Annapolis Notes

February 19, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

What's my name, guv?

One problem with "thank you" lists is someone's bound to be overlooked.

The same is true when you're the governor surrounded by a group of local officials who need to be acknowledged.

Gov. Martin O'Malley experienced that last week at a press conference at Maryland Correctional Training Center in Washington County. After announcing all of the state and county officials in attendance from both political parties, O'Malley mentioned Hagerstown's mayor and three council members.


Someone alerted the governor: You forgot Kelly Cromer.

O'Malley apologized. "Staff did not have your name on here," he quipped. "Heads will roll."

Later, when O'Malley stopped at Robinwood Medical Center to meet with community and government leaders about plans for a new hospital, Cromer needled the governor as she passed him in the hallway.

"What's my name?"

"Councilwoman Kelly," O'Malley said.

"Councilwoman Cromer," she replied - just in case he wasn't kidding.


Exit stage left

At the end of a stop at Robinwood Medical Center to hear about plans for a new Washington County Hospital, Gov. Martin O'Malley paused outside to field questions from reporters.

Del. John P. Donoghue, Washington County's only Democratic state lawmaker, stood at the governor's side as NBC25 reporter Marie Coronel attached a microphone to O'Malley's suit coat.

The two Democrats were ready. Lights, camera ...

Governor, Coronel asked, gay rights advocates were rallying in Annapolis today in favor of same-sex marriage. What's your stance on the issue?

"Oh, golly, I thought we were talking about the hospital," O'Malley said.

Apparently, Donoghue did, too. He darted away from the governor, just out of range of the camera.

Donoghue was a cosponsor - with some Washington County Republicans - of last year's Marriage Protection Act, an attempt to amend Maryland's constitution to say that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

For the record, O'Malley answered Coronel's question this way: "I think that there are good and decent people on both sides of that debate .... I was raised in a faith that believes that marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman.

"And yet, at the same time, I think all of us strive for, in America, where every individual is treated with equal rights and dignity and respect under the law - I think a reasonable compromise on that would be civil unions."

Generally speaking

No, the state of Maryland isn't preparing to invade the prison system, as far as we know.

So, why does Gov. Martin O'Malley refer to his choice as secretary of public safety and correctional services as "General" when others in his cabinet get the honorific title "Secretary"?

That's because Gary D. Maynard, the designee, retired as a brigadier general after serving 32 years in the Army National Guard in Oklahoma, his native state.

The state Senate's Executive Nominations Committee is scheduled to vote today on whether to recommend confirming Maynard and eight other cabinet leaders. If they're recommended, the names will go to the full Senate for final approval.

Love is in the air

Lawmakers acknowledged Valentine's Day in a variety of ways Wednesday in Annapolis.

Members of the Washington County delegation found small boxes of hearts at their places when they arrived for their weekly meeting. Delegation Chairman LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washington/Allegany, made sure to credit Karen Frank, the delegation's legislative assistant, for the treats.

Female delegates applauded House Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel, for having heart-shaped containers of chocolate left at their seats in the House.

And who was best suited to lead the daily prayer?

"Someone who keeps Love in the House," Busch said.

None other than Del. Mary Ann Love, D-Anne Arundel.

Not your average bill, part III

Legislatures and pork often go hand and hoof.

But that's not what Sen. Gwendolyn T. Britt, D-Prince George's, had in mind when she sponsored a bill to regulate the conditions of pigs.

"...A person may not tether or confine a pig during pregnancy on a farm, for all or the majority of any day, and in a manner that prevents the pig from: (1) lying down and fully extending its limbs; or (2) turning around freely," says the bill, which defines "turning around freely."

A person convicted of this misdemeanor could be fined up to $1,000 and imprisoned for up to 90 days. The bill doesn't specify whether a pig-confinement convict must be able to turn around freely in the pokey.

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