Annapolis notes

January 19, 2004|by LAURA ERNDE

Sen. Mooney weighs in on extra pounds

ANNAPOLIS - You've heard of the "freshman 15," but how about the "session 15."

Hectic schedules and an abundance of free food offerings can lead some lawmakers to pack on a few extra pounds during the 90-day legislative session.

Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, has an incentive to trim down.

He and three other members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee weighed in on opening day last Wednesday.

Whoever gains the most weight has to buy lunch for the group.

Mooney said he thinks he has an advantage because he's starting the session at 235 pounds, which is 16 pounds more than last year.

He and his legislative assistant have joined the gym so the two can work during their workouts, he said.

Miller says he'll work closely with Busch

ANNAPOLIS - Conflict abounds this legislative session, not only between Republicans and Democrats but also among the party faithful.


At a pre-session luncheon in Annapolis last week, the state's two top Democrats tried to dispel any notions of rancor.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Prince George's, promised to work hand-in-hand with House Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel.

"You want to know how close we're going to be?," Miller said. "He's going to eat the watermelon. I'm going to spit out the seeds."

Dem Miller gets laugh over security comment

ANNAPOLIS - Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Prince George's, took a pot shot at the Republican administration last week when he made fun of their large security teams.

Lt. Gov. Michael Steele often travels with a five-person team of state troopers.

"He and the governor look like some far eastern potentates," Miller said, drawing huge laughs from his all-Democrat audience.

What's in a name where weapons are concerned?

ANNAPOLIS - Don't call them assault weapons, call them "sport-utility rifles."

With Democrats expected to introduce legislation extending a ban on assault weapons this session, gun-rights activists are gearing up for a fight.

Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Washington/Frederick, has been referring to the weapons as sport-utility rifles, which sounds so much less intimidating, doesn't it?

Mooney insists that it's a better term for the guns that sportsmen use for target shooting and hunting.

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