MOBILE, ALA., JULY 30 -- Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer renewed his battle with the Bush administration today, bringing to the National Governors Association meeting here his complaint that the administration is laggard in support of people-to-people contacts with the new democratic nations of Eastern Europe.
The Democratic governor told a session of the NGA committee on international trade and foreign relations that the administration's pattern was to "forget the people" of the former Soviet satellites in its eagerness to prod American firms to "get over there and grab all the business."
While the Japanese gain good will for long-term relationships by "building a school or a garden," Schaefer said, Americans are "leaving nothing behind that leaves a lasting impression."
Schaefer voiced his complaint after the committee had heard Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger express concern about the slowness of American businesses moving into Eastern Europe.
Eagleburger did not respond to Schaefer's criticism during the session and left immediately afterward without talking to reporters.
In a letter addressed to Ohio Gov. Richard F. Celeste, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, Schaefer said that when he went to see Eagleburger after leading a trade mission to Eastern Europe this spring, the State Department said that no money was available to help states with people-to-people programs in that area.
Schaefer told Celeste he will seek support from other Democratic governors at their caucus here Tuesday for federal legislation to create a "governors fund" to help finance the grassroots contacts.
Schaefer has announced a series of projects involving Poland and the Soviet Union that would use Maryland education, agriculture, science and government institutions to give management and language training, technology and public health assistance to the Eastern Bloc countries.