Annapolis notes

April 02, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Legislators sing, dance, have laughs about themselves

Lawmakers became guffawmakers for an evening on Wednesday as the annual "Legislative Follies" Vaudevillesque variety show returned.

Politicians got on stage, donned costumes, sang, danced and cracked bawdy jokes targeting colleagues, some of whom were in the audience, with lobbyists and reporters.

Tickets cost $10 apiece, with proceeds going to a scholarship fund.

The top story for Washington County readers: We counted at least four references to Del. LeRoy E. Myers, R-Washington/Allegany, and his bill to outlaw depictions of human and animal nudity on moving vehicles.

Fairly certain that our editors would insert ample doses of dashes and asterisks if we typed three of the four jokes, we're leaving them alone.


One that we can retell, we think, came with "Kumar the Magnificent," Del. Kumar P. Barve, D-Montgomery, paying homage to Johnny Carson's "Karnak the Magnificent," who gave answers before the questions were posed.

"Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!" said seemingly omniscient Kumar.

The question: "What is Del. LeRoy Myers' new campaign slogan?"

Annapolis Notes also must alert Washington County constituents that they have a true entertainer in their delegation.

Del. Richard B. Weldon Jr., R-Frederick/Washington, stole at least a little piece of the show by actually acting and actually singing, with verve and oomph.

"Strangers on the right," Weldon crooned during a solo, "like Alex Mooney. Wound a little tight, he's a little loony ..." (Ever the moderate, Weldon balanced his song by also needling "strangers on the left."

In a "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" spoof, Weldon portrayed Gov. Martin O'Malley encountering Robert Ehrlich and the Knights of Arbutus (Ehrlich's hometown).

The crew threw the show together in a few days; some humor soared and some sank.

Other ticklish segments included:

· "American Idol: Beg-a-Thon," with three county delegations performing for pretend versions of Randy, Paula and Simon instead of the Board of Public Works

· Mock Academy Awards based on look-alike pictures, such as Weldon and "The Simpsons" character Martin Prince.

One of the most penetrating jabs - more of a Samurai slash - came from Del. Eric M. Bromwell, D-Baltimore County, a show organizer.

During a fake newscast, Bromwell labeled Laura Vozzella, a columnist for The (Baltimore) Sun, as a journalistic hack and purveyor of untruths about family members.

We sense that Bromwell was talking about a couple of Vozzella columns apparently quoting transcripts of wiretapped conversations of Bromwell's father, Thomas.

Lurid details of the investigation into alleged corruption by Thomas Bromwell while he was a state senator went public last week, when the transcripts were released.

Rest assured, there were no riffs about Thomas Bromwell in the Follies.

An unprotected class?

After the Senate approved his bill to give hate-crimes protection to the homeless, Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, presented it Wednesday to the House Judiciary Committee.

During the hearing, Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons, D-Montgomery, a lawyer, wondered if hatred toward a group of people might rise or fall over time.

What if people stopped attacking the homeless?

"Or if they started attacking lawyers."

Simmons realized his unusual comparison didn't work.

"There would probably be no protection on that," he said, generating laughs.

Not in Cumberland anymore

In a rare speaking role, Del. Wendell R. Beitzel, R-Garrett/Allegany, stood not once, not twice, but three times, on the House floor Thursday.

But only because a school group he was to introduce during the session hadn't arrived.

Beitzel, a freshman delegate, and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel, decided Beitzel should wait for the children, rather than acknowledge them in absentia.

Making light of the delay, Busch said, "Sometimes, when you come from Garrett County, you get lost in a village like this."

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