2006 Maryland Elections

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Farewell to Schaeffer


After over a half century in the political spotlight, it is time to bid a final farewell to William Donald Schaefer. Schaefer, who was recently defeated by Delegate Peter Franchot, has spent much of his fifty four year political career in the spotlight. Most will remember him as the impatient and ridiculous man who made many offensive remarks against gays, immigrants, and even political opponents, but what many forget to mention is the impressive accomplishments he brought to both Baltimore and Maryland.

Schaefer began his political career in 1955 when he was elected to the Baltimore City Council. From here he served four terms as Baltimore's mayor. He went on to govern the state of Maryland from 1987-1995 and finally lost a re-election as the Maryland Comptroller after a two year run (biography).

Schaefer is single-handedly responsible for restoring Baltimore back its previous playful roots. He came to office during a budget crisis in 1971; a time where many middle-class families were leaving the city for the safer and cleaner suburbs (Rodricks). Regardless, he stood virtually alone in the streets of Baltimore, rooting for his city when many simply turned the other way. He set forth his first project of restoring downtown Baltimore (Rodricks). He was responsible for developing the National Aquarium, Camden Yards, and Harborplace (Hancock). He also brought industries and jobs back to Baltimore, and even personally helped his fellow Baltimorians find work in the city. By the end of his four terms, Esquire Magazine had named him one of America's best mayors (Rodricks).

As governor, he came to office in good economic times. He kept the state running and was considered to be a strong governor. His favorite personal accomplishment for the state of Maryland and the city of Baltimore was bringing a national football team back to Baltimore, replacing the Colts.

As his second term as governor came to end, his ratings started to slip. It was then when his offensive remarks went public. He once was given the middle finger by a woman passing by in her car. He quickly tracked down her license plate and mailed her a note stating, "Your action only exceeds the ugliness of your face. Have a nice day!" (townhall.com). He even went so far as to comment of his fellow opponent, Janet Owens just a few weeks ago, referring her to "Mother Hubbard" (Vogel). Numerous minority groups have criticized him for comments he has made in the past, but he has only offered one apology. This is also the man that termed gay people as a "danger".

Despite his offensive remarks and low ratings, Schaefer still deserves recoginition for all he brought to Maryland. Because of Schaefer, Baltimore now carries a sense of pride. Everyone from Baltimore knows everyone from Baltimore. People have moved back into the city and was it named one of the top ten travel destinations in the world in 2005. As a lifelong Baltimore resident, owner of Baltimore Ravens and Orioles season tickets, and a lover of Harborplace, I am proud of the city I grew up in and am thankful for all that Schaefer has done for the city. Baltimore is Baltimore because of Schaefer. Thanks hun!

image:
Comptroller of Maryland. William Donald Schaeffer. http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.comp.state.md.us/initiatives/lmedia/comptroller.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.comp.state.md.us/initiatives/whoweare/bio.asp&h=211&w=151&sz=19&hl=en&start=13&tbnid=aQU5sdgwFs2dSM:&tbnh=106&tbnw=76&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dwilliam%2Bdonald%2Bschaeffer%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D

Hancock, Jay. "Scaefer's city legacy is helping it become a model for comeback." The Baltimore Sun. 24 September 2006. http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bal-bz.hancock24sep24,0,588703.column?coll=bal-news-columnists

"Maryland Pol has his last Hurrah". 13 September 2006. http://www.townhall.com/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ContentGuid=291893b8-039e-4b99-a022-a641946a114b

Rodricks, Dan. "Remember 'Old Schaefer for service, compassion". The Baltimore Sun. 14 September 2006. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.rodricks14sep14,0,7074561.column?coll=bal-news-columnists

Biography of William Donal Schaefer. 24 September 2006. http://www.comp.state.md.us/main/about_the_comptroller/about_wds/biography.asp

Vogel, Steve. "Owens Assails Schaefer's Remarks". The Washington Post. 6 September 2006. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/05/AR2006090501256_pf.html