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Executive Records, Governor Spiro T. Agnew, 1967-1969
Volume 83, Page 317   View pdf image (33K)
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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION SEMINAR 317

In addition to that, I think it is very important for a Governor to
visit the counties, and very soon after my election I undertook to do
just that. We've now been in all the counties in the State except six
and have spent on the average three to four hours in each county.
This strengthens the tie between local and State governments. Due
to the proximity to our nation's capital, Maryland's Governor is in-
vited to attend numerous official and social White House functions,
and you're not supposed to say "No" when the President invites you.
There are other things, such as participation in a national Governors'
Conference, testimony before Congressional Committees on legisla-
tion affecting State government, political relations, State responsi-
bilities as the honorary head of the party thai the Governor happens
to be from; national responsibilities, including participation in the
Governor's Conference of that particular party, the many contacts
with other states that require your presence when Governors get to-
gether to discuss things, such as the Potomac River Watershed or the
Susquehanna, or the Southern Governors' Conference. Maryland
falls in the South one way, we fall in the Middle Atlantic one way,
and sometimes we are even in a grouping that includes more northern
than southern states. In addition to that, the Secretary of State, who
operates right under the Governor, has quite a few functions. Twenty-
two functions of a recurring nature are vested in the Secretary of
State's office by constitutional and statutory provisions, including the
registration and regulation of lobbyists, petitions for referendum, and
processing all commissions for appointments. Many of these duties
have been designated on an arbitrary and disjointed or very casual
fashion. The functions range from the registration of trade and
service marts to the registration of sub-machine guns. The Secretary
of State is authorized to issue special police commissions, yet no spe-
cific guidelines or criteria accompany this authority. The Secretary of
State's responsibilities, delegated by the Governor, include handling
all matters concerning prisoners' extradition, petitions for executive
clemency and commutation. He does the research and the ground
work to get the information before the Governor. He often sub-
stitutes for the Governor both in office appointments and in cere-
monial appearances. And due to the character of the individual rather
than the office, the Secretary of State currently acts sometimes as legal
advisor on the spot, legislative liaison, or any other thing that a good
lawyer can do. I am very pleased and fortunate to have a man that
qualified as my Secretary of State.

The Governor has a staff whose organization and responsibilities are
varied. We have an appointments officer. He handles all requests for

 

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Executive Records, Governor Spiro T. Agnew, 1967-1969
Volume 83, Page 317   View pdf image (33K)
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