the pictures of me," Lavelle said this week.

"It was an eerie feeling for him to be saying, 'I know who you are and I can find you if you cause trouble,' " Lavelle said. "I don't know if that was the message he wanted to send, but that was the message I got."

With a mischievous grin, Schaefer yesterday said that he meant no harm.

"I merely sent her some pictures," Schaefer said. "There is nothing intimidating. They are good pictures."

Schaefer said "somebody" gave him the pictures of Lavelle, but he couldn't remember who. He claimed he didn't remember how he figured out Lavelle's identity, but suggested that he had paid close attention to TV and newspaper accounts of the rally.

"I know these people," Schaefer said. "They all want to be anonymous. I've seen these people before."

Although he has cut way back on his regular, massive Christmas card mailing this year to save money, the governor has found enough time to send similar greetings and photos to a handful of other critics.

One of the recipients, he said, even wrote back to thank him for the snapshots.

Lavelle went to the February rally to protest Schaefer's now-famous remark comparing the Eastern Shore to an outhouse. Schaefer later said the comment had been a joke, but many Eastern Shore residents were not amused.

Protesters drove trucks carrying outhouses around the State House during the rally, which was well publicized in newspapers and on television.

Lavelle said she was interviewed by two TV stations during the protest, although she's not sure if she appeared on the air.

"I don't think he should have used his time and effort to track me down," Lavelle said. "He has better things to worry about, like the budget."

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