LEST WE THINK all our local GOP...


LEST WE THINK all our local GOP convention delegates did in Houston was wear funny hats, find their way around the Astrodome and chant, "Four More Years!" Anne Arundel County's John Leopold, a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates, called yesterday to let us know he's done some serious business in Houston.

This comes as no surprise.

Mr. Leopold is always serious. He wears black suits and white shirts. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and names Hungarian abstract painter Nicholas DeStael as his favorite artist.

At 48, he is a veteran of 14 -- 14! -- campaigns in Hawaii and Maryland. He started campaigning door-to-door last January for the 1994 elections.

In Houston, Mr. Leopold was busy persuading party leaders to add his ideas on the Americans with Disabilities Act to the platform.

He is a Bush appointee to the National Council on Disabilities, which reviews laws and regulations affecting the disabled, a job that has kept him busy since losing a bid for the state Senate two years ago.

The former legislator wanted us to know that the GOP platform now calls for full implementation of the disabilities act, "with sensitivity to the needs of small businesses."

The party platform also asks that students with disabilities be included in the America 2000 program, an education reform program designed to reduce dropout rates. It also registers official Republican support for new industry to develop technology to assist people with disabilities.

But that's not all.

Mr. Leopold also conveyed the news that, as requested, he garnered some new signatures for St. Margaret's resident Bob Link's autograph collection. The new crop includes Massachusetts Gov. William Weld and former Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker.

And those Elizabeth's Landing residents who wanted new political buttons for their archives can rest easy. "I've got a whole bunch of buttons for them," Mr. Leopold said.

* * *

WHAT can you say when a member of an ambulance crew is accused of stealing money off the body of a man he had been sent to save?

On August 9, 45-year-old Harry John Shew was on his way home from his job at Pimlico Race Track when he lost control of his car on Route 10, smashing into another vehicle. He was dead when ambulance rescue crews arrived.

The ambulance crews, following routine procedure, searched Mr. Shew's pockets for identification, finding $394 in an envelope. At some point, police said, one of the crew members, a volunteer firefighter, slipped $120 out of the envelope and into his own wallet.

The police report said he boasted about the theft to another firefighter, allegedly saying, "Wasn't that slick?"

No, not slick. Sick.

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