Schaefer displeased with omission from list of convention delegates

Aide says outspokenness led to state party's snub

May 22, 2004|By David Nitkin | David Nitkin,SUN STAFF

Comptroller William Donald Schaefer is unhappy that the state Democratic Party, overlooking its top vote-getter, has not tapped him as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in July.

"He has the temerity to speak his mind, and if he doesn't appear to be in lock step with the Democratic Party, then they don't want to have anything to do with him," said Michael Golden, a spokesman for the comptroller.

Golden said that Schaefer, 82, is "disappointed" that he wasn't selected to attend his first convention since 1992 - the same year he crossed party lines to endorse George H.W. Bush for president.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in yesterday's editions of The Sun incorrectly stated the number of terms state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer had as mayor of Baltimore. He was elected to four terms.
The Sun regrets the error.

State Democrats selected this week the final 30 of the 110 delegates who will represent Maryland at the Boston convention. Schaefer - the former three-term mayor of Baltimore and two-term governor - was omitted from the list, which includes Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr., former Gov. Parris N. Glendening and former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

Josh White, the executive director of the party, said that Schaefer never indicated his interest in attending and did not complete the necessary paperwork. "We've heard from everybody else who was interested," White said.

But Golden wasn't buying the explanation and called the omission - which comes after the comptroller's divisive comments about non-English speaking workers at a McDonald's restaurant - a snub that stems from not just his remarks but his support of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. "I guess it's a sin to have a good relationship with a Republican governor," Golden said.

Schaefer has not decided whether he supports the presumptive Democratic nominee, Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, Golden said.

Schaefer's desire to participate in the quadrennial affairs seems to fluctuate. As mayor, he decided not to attend the 1984 convention, saying Walter Mondale had the nomination in hand without his vote.

"Conventions are fun the first time or two around," he said at the time. "Then they get kind of boring."

Sun staff researcher Jean Packard contributed to this article.

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