'Party of the rich' seems to be party on the cheap


David Blumberg of Baltimore is the head of the city's Republican Party and a delegate to the Republican National Convention. A librarian at the Baltimore City Detention Center, he is writing each day of his thoughts and experiences.

There is no truth to the rumor that the reason I was selected to be the delegate/correspondent for The Sun was because I could spell potato.

After being elected in March as a delegate, I contemplated what to pack. My plans were shattered when [Rep.] Helen Bentley asked me to take a box of unknown contents along with my allotted pieces of luggage. I dutifully complied but felt rather sheepish when I couldn't answer the skycap's simple question: "What's in that box?" I later learned I was transporting tote bags gaily decorated with a BUSHel of Maryland crabs in honor of our mission.

My first order of business here was to check the Houston phone book for one William J. Shelley, my wife's old boyfriend. They did not marry because she then would have been Ellie Shelley instead of the infinitely preferable Ellie Wang-Blumberg.

Finding no old beau, I waited around in the lobby of the hotel for all the perks that the Democrat delegates enjoyed in New York. I'm still waiting.

While the Dems received free meals, corporate entertainment, and plush housing, our Republican contingent is staying at an $80-a-night Holiday Inn 20 miles away from the Astrodome, paying for every meal out of our own pockets and having a host party sponsored by a local family rather than a giant conglomerate. So much for the conventional wisdom about the GOP as "the party of the rich."

Having no hospitality suite, I went to Galveston yesterday morning. I was struck by the flatness of the land, the paucity of trees and the narrow beach. I was looking for Glen Campbell, but I saw only Elvis.

I am eagerly awaiting meetings with the other delegates from around the country. Being chairman of the Baltimore GOP can make you as lonely as the Maytag repairman and we all need this convention to energize ourselves.

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