The font of attention

August 06, 2002

THE QUICKEST way to the Maryland comptroller's heart - and political blessings - may well be through a fountain.

You know, the bronze creation that sits idle on the lawn of the governor's mansion. The symbol of the state's crabs, tobacco, oysters, corn and diamondbacks commissioned by William Donald Schaefer's late, longtime companion, and promoted by himself. The recirculating fountain that the soon-to-be ex-governor summarily shut off - ostensibly to conserve water.

Its importance to the 80-year-old Schaefer, demonstrably one of the state's most popular politicians, hasn't been lost on the folks vying to succeed that other statewide office holder.

Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. may debate the merits of slot machines, the death penalty, universal health care and the culture in Annapolis. But there's one issue - at least one - on which they apparently agree: The fountain!

Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.

Ol' Bobby, the Princeton football star with the Arbutus attitude, was quick with his response when asked during a recent online chat about the fountain's future. Let it flow: 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Touchdown, Mr. Congressman.

Mr. Schaefer sincerely thanked him in a personal note.

To KKT, the lieutenant governor with the law degree, the fate of the fountain is as simple as ... water flowing in a fountain. That's beauu-ti-ful.

This fall's gubernatorial election will decide Maryland's course in the 21st century: the state of the state, the extent of gambling in Maryland, the availability of health care and a host of other issues.

But voters can be certain of this: The Hilda Mae Snoops Memorial Fountain will flow.

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