- The Washington Times - Monday, November 20, 2000

ANNAPOLIS The week of Oct. 22 was unusual for Maryland's Democratic Gov. Parris N. Glendening. He spent all seven days in Maryland.
It was the only week since the first week in September in which Mr. Glendening did not leave the state to make at least one presidential campaign appearance for Vice President Al Gore.
Since Sept. 1, Mr. Glendening has visited three foreign countries and stumped for Mr. Gore in nine states. He will spend most of the last week of November at various events in Washington state and Minnesota.
By the end of this month, he will have spent about 40 days almost half his time outside Maryland boundaries.
Mr. Glendening's aides say the business of state government has not suffered. When something has come up in Maryland, "the governor has changed plans to stay in the state," said Mike Morrill, the governor's communications director.
Mr. Morrill noted that Mr. Glendening canceled a Nov. 3 campaign appearance in Florida for Mr. Gore to attend the funeral of Edward Toatley, a state trooper shot while taking part in an undercover drug investigation in the District.
Senate Minority Leader Martin Madden, Howard Republican, said Mr. Glendening will have to travel more than usual because he is chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA). He did not fault the governor for traveling to other states to help campaign for Mr. Gore.
"I'm not so sure what the justification for the foreign trips was," Mr. Madden said.
Former Gov. William Donald Schaefer was not bashful about his views of Mr. Glendening's trips. The current Democratic state comptroller is unhappy that the Board of Public Works, which usually gets together at least twice a month, has not met in five weeks and does not have another meeting scheduled for two more weeks.
The board consisting of the governor, comptroller and Treasurer Richard Dixon has final approval over most state contracts and makes other important administrative decisions for state agencies.
"He doesn't seem to be worried about the state business," Mr. Schaefer said. "There are a lot of important things being held up. People can't move on them until they are approved.
"I'm very upset about this. It isn't the right thing to do."
Mr. Morrill countered that Mr. Glendening is not responsible for the lack of meetings. "We found possibilities for doing board meetings in November," he said. "For other reasons and other members' schedules, it did not happen."
"Nobody who has needed to meet with him has been unable to meet with him because he was away," Mr. Morrill said. "He has traveled at odd hours, very late at night, very early in the morning, so he can get his work done here."
On some of the days when he was in other states, Mr. Glendening spent most of the day working in his office before heading to the airport, Mr. Morrill said.
There has been little criticism from other officials, including some Republican leaders.
House Speaker Casper Taylor, Allegany Democrat, said the governor's frequent absences from Maryland "haven't caused any problems for me because the lines of communications are real good with his senior staff and with [Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend]."
He said he would expect the governor to limit his trips during the 90-day General Assembly session beginning Jan. 10.
Senate Minority Whip Lowell Stoltzfus, a Somerset County Republican, said he would like it if the governor were "minding the store a little more carefully."
"There are things that need to be tended to. Hopefully, he'll do that," he said.
Mr. Glendening's trips to Ireland in September and Africa in October consumed the largest chunk of time 16 days. After trips later this month to Minnesota and Washington state, he will have spent six days campaigning for Mr. Gore and about 22 days attending meetings of either the national or regional associations of governors or speaking at Smart Growth conferences.
Except for the foreign trips, which were taken at state expense, most of the cost of the travel for Mr. Glendening and staff members has been picked up by the Democratic Party or the organizations sponsoring the events where Mr. Glendening spoke, Mr. Morrill said.
"Very little of this is actually paid for by the state," he said.
Mr. Taylor said the state benefits from the attention Mr. Glendening receives and the contacts he makes as chairman of the NGA. Mr. Morrill makes the same point, saying Mr. Glendening's national role "magnifies the effect of his advocacy with the federal government" and helps him build contacts with executives of major corporations who may consider investing in Maryland's economy.
Mr. Morrill expects the overall pace of travel to fall off during the legislative session. But he said Mr. Glendening may be doing more travel with the NGA next year because, as a nonpartisan group, it will be more active now that the presidential campaign is over.
Once Mr. Glendening's term as chairman of the NGA is completed, he will take over as chairman of the Council of State Governments for his final year in office.
Mr. Glendening already has two trips scheduled for December: A Smart Growth conference in Atlanta on Dec. 5 and a three-day meeting of the Council of State Governments in Dearborn, Mich., beginning Dec. 8.

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