Sarbanes stays visible on the capital scene

January 16, 2006|by TAMELA BAKER

ANNAPOLIS - Though the spotlight was on the state legislature last week, retiring U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes could be spotted at a number of locales in Annapolis. He was one of the first to speak at the Democrats luncheon Tuesday at the Calvert House, and many of his Democratic colleagues had barely begun to eat when he started his speech.

No problem for Sarbanes. Noting he had a job in his family's Salisbury, Md., restaurant while growing up, Sarbanes insisted that his audience go on with lunch.

"I'm used to working while people are eating," he said.

On Wednesday, Sarbanes gave identical speeches to the House and the Senate. Ever the optimist, he urged the legislators to get along, telling them that one of the things he learned while serving in the General Assembly was "respect for others - especially those with whom you have passionate disagreements."

Long time gone

ANNAPOLIS - So many Democratic leaders spoke at Tuesday's luncheon that by the time it was House Speaker Michael E. Busch's turn to speak, everyone was finished eating and some were getting restless.


But Busch decided to accentuate the positive.

"Thank you for your endurance here this afternoon," he said.

What's the forecast next January?

ANNAPOLIS - Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller remarked that after Maryland's last Republican governor, Spiro Agnew, his father told him it would be "a cold day in hell before Maryland elected another Republican governor."

Referring to the election of Republican Robert Ehrlich decades later, Miller said, "were you here on Inauguration Day? Wasn't it cold?"

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

ANNAPOLIS - The first week of the General Assembly is a little like the first day of school - lots of meeting and greeting and trying to readjust to the routine.

In addition to the current crop of legislators, former leaders frequently return to see the new session get started. Former Sen. Pat Cushwa, D-Washington, who served out the term of her late husband, Victor, was on hand in the Senate. And John Adams Hurson, D-Montgomery and chairman of the House Health and Government Operations Committee who resigned after last year's session, sat in the balcony of the House chamber.

But it was after the pomp and circumstance of the first day was over that another familiar face appeared on State Circle.

Former House Majority Leader D. Bruce Poole, D-Washington, came down to Annapolis to break bread with James "Chip" DiPaula, chief of staff for Poole's longtime friend Gov. Robert Ehrlich.

Poole, a Hagerstown attorney and three-term delegate who served in the House from 1987 to 1999, maintains contact with a number of his former colleagues, including House Speaker Michael E. Busch.

But he's nothing if not discreet. Poole couldn't be persuaded last week to divulge the content of any of those conversations.

The Herald-Mail Articles