Reused Stickers Promote Potter

Within days of Montgomery County Council member Neal Potter's surprise announcement that he was running for county executive, a bumper sticker proclaiming "Potter For County Executive" appeared on his car.

Political insiders wondered if Potter's decision was really a surprise because it takes time to get bumper stickers printed.

Potter said the sticker was his own handiwork.

He had a lot of old bumper stickers left from his previous council campaigns and the failed bid of Bill Sher for county executive.

Potter cut the two in half to make his own stickers.

"I've had some people say, 'Now, that's recycling,' " Potter said.

Sharing the Credit

Former House minority leader Robert R. Neall, a Republican candidate for Anne Arundel County executive, got an early lesson this week on how partisan politics and the legislative branch can wreak havoc with a politician's agenda.

Neall appeared before the all-Democratic County Council on Monday, asking its seven members to place an initiative on the November ballot creating a local Department of Environmental Protection.

In an effort to appeal to the bayside county's conservation-minded voters, Neall has made such a department a cornerstone of his campaign, saying it would help eliminate confusion among residents who want to lodge complaints now handled by separate agencies.

The county's charter, however, prohibits the creation of new departments without a charter amendment approved by the voters.

To get the measure on the ballot, Neall needs either the approval of five council members or 10,000 signatures by Aug 13.

But with the entire council composed of Democrats, two of whom are seeking their party's nomination to run against Neall, it appeared this week that Neall's organization is going to end up pushing petitions.

"I've been advocating a department of the environment for five years," said council member Theodore J. Sophocleus, one of the Democratic candidates for county executive. "But I don't know if we are ready to do that now on a full scale . . . . I don't want to do something just because it's politically expedient."

Council member Michael F. Gilligan, another executive candidate, called Neall's proposal "a grandstand play . . . a campaign pitch. Admittedly, it's a good ploy, but it's not necessary."