AN EASTERN Shoreman we know called to say, "I know wh Governor Schaefer is going to endorse for president in 1996. Phil Gramm."
He was referring to the Texas senator who was quoted recently as saying he hired Texas carpenters to build him a weekend retreat on the Eastern Shore because workers there were "unreliable." Sounds like the governor's kind of guy, all right, given his recently displayed preference for Republicans and his own notorious remark comparing the Shore to -- er, outdoor facilities.
But suppose Senator Gramm is the Republican presidential nominee in 1996 and the Democrats for some reason nominate Tom McMillen? He is the representative from Anne Arundel County whose home base was merged into the Eastern Shore congressional district this year.
He ran against the Shore incumbent, Wayne Gilchrest, and lost -- in part, probably, because Barbara Gilchrest, Wayne's wife, accused him of saying of Wayne's world that it was full of "G-- D--- rednecks." Tough choice for William Donald Schaefer.
The Senate Ethics Committee looked into the Gramm matter. Why? The Texan who managed the project accepted about half as much money as the work actually cost. This manager was also a Texas S&L; operator the senator helped as his business was going under (cost to taxpayers: $200 million).
Naturally the Ethics Committee found nothing wrong here. But what about that slur on Shore carpenters? Is the Senate going to let Senator Gramm get away with that? Where are Paul Sarbanes (born and bred on the Eastern Shore) and Barbara Mikulski when we need them?