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Lawmakers poke fun at themselves in annual follies

March 31, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

One Washington County lawmaker played a starring role at last week's annual Legislative Follies, a parody of the Maryland General Assembly staged by lawmakers.

Del. Richard Weldon, R-Frederick/Washington, impersonated Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. in one of the skits.

Weldon said he had second thoughts about having fun at the expense of a man who is arguably the most powerful person in Annapolis other than the governor.

But he decided that it was more important that lawmakers not take themselves so seriously.

Another local lawmaker, Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, was in the audience of the follies with his mother.

The "Legislative News Network" reported that Mooney opposed the morning-after birth control pill with the argument, "If this bill was in effect years ago, I wouldn't be here today."

Abortion rights advocates responded that Mooney proved their point.

But it was Robert Ehrlich, making a rare gubernatorial appearance at the event, who was the evening's most roasted politician.

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When it was over, Ehrlich took the stage with his own "Top 10 list of lessons he has learned as governor."

One of the best, "It's really difficult to steal a towel from Camp David."

Dispute could keep city out of excise tax picture


Hagerstown city officials are running out of time to get a piece of the transfer and excise tax legislation proposed by Washington County lawmakers.

Lawmakers want city and county officials to resolve a dispute that's jeopardizing a $625,000 state environmental grant before they agree to add municipalities such as Hagerstown to the bill.

The legislation has already passed the House of Delegates without a mention of the city. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, said lawmakers would rather not make any changes to the bill once it passes the Senate for fear of losing the bill in the final week of the legislative session.

"Whenever you get this close to the end you want to get these bills moving," Shank said.

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