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It's a man's world

Step into Maryland Comptroller (and former Gov.) William Donald “Cro-Magnon” Schaefer’s mind. Try to find something there other than cobwebs. (Baltimore Sun):

Comptroller William Donald Schaefer was unapologetic yesterday after making suggestive comments to a young female aide to the governor during a meeting of the state Board of Public Works.

The incident sent some jaws dropping and drew laughter from others in the crowd of more than 100 state officials, lobbyists, journalists and business leaders attending the session.

Responding to Schaefer’s request for tea, the woman, an executive assistant in Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s front office, set down a thermal mug in front of the comptroller. Schaefer, 84, watched her walk away, then beckoned for her to return. When she obliged, he told her, “Walk again,” staring after her as she left a ceremonial conference room at the State House.

Schaefer defended the comment in a profanity-laced rant at reporters after the meeting. “That’s so goddamn dumb, I can’t believe it,” Schaefer said when asked about the appropriateness of his remark. “She’s a pretty little girl.” She “ought to be damn happy that I observed her going out the door,” Schaefer said. “The day I don’t look at pretty women is the day I die.”

The comptroller briefly broke away from reporters to talk to the woman in private, but returned to say he had not apologized. “The one who’s offended is me,” he said, for being subjected to questions about the encounter.

The sorriest aspect of this is that the woman, Elizabeth Krum, 24, suffered sexual harassment on the job (the article doesn’t indicate whether this was the first incident), and Schaefer, according to the article, has a history of being tolerated by his peers (in both parties) for this kind of offensive behavior in the workplace.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding