A Schaeferean Drama: Act I

July 13, 1998|By Laura Lippman

William Donald Schaefer's return to public life proves the old maxim: All politics are loco. In recognition that this year's comptroller's campaign defies any attempt at satire, we are resigned to offering the facts, more or less, until Election Day. (Or until we grow bored with it.)

To bring you up to speed for the hectic days ahead, a recap:

July 2: A local political columnist writes that Comptroller Louis Goldstein will go on forever, like the Rock of Gibraltar.

July 3: Goldstein dies.

July 5: Schaefer, in mourning, calls Gov. Parris Glendening and asks for his old friend's job. Glendening says no. Michael D. Barnes in, Schaefer out.

July 6: Candidate's filing deadline; Barnes in, Schaefer in, with bunch of others who have no chance.

July 8: Two words: Schaefer mania!

July 9: Barnes out, Schaefer in, Glendening spurned - Schaefer joins his ticket, but won't accept interim job. Waffle House mulls "Parris Glendening special."

Today: Stephen H. Sachs will speak at first Schaefer rally. This is the same Stephen H. Sachs who ran against Schaefer for governor in 1986, and dismissed his opponent as a "spoiled child" and "his imperial highness."

Schaefer called the then-attorney general a "dumb a-." He tried to deny saying it; the reporter had it on tape. He amended his statement: "I said it. But it was off the record."

This week in Schaefer history: July 12-18, 1992: State employees were in the second week of a gag order, requiring them to fill out forms and forward them to the governor whenever a reporter asked a question. Some workers were threatened with termination if they spoke to the press. The no-comment rule was lifted by month's end. "It was not meant as it was interpreted," Schaefer groused. "If I can be misinterpreted, I am."

He was on the record.

Pub Date: 7/13/98

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