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Schaefer Refuses to Apologize--Or Debate

A group of Korean Americans visited Maryland Comptroller Wiliam Donald Schaefer this afternoon, expecting an apology for remarks that seemed to hold South Korean immigrants accountable for the communist north "shooting missles at us."

But they left angrier than they had arrived.

Schaefer (D) refused to apologize and would not sign a letter of contrition that had been prepared by his own chief of staff. Some within the perplexed Korean-American delegation tried to put the best face on the disastrous hour of failed diplomacy, pledging further meetings. Others said they had heard enough.

"If he doesn't feel an apology is needed, then something is wrong," said Chung Pak, who represented the League of Korean Americans of Maryland, speaking to a bank of television cameras after the meeting. "He's treating us as if we were a bunch of foreigners."

During a question-and-answer session that followed, a reporter reminded Schaefer that his opponents, Montgomery Del. Peter Franchot and Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens, in the Democratic primary race had challenged him to a debate.

Results of a Baltimore Sun poll released today showed Schaefer with support from 31 percent of Democrat voters, Owens with 22 percent and Franchot with 11 percent. A full 36 percent were undecided less than two months before the Sept. 12 primary.

"They can debate themselves," Schaefer replied. He went on to say that his opponents probably wanted to debate because they hadn't been able to get much news coverage.

That remark might have been tongue-in-cheek, as Schaefer himself has reaped mostly unflattering news coverage in recent days.

"They can go debate themselves till their heads fall off," Schaefer said, smiling as the reporters dutifully scribbled the comment in their notebooks. He reached for something stronger.

"I wouldn't lower myself," he said, watching the scribes commit the words to paper. "That's pretty good."

Daniel De Vise

By Phyllis Jordan  |  July 18, 2006; 4:29 PM ET
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I realize that in the minds of Schaefer and his supporters this makes me terribly PC but IT IS TIME FOR HIM TO GO.

Posted by: howie | July 18, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Please, please, please Comptroller Schaefer agree to at least one debate. The voting public deserves the pleasure of seeing your petty, angry, and often incoherent mumblings.

Mike Miller, Elijah Cummings, Terry Lierman, Bishop Miles--how about urging Janet Owens to drop out of the race (she might make an okay Comptroller but she can't win this race) and throwing your machines behind Peter Franchot. Your party has got to get rid of Schaefer.

If Schaefer wins the primary, many voters like me will be voting for the Republican, because I'll never vote for Schaefer again.

Posted by: Prince George's voter | July 18, 2006 7:24 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't just make you PC in the minds of Schaefer supporters. It makes you PC, period.

In which world are you guys living that Owens can't win but Franchot can? He's accomplished nothing, liked by few if any of his colleagues and has absolutely zero relevant experience. He's one of the most liberal members of the legislature from one of the most liberal districts in the State. She's got marginally relevant experience, is a moderate Democrat from a middle-of-the-road jurisdiction, and is respected by many. To think Franchot can win but Owens can't is just laughable.

But none of that matters. Schaefer wins hands down.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2006 7:54 PM | Report abuse

And apparently tomorrow comes a poll in the Sun showing Schaefer with 31%, Franchot with 22% and Owens with 11%, meaning...oh, excuse me. That's Owens with 22% and Franchot with 11%.

Now why should Owens be the one to pull out?

Posted by: Pull out, Pete! | July 18, 2006 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Why does the Post always fail to insert the (D) after William Donald Schaefer's name?

Posted by: BG from PG | July 18, 2006 9:58 PM | Report abuse

To anonymous: Thinking that a crackpot who makes an obnoxious fool of himself almost weekly should probably retire is hardly PC, but I knew that one of his Bunker-like supporters would chime in and claim that it was.

I supported Gov. Schaefer back when everyone on your side of the fence hated him. I voted for him once for mayor and twice for governor. I will probably vote for the Republican this fall, assuming Schaefer takes the Dem nomination again.

I personally have reached the point that I don't care which of the other two withdraws so long as one of them does.

Posted by: howie | July 19, 2006 9:28 AM | Report abuse

The Sun Poll has convinced me that Janet Owens has the best chance of beating Schaefer. I would have thought that after a year of campaigning Delegate Franchot would have scored better in the poll results, I was honestly surprised by that. My vote goes to Owens and my hope is Delegate Franchot gets appointed to a cabinet position in an O'Malley administration!

Posted by: Matt | July 19, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

BG From PG wrote: Why does the Post always fail to insert the (D) after William Donald Schaefer's name?

Para. 3, line 1. Are you illiterate or just annoying?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | July 19, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

To be fair to BG,
I added the D in after reading his posting

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | July 19, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the affirmation, Phyllis.

Loudoun Voter-Speaking of annoying, why are you commenting on the "MD Moment" anyway? Or are you a Marylander blogging incognito? I empathise with you, because I might be moving to Virginia too if O'Malley wins in November. Loudoun County sounds nice. Who knows, we may become neighbors.

Posted by: BG from PG | July 19, 2006 8:33 PM | Report abuse

The haters from Virginia always go on line when the subject has anything to do with immigrants.

Posted by: A reader | July 19, 2006 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. Because obviously if one is expresses reservations about our current open-borders policy, one is a hater.

Those bastards from Virginia. Thank God we in Maryland are so much more enlightened.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2006 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Why should the Don debate some clown with 20% support? It's not worth our time. Duncan withdrew with more support. The poltical pygmies who pretend to power should take a hint and give Scheafer a free hand for November, now.

Posted by: Franchot Owens Who? | July 20, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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