Schaefer Free To Be Candid

Say what you will, Gov. William Donald Schaefer can be disarmingly candid sometimes -- made all the more so by the absence of threatening competition in his reelection campaign.

Last week, Schaefer was a featured speaker at the dedication of the new Prince George's County Justice Center in Hyattsville.

Said Schaefer: "This is the greatest part of Maryland. I like to start off by saying that wherever I am. This is the greatest part of Maryland." -- Richard Tapscott

A Campaign Display

Henry Bain, briefly a candidate for Montgomery County executive and now a supporter of Neal Potter's challenge to incumbent Sidney Kramer, has been sporting an unusual Potter campaign prop the last few days.

It's a piece of black paper in the shape of a man's large footprint, squarely placed on the posterior of Bain's khaki-colored slacks. "I debated Sidney Kramer," it announces in bold white letters.

The footprint is a reference to a reported exchange between Kramer and Potter, a longtime County Council member, as they waited to tape a cable television program last week. According to Potter and a worker at the Rockville station, Kramer snapped at Potter that he was "going to kick" Potter's duff in the election. Kramer has denied making the statement.

Bain, a former County Council aide, was the only Democrat to take on Kramer until Potter decided last month to launch his 11-hour challenge and persuaded Bain to withdraw and support his campaign.

"You're familiar with the notion of campaign buttons," Bain explained Monday after exhibiting the footprint during lunch at a Rockville restaurant. "People wear hats, too. This is another form of campaign display, you might say.

"It shows what we understand will happen to anybody," he said, "who presumes to offer any opposition to Mr. Kramer." -- Sue Anne Pressley