Most legislators and politicos scan the list of Gov. William Donald Schaefer's annual "green bag" patronage appointments to find out who is on the list. Prince George's legislators looked yesterday to find who was left off.
Only three of the 11 names sent by the Prince George's Democratic Committee to Schaefer were on the appointments list, and Prince George's senators said they were sure that Schaefer was holding back some of the appointments because he was unhappy with the legislators' lack of support on several of his pet programs.
"I think the governor's trying to send us a message," said Sen. Frank Komenda (D-Prince George's). "But I'm not sure what the message is."
The senators didn't seem particularly upset, either. Sen. Thomas P. O'Reilly (D-Prince George's) said the word on the Senate floor was that the appointments list would show that Schaefer was ready to "play hard ball" to win approval for his projects. "This is sort of a soft hard ball," O'Reilly said.
Prince George's senators, including Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., have been less than enthused about some of Schaefer's legislative proposals, especially ones for a $290 million light rail project in the Baltimore area and a proposed residential high school for gifted math and science students.
But Schaefer's appointments chief Robert A. Pascal said Prince George's senators were not being singled out for retribution. "We're still studying" some of the county's appointments," he said. "We just didn't get around to the proper background checks . . . on all of them."
Schaefer makes thousands of appointments to the various boards and commissions around the state, but the "green bag" appointments are the traditional way of delivering the names to the Senate, which must consent to the appointments. There were 100 names on this year's list, which names members to boards ranging from the Maryland Transit Authority to the Advisory Council on Youth Camps.