Has given Bill Clinton an easy opening b...


June 22, 1996

BOB DOLE has given Bill Clinton an easy opening b blundering onto the wrong side of the cigarette debate. "To some people, smoking is addictive," he said in Kentucky tobacco country. "To others, they can take it or leave it."

In a literal sense, the Republican presidential contender is correct. One might even say that he is commiting candor. But Americans who have given up the weed know how hard it was to break the habit. You might as well tell an alcoholic that "to some people" booze is not addictive. What does that prove in terms of the misery and illness inflicted by these "legal" products?

Prohibition is no answer. Nor are crackdowns on advertising the Supreme Court says violate the First Amendment.

Surely Mr. Dole must know that the presidency he seeks imposes greater obligations than indulgence in literal or legal nitpicking. It is a bully pulpit now being used by President Clinton -- and rightly so -- to thunder against the evil of foisting cigarettes or hard liquor upon children (many of whom will become addicted).

versally beloved figure in the Annapolis State House. In fact, she was such a nice person and such a caring individual that it sometimes was difficult to remember she thrived in the rough and tumble world of politics.

Her final post in state government was also her highest -- state treasurer. On the powerful Board of Public Works, she often acted as a moderating or calming influence on volatile Gov. William Donald Schaefer, always willing to play the role of patient persuader. She excelled at it.

But Lucy Maurer's biggest contribution came during her 17 years in the House of Delegates. She mastered government finances and tax policy -- and the subtle art of finding a compromise. She also privileged. Though she was from affluent Montgomery County, Mrs. Maurer proved Baltimore City's friend in negotiating more favorable education-financing packages and other aid formulas.

Even when Montgomery's attitude toward the city turned hostile, Mrs. Maurer didn't change her position. It cost her a race for the state senate, but for her, principle was far more important than personal political reward.

In the end, though, she triumphed. Her even-tempered approach, her integrity, her intellect and her devotion to the legislature made her the General Assembly's popular choice (twice) as state treasurer. She modernized the office to the point it was acclaimed one of the nation's best.

Lucy Maurer was, indeed, a state treasure. She's been gone from the legislature for nine years, and still no one has stepped into the role she so ably and courageously filled. She saw government as a positive force in people's lives, and she gave the State House a touch of humanity -- and common sense.

Pub Date: 6/22/96

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