Louise Gore has moved to Baltimore, to a suite atop the Belvedere Hotel. J. Glenn Beall has returned to his Frostburg home, running the family insurance business.
Some things have changed in the lives of two leading Republican candidates for governor even though they remain the same politicians most Marylanders have grown up with. Their talk about taxes, big government and the economy is just as familiar.
The hope of these heirs of two GOP amilies is that the state is somehow different, that Maryland, after rushing headlong into billion-dollar state budgets with Democratic leaders later tainted by corruption, may want to step back and listen carefully to Beall, a former senator and congressman, or to Gore, national committeewoman.
"The Democrats are all coming around to a Republican philosophy. They have to. They've had an opportunity for the last 10 years to do something about taxes, the economy - all of them have - and they haven't done a thing," said Beall.
"The longer people are in office, the more convinced they are that they can't do anything about their problems," he continued. "Their inefficiencies grow and the public is disenchanted. This Proposition 13 in California points that out, people don't want an uncontrollable government."
If Beall and Gore are anything, they believe, they are predictable Republicans with a doctrine to match.While the Democratic candidates have been campaigning for more than a year, some issuing white papers exploring new solutions and spending over $1 million to send out their messages, Beall has raised only $20,000 and is not worried.
He is the leading candidate in the Sept. 12 Republican primary and as his own chauffeur he is laboriously visiting as many of the 300,000 registered Republicans in the state as possible, never mind the Democrats. Beall figures they will come around in the general election, factionalized by the increasingly barbed primary battle between Acting Gov. Blair Lee III, Baltimore County Executive Theodore G. Ventoulis, Baltimore City Council President Walters S. Orlinsky and former transportation secretary Harry R. Hughes.
Gore is proceeding apace, driving to the Eastern Shore or over to Western Maryland repeating the same platform she ran on in her unsuccessful 1974 campaign against now-suspended Maryland governor Marvin Mandel. The difference, both say, is that the voters are listening with new attentiveness.
"They know me, they know my family. I tried many many times before to warn the voters against the high-spending Democrats and the corruption in the leadership. This is an excellent year, finally, for Republicans," Gore said.
The Republican leadership has been prophesying victory in 1978 for more than three years, ever since Mandel was indicted and especially after his conviction last summer. There are other signposts, they say. Maryland's economy is in trouble; a report from the Democratic executive branch said this and so did a report from Johns Hopkins University. Marylanders carry the highest tax burden in this region. Industrial jobs have dropped more than 40,000 in the past decade. The state bureaurcracy has swelled to make room for 20,000 new positions.
Beall and Gore are not the only candidates spreading bad news about the state. Some Democrats are doing the same and the question in most minds is who can capture first right to the issues. Within their own party, there are Republican doubters.
Carlton Beall, a former Prince George's County sheriff, and Ross Z. Pierpont, a physician and perennial candidate, are running against Beall and Gore in the primary as the angry men of this election.
Carlton Beall and Pierpont are doing all they can to discredit the other Beall. It is as if there were two Republican races under way: one for the gubernatorial nomination, the other to block any chance J. Glenn Beall Jr. may have to become governor.
Ancestry has been a bitter point of contention between the two Beall candidates. Carlton Beall claims to be a distant relative of the front-runner. He says that both families came to America in the 17th century.
J. Glenn Beall Jr. denies any kinship to Carlton Beall and believes that the ancestry question is a ploy to confuse voters. He worries about two Bealls on the same ballot and, to distinguish himself, J. Glenn Beall Jr. has printed his full name across his bumper stickers, leaving no room for the name of his lieutenant governor running mate. "That will be added for the general election." he said.
At a recent Pierpont press conference held to denounce J. Glenn Beall Jr. for once supplying "walk around" money to Democratic election day workers, Carlton Beall was in attendance to lend moral support. Both have tried repeatedly to bring up old charges against J. Glenn Beall Jr., especially one involving the "townhouse operation."
In his 1970 campaign for the Senate, Beall received about $250,800 in cash and check contributions from a secret White House fund known as the "Townhouse Operation." The fund came to light during the Watergate hearings and in his 1976 reelection bid, then-senator Beall denied that he himself received the payments from White House aide Jack A. Gleason.
Investigation of that fund was handed over to the Watergate special prosecutor's office, which found there was no wrongdoing by Beall or the other recipients. Yet Pierpont and Carlton Beall repeatedly mention this incident among several other "beallgates" they say they have uncovered.
George Beall, brother of J. Glenn Beall Jr. and the former U.S. attorney who prosecuted Spiro T. Agnew, becomes irate at the mention of these charges. "We welcome Louise Gore in this race. But the others, they don't help. Their charges smack of personal vindictiveness," he said.
Republican officials, however do not see the two long-shot gubernatorial candidates as genuine threats.
"All their charges are very remote and they are hardly in the mainstream." said State Sen. John J. Bishop Jr. (R-baltimore Country).
Bishop, along with the other GOP legislators, described the incumbency of the Democratic administration as their party's strength. They also hope that issues, not personalities, will matter this year.
"I think we have a real crack at winning the gubernatorial race," said Bishop. "I think Lee is probably going to win the Democratic primary . . . and he can do little but defend his party's record. So they very issues he would have to espouse would be anathema to an incumbent."
Those issues are fiscal austerity, economic development, honestly in government, and lowering taxes. And on these issues, Democrats and Republicans all agree. They disagree on who is to blame.
"In the past decade, the citizens of Maryland recoiled in disbelief and shock at the arrogance and self-seeking displayed by those in positions of turst in the Mandel-Lee administration," Gore said at one of her campaign stomps. "Too often we now read and heard that Maryland is one of the most corrupt states in the Union: to my sorrow, to the sorrow and feelings of shame for every citizen of our great Free State."
Republican rhetoric prefers Lee as a target.
"There has to be a very unique chemistry for us to win statewide," said State Sen. Edward P. Thomas Jr. (R-Frederick). "I'm tickled to see some of the Democrats running on pocket-book issues when it's their administration who put Maryland into this jam."
State Sen. Edward J. Mason (R-Allegany) took it one step further. "I hope Lee just barely wins his primary, just teeters over that finish line. Then all those Democrats who say they want to throw the rascals out will have to go with us."