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Civility has its limits

The state Senate broke from a partisan debate over air pollution this morning to get some nonpartisan advice from one of the state's political legends: Comptroller William Donald Schaefer (D).

Both chambers of the General Assembly celebrated Schaefer's more than 50 years in public office with special resolutions.

In remarks that Schaefer himself acknowledged were a bit rambling, he urged legislators to remember "you're job is one thing: help people."

Schaefer, who is 84, also suggested that they do something that the mercurial former governor and Baltimore mayor has not always done himself. When fighting a political battle, he said, remain friends when it's all over and "go down to the bar to have a drink."

He then stepped down from the dais to vigorous applause from both sides of the aisle.

Without missing a beat, Senate President Thomas "Mike" V. Miller Jr. said, "Okay, can we turn back to partisan politics after all the civility?"

By Ann Marimow  |  February 7, 2006; 7:00 PM ET
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I'll drink to that!
As charming, interesting, and valuable as Schaefer has been to MD politcs (particularly as Baltimore's capable Mayor), I think its time for a new State Comptroller. Who's in the mix for the position and how much does it pay? Is it a viable alternative position for a non-succesful primary candidate for Governor?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Delegate Peter Franchot is challenging Comptroller Schaefer. Franchot is running as a "real Democrat" (he refers to to Schaefer as a "Democrat in name only" for his frequent support of Gov. Ehrlich and endorsements of Republicans in Presidential elections).

Franchot has a bit of an uphill battle because everyone knows the name "William Donald Schaefer" and not everyone knows the name "Peter V. Franchot." But there appears to be some energy behind his candidacy.

Posted by: Steve | February 8, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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