If only Professor Glendening hadn't kept this student waiting

THE POLITICAL GAME

August 03, 1994|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,Sun Staff Writer

State Sen. American Joe Miedusiewski has scored political points -- both negative and positive -- in his one-man guerrilla war against the Democratic front-runner for governor, Prince George's County Executive Parris N. Glendening.

Mr. Glendening enjoys a comfortable No. 1 spot in the polls, at least 20 points ahead of Mr. Miedusiewski of Baltimore. But he still must view the persistent assault, including a series of satirical radio attack ads, as an annoying, persistent mosquito.

And who in the Miedusiewski camp is responsible for much of it?

James Brochin, the 30-year-old campaign manager -- a one-time student of Professor Glendening at the University of Maryland College Park.

Awfully ironical, as Gov. William Donald Schaefer would say.

The way Mr. Brochin tells the story, in the spring of 1989, he was a bill analyst for Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and a College Park graduate student with three credits to go toward his master's in government and politics.

He wanted to do a single-student independent study project on leadership in the Senate, and Mr. Glendening was chosen as the best to oversee it.

While "independent" seems to be the operative word here, one interaction between student and teacher stands out in Mr. Brochin's mind.

Student, then living in Baltimore County, needs to talk to professor, teaching in College Park. He calls up asking to see him.

"I'll be here for 35 minutes," Mr. Brochin says he was told.

The drive's longer than that. Can you wait?

"I'll be here for 35 minutes," again.

But, but, but. . . .

"I'll be here for 35 minutes," a third time.

So, Mr. Brochin shoots down to College Park, rushes to Mr. Glendening's office, only to find him on the telephone.

"He motions me to sit in the hallway, where there are no chairs," Mr. Brochin recalls. "I sat on the floor while he finished -- at least a half-hour or 40 minutes later."

"Can you believe his arrogance? He's the most arrogant professor you can imagine," said Mr. Brochin, who now teaches American government at Catonsville Community College.

He might be arrogant, but did he hand out a passing grade?

"Well, yeah, I did get an A in the class," Mr. Brochin confesses.

Asked for his version of the events, Mr. Glendening says: "I don't have any recollection of him at all. I remember an awful lot of my students, but I honestly don't remember him at all."

Computer firm sues Bentley

The gubernatorial campaign of U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley is in a spitting match with a small Timonium-based computer sales and service company.

In fact, Computer Development Enterprises, Ltd., is suing the Helen Delich Bentley for Governor Committee Inc. and the congresswoman, personally, in Baltimore County District Court for $875, plus at least another $87.50 in miscellaneous fees, court records show.

The dispute stems from a Feb. 24 emergency service call to the company to fix a computer software problem at the GOP gubernatorial candidate's Timonium campaign office. The company responded, spent two days making emergency repairs and delivered the $875 bill -- which Mrs. Bentley and the campaign refused to pay, court records allege.

Complaints about the software were lodged. Letters and phone calls went back and forth. All that until, the company alleges, former Bentley campaign manager Tom O'Neill and treasurer Larry M. Epstein promised to pay as part of a new maintenance contract.

Then, the suit alleges, the campaign canceled the contract with the company and never paid, despite repeated attempts to collect.

Mary Anne Davis, vice president of the company, said a "partial payment" had been received since the suit was filed, but she considered the matter still open.

She declined to say, however, when the payment was made or name the amount.

The Bentley campaign, however, considers the case closed -- as of the day before the suit was filed.

"A check for $875 was cut July 21 to Computer Development," said Key Kidder, the campaign press secretary. "My understanding was that the bill was for $875 -- that's the amount of the invoice. That should certainly satisfy them."

But Mrs. Davis, whose company has been dealing with the campaign since last year, said she will let the matter be decided by a judge.

"I was sorry it came to that point, really," Mrs. Davis said. "We've been in business eight years, and this is the first time we ever had to go this route for nonpayment."

Well, at least Mrs. Bentley didn't go after the process server.

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