The Anne Arundel County Taxpayers Association made its first political endorsement ever yesterday, backing one of its directors for state's attorney.
John R. Greiber Jr., a Republican, said at a news briefing that he considers the endorsement a testament to how well he would manage the state's attorney's office and its $3.5 million annual budget.
Robert C. Schaeffer, president of the 2,000-member group, said the endorsement may not be the last.
"We have to meet and discuss that," said Mr. Schaeffer, a retired military lawyer who introduced Mr. Greiber when the Annapolis lawyer announced his candidacy last September.
Mr. Greiber, 50, has worked with the taxpayer group since 1989. He
represented it in legal efforts to enforce the 1990 tax cap, to block a county agreement to lease the Heritage Office complex at below-market rates and to prevent county officials from awarding retirement benefits to elected and appointed officials from an underfunded pension fund.
Mr. Schaeffer said that Mr. Greiber worked for years for the group before deciding to run, and that criticism by opponents that he plans to use the office as a springboard to higher office is "pure nonsense."
Mr. Greiber, who pledged to serve two terms as state's attorney if elected, attacked incumbent Democrat Frank R. Weathersbee on numerous fronts, saying that:
* Someone vandalized a $300 Greiber campaign sign mounted on a pickup truck about two miles from a Weathersbee fund-raiser on Mountain Road June 10. Mr. Greiber said he would dismiss anyone from his campaign who vandalized a Weathersbee sign and invited his opponent to make the same pledge and to pay for the damaged sign.
* Mr. Weathersbee used 1990
campaign literature touting programs that no longer exist, such as the "Scared Straight" program and the Juvenile Repeat Offenders Program.
* The incumbent failed to publish a 1993 annual report on the workings of his office.
Mr. Weathersbee said yesterday that he knew nothing about the vandalism and would not condone vandalism by anyone working in his campaign.
He said the campaign brochure lists programs that he started and is not intended to list every program still being handled by his office.
The "Scared Straight" program is administered by the state Juvenile Service Administration, and the Juvenile Repeat Offenders program is being handled by county police, he said.
The annual report is at his office and was not distributed this year because there was little interest in the 1990 report, which went out to dozens of community associations.
Mr. Weathersbee said he anticipates several debates.