Reaction to Schaefer's `English' comment is mostly favorable, his spokesman says

May 07, 2004|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

State Comptroller William Donald Schaefer's tirade at Wednesday's Board of Public Works meeting complaining about immigrants who don't speak English brought about 180 telephone calls to his office yesterday - the vast majority from people who agreed with him, a spokesman said.

"It seems like people are in favor of what the comptroller had to say," said Schaefer spokesman Mike Golden. "Only about eight of the calls were opposed."

Schaefer, the octogenarian former governor and Baltimore mayor, made the comments, which some described as insensitive and inappropriate, recounting a trip to a McDonald's restaurant where a woman who took his order didn't speak English.

"I don't want to adjust to another language," Schaefer said at the meeting. "This is the United States. I think they ought to adjust to us."

Schaefer was touring a redevelopment project in St. Mary's County yesterday and was not available to take any of the telephone calls personally, Golden said.

The comptroller also received a number of e-mails, the spokesman said.

Golden said Schaefer had no regrets about his remarks.

"He knew what he was saying," Golden said. "There are no unplanned moments of William Donald Schaefer. He knew what the reaction would be."

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