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Campaign notes

May 31, 1998

U.S. Senate candidate George W. Liebmann, who formally joined the race for the U.S. Senate last week, is calling for a compromise on the contentious issue of vouchers for private school.

Liebmann, who is seeking the Republican nomination, criticized Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's opposition to legislation that would have financed vouchers for poor Washington, D.C., children to attend private schools. President Clinton vetoed the bill two weeks ago.

As a compromise, Liebmann proposed vouchers for students during their last two years of high school. It would take away a constitutional argument, he said, because the students are past the age of compulsory attendance.

Liebmann, a Baltimore lawyer, argued claims that vouchers unconstitutionally support religious schools would be invalidated since public support of religious colleges has been found constitutional. Liebmann also said the vouchers may encourage students, who might otherwise drop out, to attend challenging religious and private schools.

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"By all accounts, at least in the city here, kids have the attitude, 'So what? What does it matter?' This puts some gold at the end of the rainbow," he said.

Birthday bash




Gov. Parris N. Glendening is coming to Hagerstown Sunday to celebrate his birthday - and raise some cash for his re-election campaign.

Glendening, who turns 56 on June 11, will celebrate at the Grille at Park Circle from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. The $25-per-person event will give local Democrats a chance to show the governor their support - both verbally and financially.

Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the campaign, said the event is one of several birthday bashes for Glendening around the state.

"Our folks out in the field suggested it," Hamm said. "It snowballed from the grass roots on up."

Glendening faces stiff competition from Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann and insurance executive Ray Schoenke in the primary and, if he wins, a likely challenge from Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey in the general election.

Democrats talk of mood swing

Boonsboro Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman Jr. looked around a Venice Inn ballroom packed with fellow Democrats at the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner last week and noted the increase over last year's attendance.

"Must be an election year," he mused.

The crowd was not the only telltale sign.

The speeches took on the feel of a campaign rally, as prominent Democrats assured local partisans that the mood of the voters has changed dramatically from four years ago. In 1994, Glendening squeaked by Sauerbrey by less than 6,000 votes.

"This year's a very different year than what we felt in 1994," Secretary of State John T. Willis said. "The voters understand that in '98, it is Democrats that put education first The gulf is very wide on issue after issue."

Just in case anyone forgot who the enemy is, state party boss Peter Krauser reminded the crowd of the Republican opposition.

"They say government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it," he said.

But Krauser predicted the party will win a resounding victory in November.

"You have a very, very right-wing Republican party," he said. "The only way (they can win) is if we fall asleep."

Election info on Web

The Maryland State Administrative Board of Election Laws has set up a new Web site designed to give voters easier access to election information, including which candidates have filed to run.

The site's address is www.elections.state.md.us. It gives basic information about state elections, including important dates and filing deadlines. There's also information about campaign finance, although specific information about funds raised and spent by individual candidates is not available.

Perhaps the site's most useful feature is its listing of state and federal candidates who have filed in Maryland.

Endorsements




The Maryland State Teachers Association has voted to endorse four incumbents in the Democratic primary:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Governor/Lieutenant Governor - Glendening and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Senator - Mikulski

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Comptroller - Louis L. Goldstein

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Attorney General - J. Joseph Curran Jr.

- Guy Fletcher and Brendan Kirby

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