Taylor is among picks for boards

Governor appoints prominent Democrats

February 15, 2003|By David Nitkin | David Nitkin,SUN STAFF

The victor may get the spoils, but the losers aren't faring too badly in Maryland this year.

Some prominent Democratic politicians left jobless after last year's election received consolation prizes yesterday when Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. unwrapped the first batch of appointments to the hundreds of boards his administration will fill.

The state's first Republican governor in 36 years named former House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. to the Maryland Health Care Commission, and former Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry to the state Port Commission.

Former Del. Samuel C. Linton, a Charles County Democrat, will serve on the Transportation Department Board of Review.

Another Charles County Democrat, former Sen. James C. Simpson, received a position on the board of the Injured Workers' Insurance Fund.

All the positions but Simpson's are unpaid.

"Our goal was to be as inclusive as possible, and to bring in people with a commitment to public service, people with integrity, regardless of political affiliation," said Lawrence J. Hogan Jr., Ehrlich's appointments secretary, who continued a closely watched tradition by delivering a green pouch containing the names to the state Senate.

To be sure, Republicans weren't left out.

Lois-ann S. Hug, wife of Ehrlich's chief fund-raiser, Richard E. Hug, was named to the state Arts Council. Richard P. Taylor, the state's representative to the Republican National Committee, will join the Maryland Aviation Commission.

`Old names, new names'

When Laura Kittleman Yeats takes her place on the Information Technology Board, she will become the third family member with a state position: Her father, Robert H. Kittleman, is a Republican senator from Howard County, and her mother, Trent Kittleman, is the acting transportation secretary.

"Some of them are old names, some of them are new names, some of them are traditional patronage," said Ehrlich yesterday, adding that, in many cases, his staff followed the wishes of county or city politicians.

"We respected just about every tradition there is in the state," he said.

From the Amusement Ride Safety Board to the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners, Maryland has 600 commissions with 5,000 members -- giving Ehrlich an opportunity to leave a lasting imprint on state government.

Tradition holds that most of the appointments come on Green Bag Day, named for the satchel in which the list is delivered to the Senate, which must approve the nominations.

County elections boards

Nowhere will a new Republican governor make his mark more than on county boards of elections. The three-member boards must have a chairman and a majority from the party that won the governorship.

"For 36 years, all of the elections boards were controlled by Democrats," Hogan said. "It's probably one of the more significant changes you'd see from the election."

The shift could spell trouble for Marvin L. Cheatham, president of the Baltimore elections board.

Cheatham, an ally of former Sen. Larry Young, was not reappointed; Hogan said city senators could not agree on the lone Democratic appointee.

Nor could they agree on city liquor board appointments, which have not been made.

"We're not getting in the middle of an intramural squabble," Hogan said.

Taylor, the Cumberland Democrat who lost by 76 votes to newcomer Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., said yesterday that he was looking forward to serving on a health care commission that he helped create when he was in the General Assembly.

"It's right up my alley," Taylor said. "I'm happy to be a part of the future, and trying to continue our reforms."

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller -- whose former law associate, John R. Webster Jr., was reappointed to a lucrative 12-year post on the state Worker's Compensation Commission -- said Taylor's talents were being underutilized.

"I was hoping the administration could have found something more meaningful for him," Miller said.

But Taylor said he was in discussions with Ehrlich for a more substantive post. "I've been led to believe that could still happen," he said.

Also contained in the Green Bag:

Former Towson University President Hoke L. Smith was named to the Higher Education Commission.

Maria C. Torres-Queral of Lutherville becomes the first Hispanic member of the state school board. Another new appointee is Calvin D. Disney of Cub Hill, a former Baltimore County school board member. Edward L. Root of Cumberland was reappointed. The Ehrlich administration said 20 percent of appointees were minorities.

Gregory Redmer of Baltimore, a former Baltimore County police officer and brother of Del. Alfred W. Redmer Jr., the House minority leader, was appointed to the Handgun Permit Review Board.

Sun staff writer Tim Craig contributed to this article.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.