He's a Democrat but. . . . With Brewster, it can be hard to tell

THE POLITICAL GAME

December 15, 1993|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,Staff Writer

And you thought Gov. William Donald Schaefer was having a political identity crisis when he endorsed George Bush for president over Bill Clinton last year.

Consider Del. Gerry L. Brewster, a first-term Democrat representing Baltimore County in the Maryland General Assembly.

Mr. Brewster:

* Was a staffer for former Republican Sen. Charles McC. Mathias Jr., who later was an honorary chairman of Mr. Brewster's 1990 campaign for House of Delegates.

* Voted for Ronald Reagan and George Bush in 1984 over his party's offering of Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine A. Ferraro.

* Was a Michael S. Dukakis delegate to the 1988 Democratic National Convention.

* Supported Paul E. Tsongas in last year's Democratic presidential primary and later debated on behalf of Mr. Clinton.

* Is a member of United We Stand America, Ross Perot's grass-roots organization.

* Attended a fund-raiser in Dundalk last month for Republican Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden wearing a lapel sticker for Helen Delich Bentley, the GOP congresswoman running for governor next year.

* Has as his campaign chairman (office to be announced) Harold E. Long, a Democrat who is a top aide and money raiser for Mr. Hayden.

* Was named "1993 State Democrat of the Year" Sunday night by the Young Democrats of Maryland, an organization he served as executive director six years ago.

"I'm a Democrat -- always have been, always will be," Mr. Brewster said Monday after announcing that he was not announcing a bid -- yet -- for Mrs. Bentley's congressional seat but that he would not run again for state delegate.

"I've always been someone who's concerned about all of the citizens, no matter what [party] title they may have," he said, explaining his party cross-pollination.

Mr. Long, a $50,000-a-year senior executive assistant to Mr. Hayden, explained his Brewster connection by saying, "Party hasn't ever meant anything to me; it's the individual."

He knows of what he speaks.

Mr. Long (no relation to former 2nd District Democratic Rep. Clarence D. Long) has survived 15 years in three administrations. He worked under former Baltimore County Executives Donald P. Hutchinson and Dennis F. Rasmussen, both Democrats, and, so far, three years under Mr. Hayden.

Political players?

Call it coincidence.

The day after Jack Kent Cooke announced he wanted to take his Washington Redskins to Laurel, six of his team's players trotted out on stage at a political fund-raiser long planned by Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., a cheerleader for the move.

Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien, cornerback Darrell Green, defensive end Charles Mann, offensive tackle Jim Lachey, wide receiver Art Monk and kicker Chip Lohmiller appeared last Wednesday, waving to the crowd as if they were candidates themselves.

Mr. Cooke was not among the 2,500 attendees who paid $75 to hear the Hubcaps -- the rock 'n' roll band of choice among elected officials -- at the Prince George's Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro to benefit Mr. Miller's "27th Legislative District Team."

The Senate president, however, did have a private breakfast with Mr. Cooke the next day.

The Don as host

Before he became a force unto himself, there was a joke about William Donald Schaefer not being able to carry his own precinct without it being orchestrated and bankrolled by political boss Irv Kovens.

Mr. Schaefer has never been a particularly political animal, at least in the traditional sense of the good ol' b'hoys' organizations. But his ability to raise money -- the stuff of successful campaigns -- skyrocketed when he ascended to the State House, and his potential for being a political padrone rose along with it.

In the coming year, don't be surprised to see him exercise that muscle.

Just last week, for instance, the governor took the rare step of playing host to a $100-a-head fund-raiser for Baltimore Del. Maggie McIntosh, who is running next year for the seat to which Mr. Schaefer appointed her after Anne S. Perkins stepped down in 1992.

Among the 100 or so people who attended Tuesday was incoming House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr., an Allegany County Democrat. Mr. Taylor is getting high marks these days from some legislators for his concerted effort to be a kinder, gentler speaker -- in sharp contrast to his predecessor, the iron-fisted R. Clayton Mitchell Jr.

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