The walls of Carlton G. Beall's campaign office in Lanham are covered with copies of 1963 race track legislation. Beall slams his fist against the wall and points to the bill as "hard evidence" that former U.S. Senator J. Glenn Beall "isn't morally fit" to be governor of Maryland.
Forty miles away, Dr. Ross Z. Pierpont sits behind his desk in a Baltimore hospital and distributes a press release that he proudly calls "my strongest ever." In it, he coins the term "Beallgate" and concludes that "Glenn Beall stands with the who's who in Maryland corruption."
Pierpont and Carlton Beall (who is no known relation to the former senator) are longshot candidates for governor in Maryland's Republican primary this September who are trying to advance their own campaigns by strongly denouncing the party's current frontrunner, Glenn Beall. They are not so openly critical of their other Republican rival, national committeewoman and 1974 gubernatorial candidate Louise Gore.
The two ultra-conservative Republicans, who borrow each other's rhetoric and occasionally appear at campaign events in tandem, shuttle from press conferences to GOP meetings dusting off old charges against the frontrunner, and sometimes giving these charges a new twist.
So frequent and so strong are their denunciations that supporters of Glenn Beall have concluded that Pierpont and Carlton Beall are more interested in denying the party's nomination to their candidate than carrying the GOP banner into the November general election themselves.
"They both seem to get more pleasure out of bloodying someone's nose than winning the election," observed George Beall, the former U.S. Attorney for Maryland, who is campaign chairman for his brother, Glenn Beall. "Negativism seems to be common to both of them. You can say they're destructive candidates."
The scrappy pair of long shots, both veterans of other Maryland political wars, say that they feel they are speaking the truth and providing voters with a complete and accurate view of Republican gubernatorial hopefuls, and they do not mind being called "destructive",
"I guess I am a destructive force because I tell the truth and the truth destroys those who can't stand it," said Pierpont, 60, a Baltimore surgeon who has run unsuccessfully four times for statewide office. "I have high standards. They're even hard for me to live up to."
Carlton Beall, 60, a Suitland resident who served as Prince George's County sheriff in the 1950s, said, "I would like to get the total picture for the whole truth so the people of our state can make a choice. For that I'm a disruptive candidate."
Both candidates point out that they discuss more issues than Glenn Beall's integrity. Carlton Beall, for instance, often derides the welfare system for "giving more swill to the swine" and Maryland schools for turning out "children who can't do anything but pilfer and cheat."
"My mission," he said in an interview, "is there's plenty of work for everybody and everybody should be trained for something. You talk about a dishwasher in a restaurant. Hell, they'd be a cook if they'd get some assistance," from job-training programs.
Pierpont, a surgeon who calls himself "Maryland's only Proposition 13 candidate", promises to cut $271 million out of the state budget in two years by phasing out a quarter of the state's workers. That approach, he says, "is cold-turkey cure for the compulsive-spending politician."
"I don't care if I ever get elected because I'm a citizen politician," he explained. "It's incumbent on citizen politicians like myself to manage the country."
The litany of conservative Republican maxims rolls off their tongues easily. But no political discussion with Carlton Beall or Pierpont lasts very long before they start attacking Glenn Beall, who lost his Senate seat in 1976 after serving one term.
Their list of charges dates back to 1963 when Glenn Beall, then minority leader of Maryland's House of Delegates, stood by as the legislature allowed a Cumberland, Md. race track controlled at the time by the Beall family to sell racing days to another track for $600,000.
Even though Glenn Beall pointedly abstained from voting because of his family's interest in the track, Carlton Beall charged last wek that "Dale Hess and [suspended Gov.] Marvin Mandel probably learned their racing days manipulation from this one."
Mandel was convicted last year on charges of accepting valuable gifts in exchange for influencing state legislation which benefitted a race track owned by Hess and other associates.
Perhaps the strongest attacks from Carlton Beall and Pierpont stem from Glenn Beall's admission two years ago that he concealed the source of $180,000 funneled into his 1970 campaign from a secret White House fund called the "Townhouse Operation." He further conceded that $40,000 went to Democratic leaders on election day for "walking-around" money to pay Democratic party workers for their election-day work.
Pierpont calls the incident "Beallgate" and recently charged that Glenn Beall's 1970 campaign manager distributed the $40,000 "under the direction" of Hess and Irvin Kovens, the longtime behind-the-scenes Democratic power and another co-defendant in the Mandel corruption case.
Glenn Beall claims he does not know how the $40,000 was distributed or whether the campaign manager consulted with Kovens and Hess before allocating the money. The manager, Rae Dempsey, could not be reached for comment. Kovens denies the charge and Hess has refused to discuss the matter.
The former senator said he tires of defending himself against old accusations. But instead of eroding his strength, he said, the constant barrage of charges seems to elicit sympathy from fellow Republicans "who hear this kind of stuff and think it's just terrible."
"I don't know why people run for office when they have no basis to support their campaign other than invective," Glenn Beall said. "Ross seems to get more thrill out of the chase than the victory. Carlton is just mad at everybody. I really don't know what his problem is."
A recently published poll shows Glenn Beall with more than half the Republican vote in a four-way race. His nearest opponent, GOP Louise Gore, received eight percent, followed by Carlton Beall with three per cent and Pierpont with two per cent.