No kid glove treatment for 'Dutch' as Hayden speaks at fund-raiser CAMPAIGN 1994

September 28, 1994|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer

There will be no Rose Garden strategy for Roger B. Hayden's re-election campaign.

The aloof, above-the-fray campaign tactic by more than one president clearly isn't in the Baltimore County executive's plan.

Mr. Hayden came out swinging at Democratic rival C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger III Monday night during a $250-a-ticket fund-raiser. He even borrowed from Mr. Ruppersberger's primary opponent, Melvin G. Mintz.

"Just remember, if you go Dutch, you pay," Mr. Hayden told his supporters. Mr. Mintz, the Pikesville county councilman who lost the Democratic primary to Mr. Ruppersberger, first used the phrase during a fund-raiser in July.

Mr. Hayden said that if the Cockeysville county councilman running against him is elected, "spending will grow and grow."

He said Mr. Ruppersberger would claim credit for the Hayden administration's accomplishments and launch personal attacks.

"Desperate people do desperate things," Mr. Hayden said.

He said Mr. Ruppersberger has "done very little as a county councilman except rubber stamp my budgets and my legislation."

The Republican incumbent added that one of the few bills Mr. Ruppersberger didn't rubber stamp was his effort to keep the county executive's actual pay from rising at a faster rate than that of county workers in the coming term.

County Recreation and Parks Director Wayne R. Harman, who introduced Mr. Hayden, said, "Roger Hayden kept his word when he talked about downsizing. . . . This election is a repeat of four years ago. The same faces are coming against Roger. These people just don't get it."

Most politicians, including many at the Hayden fund-raiser, expect the Nov. 8 election for county executive to be much closer than the 1990 contest, which brought Mr. Hayden and other Republicans to office on a wave of voter resentment against Democratic incumbents.

That resentment apparently is missing this year, and Democrats are hoping the county will revert to its heavily Democratic voting pattern.

"We need to finish the job we started and remind the voters how angry they were four years ago," Mr Hayden said.

Informed of the Republican's remarks, Mr. Ruppersberger defended his record. He said he had helped lead efforts to enact a spending affordability ceiling, begin performance audits to show the council where budget cuts could be made and enact the county's 4-percent cap on property tax assessments.

"We cut the property tax rate 14 cents since I've been on the council," said Mr. Ruppersberger, who was appointed in 1985. "The spending affordability bill was the same bill Ellen Sauerbrey supported in the state," he said, referring to the Republican gubernatorial candidate.

Mr. Ruppersberger accused Mr. Hayden of violating his 1990 campaign promises not to close senior centers or lay off county workers.

Bob Barrett, Mr. Ruppersberger's campaign coordinator, also said Mr. Hayden had returned to county government some of the "same faces" he had criticized in 1990.

He cited Robert Hughes, who was communications director for former county executive Dennis F. Rasmussen. Mr. Hayden criticized the county communications office under Mr. Rasmussen, and Mr. Hughes resigned after the 1990 election. But this year, Mr. Hayden hired Mr. Hughes for his old job.

Another former Rasmussen staffer, Judith Sussman, attended the fund-raiser Monday night and said she plans to work in Mr. Hayden's campaign. Ms. Sussman quit her job in a huff after Mr. Rasmussen's loss in 1990.

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