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MD brewer pledges to clean Chesapeake.

MD brewer pledges to clean Chesapeake

Gov. William Donald Schaefer loves partnerships between government and private industry, but he had to think twice when Anheuser-Busch offered to under-write a $1.5 million campaign to promote a cleaner Chesapeake Bay.

Schaefer said he had some concerns because the money from the country's largest brewery was offered at the same time he was proposing stricter laws to combat abuse of drugs and alcohol in Maryland.

"Well, that of course was one of the first questions I had to think about. Am I contradicting myself by letting Anheuser-Busch do this?" Schaefer said at a news conference Monday when the brewery's public relations campaign was proposed.

Explaining his decision that be believed there was no conflict, the governor said, "People will drink beer.

"It's a question of how much you drink, and I don't think Anheuser-Busch is asking everybody to go out and drink in excess just because they're giving us a half cent a case.

"The decision was mine, and I felt it was the right one. I don't think it's contradictory," Schaefer said.

The public relations campaign will begin in March and run for one year in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

Richard F. Keating, vice president of national affairs for Anheuser-Busch Cos, said a portion of the regional advertising for Budweiser will be devoted to a Chesapeake Bay cleanup theme.

One of the two television spots previewed at the news conference showed a group of children on a skipjack ketch learning from a watermen about the need to protect the bay. The second featured a farmer touting use of tilling methods that reduce the amount of fertilizer and insecticides washed off of farmlands into streams that flow into the bay. Keating said the promotional campaign also will feature radio and billboard advertisements as well as displays in stores giving 10 tips on what the average citizen can do to reduce the amount of pollution entering the bay. Beer distributors in the bay region will contribute to the campaign one-half cent for each case of Budweiser sold during the year, and Anheuser-Busch will kick in the rest of the $1.5 million, Keating said. Schaefer said the offer from Anheuser-Busch came at an appropriate time because of the pressure on the state budget resulting from the slow growth in state revenues.

"This is a perfect example of private industry stepping in and helping us," he said.

"The bay's problems will not stop because times are getting tough and money is getting tighter," he said.

Responding to questions later, Schaefer again refused to disclose his position on abortion laws and repeated his pessimism about labor problems at the Port of Baltimore.

He said there is a big "if" in his mind whether a contract will be reached between management and labor without a strike.

He predicted that even if a strike is averted, "you're going to see slowdowns, you're going to see all sorts of job actions taken."

On abortion, Schaefer said he wants to see how the legislature handles the issue before saying whether he favors revising the state law.
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Title Annotation:Anheuser-Busch
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Jan 29, 1990
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