ANNAPOLIS - A pro-abortion rights political action committee will concentrate on two races in November to try to ensure the election of a filibuster-proof Senate.
One of Choice PAC's top priorities is to help elect Democratic Carroll County Commissioner Jeff Griffith to the state Senate, Steven Rivelis, the organization's director, said last week.
"The message we are trying to get out is the fight isn't over," said Rivelis.
Pro-abortion rights forces defeated four Democratic anti-abortion senators in the primary election.
But incumbent Sen. Sharon W. Hornberger, a pro-abortion rights Republican, lost in the primary to anti-abortion candidate Larry Haines in District 5, which covers Carroll County and part of Baltimore County.
Rivelis said pro-abortion rights forces will put money and volunteers into Griffith's race against Haines to make sure they have enough votes to break a filibuster when an abortion bill comes before the Senate next year.
Pro-abortion rights senators failed by one vote to halt a filibuster in the 1990 session.
Griffith said abortion is "the issue that's going to turn this race.
Absolutely." He said surveys show that by a 2-to-1 margin, voters in his largely rural district favor keeping abortion widely available.
"That's the first thing a lot of people ask me -- 'Are you pro-choice or not?' I'm not necessarily thrilled that that's going to be the central issue. There are a lot of other issues to talk about out here.
"But my opponent's making it the issue."
Haines, who thinks the majority of voters in his district oppose abortion, said he doesn't believe Choice PAC's support of Griffith will make any difference.
"They supported my opponent in the primary election, and I won with 58 percent of the vote," Haines said. "I would expect them to endorse Griffith. Everyone knows what a liberal he is."
Also in Carroll, the committee endorsed Democrat Ellen L. Willis, who's seeking the District 5 House seat from Carroll and Baltimore counties.
The committee raised more than $40,000 for the primary election, and Rivelis said he hopes to match that in the general election.
"Basically we are going back to the folks who gave once before and asking them to give one more time," he said.
CROSS EARNS SHA AWARD
Gail Reilly Cross, candidate for Register of Wills and an employee of the State Highway Administration District 7, was recognized by SHA for her "Bright Idea" submission.
Cross, a contractual employee, has been given two such awards in the last two years.
"This certificate of recognition is for changing the way we do things a little," Cross said. "It was suggested primarily to help the secretarial staff, and additionally to save copying costs."
SHA actively seeks ideas from its employees for improvement, she said, which helps employees care about how efficiently they can do things.
Cross' campaign also got a boost from Louis L. Goldstein, state comptroller, who has endorsed her candidacy.
"She has worked tirelessly for the community, serving on many boards and commissions in many capacities," Goldstein said. "She has shown leadership, enthusiasm, and possesses the experience and skills to be the Register of Wills of Carroll County."
BYRON HONORED FOR VOTES
Representative Beverly B. Byron, D-6th, has been named a "Guardian of Small Business" by the National Federation of Independent Business.
NFIB presents the award to senators and representatives who vote favorably on key small-business issues at least 70 percent during a two-year session of Congress.
Byron's record during the 101st Congress, rated on 20 recorded votes, was 70 percent. Issues deemed crucial by NFIB included cutting government spending, reducing taxes, mandating profits, limiting federal regulations and balancing the federal budget.
NFIB is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that lobbies on behalf of small firms in all state capitals and Washington. The typical company represented has five employees, is run by the owner-manager and has a gross annual income of about $250,000.
FLETCHER ATTENDS FORUM
Bob Fletcher, current Board of Education member and candidate for re-election, attended a forum in Taneytown for commissioner, General Assembly and State's Attorney candidates sponsored by NETWORK.
He attended the forum to gain additional information regarding environmental hazards so he will know what areas should not be considered for possible school sites in the future.
Fletcher was interviewed Oct. 3 by Prestige Cable TV, which is airing the program this week. During the interview, he emphasized the need to aggressively manage increased growth to meet existing and future demands.
He also stressed the need to improve our poor student/staff ratio, as Carroll ranks 23rd out of 24 subdivisions in the state.
A campaign rally and fund-raiser to support Fletcher's candidacy will be conducted 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Frock's Sunnybrook Farm. Tickets are $10 per person at the door or in advance.
Information: 857-0346 or 848-8136.
RALLY FOR CANDIDATES
The Carroll County Democratic Club will have an Election Eve Rally at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at its headquarters, 14 Liberty St., Westminster.
A post-election Democrat Get-Together will start at 8 p.m. Nov. 6 at Martin's Westminster. There is no admission and light snacks and a cash bar will be offered.
TROOPERS BACK HAINES
Republican Senate candidate Larry E. Haines has received the endorsement of the Maryland State Troopers Association of Lodge No. 20.
Throughout his campaign, Haines has pushed for tougher penalty laws against convicted drug dealers.
"Those convicted of crimes should serve no less than 50 percent of their sentence, as opposed to the current code which allows a parole board hearing after only 25 percent of their sentence," Haines said. "No parole should be allowed when it concerns capital crimes."
At a recent forum Haines attended, he also said he was against sludge being "imported" from outside the state. He also supports legislation that would enforce a "zone-of-influence" for holding quarries liable for water and property damages of surrounding residents.
DIXON GETTING SUPPORT
Speaker of the House of Delegates, R. Clayton Mitchell, and Attorney General Joseph Curran were the principal speakers at a campaign fund-raiser for Delegate Richard N. Dixon, D-Carroll.
Mitchell praised Dixon for his integrity and responsiveness to the wishes of his constituents and commended him for his leadership role in the General Assembly.
Curran noted that District 5A citizens were fortunate in having a delegate of Dixon's caliber who listens to his constituents and works diligently on their problems and concerns.
Dixon thanked the more than 200 supporters at the affair and said that his "record of accomplishment" in the House demonstrates that he is a true public servant who actually does serve his constituents.
Some areas Dixon has been especially responsive to include fiscal responsibility, transportation, education, environmental matters and recreation, as well as the problems of Carroll County and state residents.
Representative Beverly B. Byron, D-6th, sent her regrets through her assistant, Doug Mathias, who read a letter from Byron pledging support to Dixon in his re-election efforts.
Elected officials at the event included Sen. Charles H. Smelser, D-Carroll, Frederick, Howard; Delegate Donald B. Elliott, R-Carroll, Howard; Delegate Larry LaMotte, D-Carroll, Baltimore; Commissioner Jeff Griffith; State's Attorney Tom Hickman; Judge of the Orphans' Court Harry Daughtery; President of the Board of Education, T. Edward Lippy and John Myers, member.
Democratic State Central Committee members attending were Greg Pecaroro, chairman; Philip Benzil, vice chairman; Dennis Beard, Cindy Cummings, Sharon Baker, Jim Kraft, Phil Miller and Barbara Pease.
Commissioner candidates Sharon Baker, Donald Dell, Elmer Lippy and Rich Will; State's Attorney candidate Jerry Barnes; Gail Reilly Cross, candidate for clerk of the courts; Diane O'Leary, candidate for register of wills; and Board of Education candidates Joe Mish and Mike Fitzgerald also attended.
Dixon will be continuing his campaign in the South Carroll and Westminster areas, accompanied by volunteers.
WILL IS CAMPAIGNING
County Commissioner candidate Richard Will is campaigning and continuing to support the military by assuring that the POW/MIA flag was flown over the Maryland Vietnam Veterans Memorial Sept. 21, POW/MIA Recognition Day.
He also attended ceremonies at the state and county memorials, as well as the state council meeting of Vietnam Veterans of America and spoke of the importance of having the POW/MIA flag flown 24 hours a day, as it is at the county memorial.
As a result of his plea, the state council passed a resolution supporting the flag's being flown 24 hours a day. Will also is pursuing state legislation on this matter.
Will is continuing his campaign by attending a press conference at the health department to explain the implementation of special services that went into effect Oct. 1 to benefit the developmentally disabled youths in the county.
Following the meeting, he spoke with project coordinator, Luanne Frebertshauser, and voiced his support for the program.
He also attended a forum sponsored by NETWORK and voiced his support for protecting the environment. He said that those who damage the environment should be held accountable and questioned the safety of spreading sludge on county land.
Will also met with representatives of the Democratic and Republican central committees at Prestige Cable for a mini-forum.
He then attended an informational forum sponsored by the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. at the New Windsor Fire Hall.
Will has garnered support from members of both parties, as well as the AFL-CIO. He favors an honest, no-nonsense approach to government.
GRIFFITH IS ENDORSED
State Senate candidate Jeff Griffith has been endorsed by the Maryland Classified Employees Association, a 27,000-member group concerned with legislative and policy issues which impact upon state employees.
In his campaign, Griffith addressed the NETWORK forum on the Environment at Taneytown Baptist Church. He is a longtime and dedicated protector of Carroll's environment.
Griffith is continuing his drive to register voters for this critical election. So far, his campaign has signed up more than 400 new voters.
SHIPLEY SPEAKS OUT
Larry W. Shipley, clerk of the Circuit Court for Carroll County, was the speaker at a recent meeting of the Carroll County Republican Club.
He spoke of changes that have occurred during his 12 years as clerk, including growing from one to three judges, several moves and expansions and the change in methods or record keeping and funding of the office.
Shipley indicated that Carroll has been the forerunner in automation in Maryland. In 1983, the county converted from hand-written to typed indexes in the Land Records Department.
In 1986, Shipley, while president of the Maryland Court Clerks Association, was selected to serve on the Statewide Automation Project Evaluation and Selection Committee.
The purpose of the committee was to review and select the vendor for a statewide indexing and case management system for the Circuit Court.
Shipley also volunteered to act as a pilot county for the land records indexing system.
In 1989, his office started testing the land records system and since January has been using the IBM system exclusively for land records indexing.
As of Sept. 1, 1990, the county clerk's office became the first in the state to be "on-line" under the statewide system in land records and criminal and juvenile case management.
It has been projected that the civil case management phase of the system will be in place by Jan. 1, 1991, making Carroll the first county in the state to be totally supported by the statewide system.
Funding of the clerk's office has changed from a fee- supported office to being funded through the budgeting process using general account money, Shipley said.
Despite several hiring freezes and budget reductions, Shipley noted the office has the reputation of providing quick and courteous service to the legal community as well as the public.
METTLE IS ENDORSED
The Maryland Classified Employees Association has endorsed Joseph Hooper Mettle, Republican candidate for the House of Delegates, District 5A.
MCEA is an organization of 27,000 members.
Mettle also has been endorsed by The Baltimore Sun.
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