Journal of Commerce, the bible of the maritime...


October 29, 1994

NEW YORK'S Journal of Commerce, the bible of the maritime industry, ran a front-page story the other day with the headline: "Ship Sector Loses Fiery Advocate in Congress."

The piece was about Maryland's own fiery congresswoman, Helen Delich Bentley, whose decision to run what turned out to be a losing race for governor had already doomed the maritime industry to lose its loudest, brassiest voice on Capitol Hill.

The quoted laments came from many sectors in the industry:

Peter Finnerty, a vice-president for Sea-Land Services -- "I can't imagine Congress without Helen Bentley. She has incredible energy and works as hard as anyone I've ever seen. It's not just that she is so smart (about maritime issues); she invests considerable emotion in her work."

Toby Balmas, labor dispatcher for Local 333 of the International Longshoremen's Association -- "One of the reasons she's so well-liked by longshoremen is that she is a lot like us. She's a bulldog. We were happy to have her fighting for us."

CSX lobbyist Woody Price -- "One thing I'll say for Helen, she isn't afraid to call [CSX president] John Snow and yell at him."

Herbert Brand, chairman of the Transportation Institute -- "She's very persistent. She'd keep driving and driving and maybe some opponents ran out of gas. We always found that welcome. . . She leaves a huge gaping hole for interests of the American $l merchant marine. . . She is without question the most knowledgeable and forceful of people involved in the maritime sector. I've known her for 40 years. She started out covering the waterfront [for The Sun] and demonstrated strengths in dealing with tough people in a field dominated by men."

* * *

FORTUNE magazine's ratings of the best places in the world to do business should debunk some of the conventional wisdom about Maryland's supposedly poor business climate. Some people have suggested that Maryland is a terrible state for business and should model itself after North Carolina, considered a mecca for businesses and industry seeking to relocate.

As reported in Fortune's Nov. 14 issue, Baltimore is one of the top 60 cities in the world to conduct business. Charlotte, North Carolina's business and financial center, is nowhere to be found.

Twenty-five U.S. cities were included in the list. Five -- New York, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami -- were ranked in the top ten, and the remaining 20 were not ranked but included in the list of 50 cities with superior business climates.

Fortune said it compiled the list from data amassed by Moran Stahl & Boyer, a consulting firm that specializes in business locations. The rankings were based on criteria that included costs, government friendliness and potential for market growth.

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