HERE'S an assessment of our governor's first months in office, courtesy of the June 11 Cumberland Times:
"If the next 3 1/2 years are as bad as his first six months, Parris Glendening may be sorry he won election as Maryland's governor.
"The Democrat governor has made several political gaffes since his election last November. Most damaging seemed to be his attempt to take an early pension for his service as Prince George's county executive. After criticism, he said he would defer collecting the $21,165 per year until he reaches age 55. Three of Glendening's aides who worked for the county also agreed to forgo their pension until they leave state employment. But the aides hit the jackpot when they collected $333,000 for unused county sick leave.
"Questions were raised when the governor received $95,000 to defend him against an election lawsuit filed by Republican Ellen Sauerbrey. The money came from a Baltimore businessman, Willie Runyon. Critics said such a large donation may have been made by Runyon to obtain favorable treatment from the governor.
"House Speaker Casper Taylor and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller became upset with the governor when Glendening began staging phony bill signing ceremonies. The governor held the ceremonies in various parts of the state but the bills were not actually signed into law until Glendening, Taylor and Miller held a signing session in Annapolis.
"Lawmakers in Annapolis said the bogus signings were misleading and done for publicity.
"The governor's most recent misstep was an attempt to use $1.5 million from an economic development fund to help Stephens Engineering Company, which is headed by one of Glendening's Prince George's County political supporters. The transaction was canceled after protests from the public.
"Governor Glendening managed some victories during the 1995 General Assembly session, including several provisions to strengthen the state's business climate. It is a shame that the accomplishments have been overshadowed by his political embarrassments."