He comes on like an evangelical preacher. In his husky Southern Maryland drawl, rising and falling in cadence, he inveighs against our schools, which he says are not teaching students to read and write.
he rages over a welfare system that "pays people to do nothing." He decries the litter and debris he sees in our cities and the "wasteful speading" in government, which he charges, "merely keeps the bureaucracy alive."
Carlton G. Beall, 60, Republican candidate for governor, grew up on a tobacco farm in southern Prince Georges County back in the days, he recalls, when life was pretty basic. You got a day's pay for a day's work, he said.
That is the kind of philosophy Carlton Beall says he would like to see directing the state government.
"We will eliminate every place there's waste (in the government). We will review every department to see where we have duplication (of services). And any department that is no longer needed, that is only there to keep the bureaucracy alive with no worthwhile purposes, must be eliminated," he says in his typically oratorial manner.
Despite his often colorful approach, his populist outlook and fiscal conservatism, Carlton Beall received 6 percent of the vote in a recent Baltimore Sun pool. Few key officials in the Republican Party can tell you much about him, except that he was Prince George's County sheriff in the early 1950s, went on to become U.S. marshal and postmaster in Washington, and came in second in the non-artisan election for Prince George's County executive in 1971.
"He's like the Rip Van Winkle of the Republican Party," said state Sen. Howard A. Denis (R-Montgomery County). "He was for 20 years and now all of a sudden he wants to be governor."
Yet, when Carlton Beall held a rally in the Prince George's Country Club last May to announce his candidacy, about 800 persons showed up according to people who were present. About half of them were Democrats, Beall's supporters say, attracted by a candidate who seems sincere when he promises them "an honest return on their tax dollar."
Most of the party leaders have criticized Beall for running a "divisive" campaign, which they fear could blacken the chances of Republican front-runner J. Glenn Beall in the general election. (The two candidates are not related.)
"He's a Johnny One-note, and his one note is to destry Glenn Beall," said Denis. "At the same time, I think he hopes to be confused with Glenn Beall (on the ballot)," he added.
Carlton Beall calls J. Glenn Beall's record the main issue in the Republican primary.
Like Dr. Ross Pierpont, another Republican gubernatorial candidate, Beall has spent much of his time trying to remind the public that Glenn Beall received $250,000 from a secret campaign fund run by President Nixon's aides during Beall's 1970 senatorial campaign.
Beall later called his failure to report the use of these funds "a very poor decision." Carlton Beall charges in much of his literature that his opponent never fully explained to the public where all the money went.
Carlton Beall also has issued press releases about the transfer of some racing dates from the Cumberland race track, which was owned in part by the Beall family, during the time Glenn Beall was minority leader in the House of Delegates.
Although Beall disqualified himself from voting on the legislation that transfered the dates from Cumberland to the Timonium race track, Carlton Beall maintains that his opponent should "declare under oath that he never lobbied any member of the legislature for favorable votes" since the sale of the racing days profited Glenn Beall's family.
As Prince George's sheriff, Beall, a stocky, stern-looking man with a shock of silver hair and silver-rimmed glasses, brought charges against local gamblers and politicians alike.
When he took over as sheriff in December 1950, he recalls, the local gamblers sent him presents of a turkey, candy and whiskey, which they had the Prince George's police deliver.
The next Christmas, "they didn't send me any presents . . . I had to buy my own turkey." The gamblers, he said, "didn't like me any more."
As sheriff, Beall also testified before the Kefauver crime committee on gambling activities in the county.
When he was U.S. marshal in Washington, Beall recalls that his office cleared a backing of 3,000 arrest warrants, some of which were 13 or 20 years old, he said. "We identified (the wanted persons) if they were living or dead. . . we just loaded every paddy wagon in town," he recalled.
Until his retirement two years ago, Beall was manager of the Washington district of the Postal Service, where he oversaw the handling of mail in Washington and parts of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. He is quick to point out that as manager, he was in charge of budgets in excess of $100 million.
As a candidate, Beall says he feels the press has misconstrued his positions on such topics as welfare and education.
True, he has been quoted as saying the welfare system is "like giving swill to the swine." But what he really means, Beall says, is "that if there are three, four generations of the same family on welfare, the program is not working."
As governor, he says he would attempt to put people now on the welfare rolls to work. In Baltimore city, for example, where he says, "There are homes in disrepair, dirt in the alleys and streets."
Beall says the first mission of his administration would be to revamp the educational system in Maryland, which, he says is graduating students "who can't even read their own diplomas."
He says it would be well worth the cost for the state to have more vocational schools since "too many students are being pushed into college."
Beall puts his net worth at "over $1 million."
He expects to spend $20,000 on the primary and has contributed about $5,000 of his own money to the campaign, he said.