With more than five months to go before the legislature convenes, there is a rumble of trouble ahead for Gov. Parris N. Glendening.
Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader John A. Cade, are on the warpath over one of the governor's two GOP appointments to the five-member State Administrative Board of Election Laws.
The governor replaced the entire board -- three Democrats and two Republicans -- on June 30, waiting until the last day of the members' four-year terms.
He twice sought -- and twice received -- the GOP's recommendations for the two seats, only to ignore the first two names submitted and appoint just one of the two Republicans in the second batch.
Mr. Cade, the gruff and sharp-tongued senator from Anne Arundel County, is peeved that the governor didn't accept the other as well. And he has written Mr. Glendening to let him know that he'll oppose the governor's substitute selection when the Senate considers the nominee.
Mr. Cade and the rest of the Senate GOP Caucus wanted Trent M. Kittleman, a Howard County community activist and labor lawyer who also is married to House Minority Leader Robert H. Kittleman.
Instead, Mr. Glendening appointed Andrew Radding, a Baltimore attorney who is a friend of the governor's chief political strategist, Maryland Secretary of State John T. Willis.
"While I have nothing against Mr. Radding personally, I believe that his appointment by you violates the agreement and understandings that we had over the past several months with reference to appointments" to the election board, Mr. Cade wrote in a July 20 letter to the governor.
"I will press for the rejection of Mr. Radding and for your reconsideration of a well-qualified Trent Kittleman," he wrote. Mr. Cade said he will ask both the Senate Republican Caucus (15 of the body's 47 senators) and the Executive Nominations Committee to reject Mr. Radding.
"I think it should be clear to the people of the state of Maryland, and especially its women, that your sole reason for rejecting Mrs. Kittleman . . . was that she is the wife of the House minority leader," Mr. Cade wrote.
"I respectfully suggest that your action is a slap in the face to every working professional woman in the state of Maryland who should be considered for volunteer service in the government solely on the basis of her professional qualifications and standards and experience, and not based on the person to whom she is married."
Mr. Glendening defended his action, telling Sun reporter Marina Sarris, "We made a decision to go after individuals who had very strong credentials." When told of Mrs. Kittleman's professional background, Mr. Glendening said, "I had no indication of any credential . . . other than she was the minority leader's spouse."
Asked if her husband's position in the House had anything to do with his decision not to appoint her, the governor said, "To the extent that I don't think [a member of the board] should be someone in active partisan politics right now. We went out of the way to get people who are not in, or perceived to be in, active partisan politics."
But what about another of his nominees, David K. Poole Jr., a lawyer who is also father of Del. D. Bruce Poole, the Washington County Democrat and former House majority leader?
"Yes, but he is also known," Mr. Glendening said. "He's a two- or three-term state's attorney who is extraordinarily respected in his own right."
The respected and vociferous Senator Cade could make things difficult on the Senate floor -- particularly if the matter becomes a rallying point for women. Page Walters Boinest, former press secretary to Gov. William Donald Schaefer, is wading back into the political fray.
Ms. Boinest, 34, is going to work for Virginia's lieutenant governor, Donald S. Beyer Jr., a Democrat who is expected to run for governor in 1997.
Since leaving the Schaefer administration in July 1994, Ms. Boinest has been director of public affairs for the National Governors' Association in Washington. She will leave NGA later this month.
Last week in this space, it was incorrectly reported that the legislature's Democratic presiding officers named six legislators to the Task Force to Review the State's Election Law.
In fact, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. each named two members to the panel. The remaining two members were appointed by the Republican leadership, Sen. John A. Cade and Del. Robert H. Kittleman.