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Donoghue has 'no ill will' for Shank

February 06, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

ANNAPOLIS -- Del. John P. Donoghue said Wednesday he holds "no ill will" toward Del. Christopher B. Shank, a week after Shank publicly offered to repair their icy relationship.

"No apology necessary," Donoghue said. "I'm doing my job and I'm sure he's doing his job."

Donoghue, D-Washington, didn't directly acknowledge Shank's offer - made through a Herald-Mail story, but not directly to Donoghue - to "bury the hatchet."

Shank, R-Washington, said last week he was offering Donoghue an "olive branch" so the delegates could at least get along legislatively.

Shank said their shaky relationship deteriorated further after the 2006 election, when Shank helped an unsuccessful GOP effort to unseat Donoghue.

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In the 1990s, when Shank was a legislative assistant for the Washington County delegation and Donoghue was chairman, they were on good terms.

Donoghue couldn't be reached Friday or Saturday to comment on the offer, which was in a story published Sunday.

Asked about it after Tuesday's House session, Donoghue said, "I have no ill will. No. We're fine - just doing my job getting my bills passed."

"I'm very happy to hear him say that," Shank said later. "I would look forward to finally putting the past behind us and working together for the good of our constituents."

Donoghue, however, didn't anticipate any collaboration since they sit on different House committees and focus on different legislation.

"He's on Judiciary. I'm on a different committee," Donoghue said. "There's no interaction."

Donoghue previously has said he wouldn't attend Washington County delegation meetings because he had no interest "listening to Delegate Shank spout off on the topic of the day."

On Wednesday, the delegation held its third meeting of the session. Donoghue has missed all three.

He said later Wednesday morning that he was busy elsewhere in Annapolis - speaking to a statewide library gathering at the request of Mary Baykan, director of the Washington County Free Library.

"That's where I was this morning," Donoghue said. "And I sent Mary Anne (Kuehn, who works in his office) to the meeting. And LeRoy (Myers, the delegation chairman) told me this morning what all was done."

Donoghue said many delegation bills should be routine and are a good example of why Washington County needs charter home rule, so local officials can take care of them on their own.

"I don't think we need to drag county staff down here all the time, to get them to ask us permission, and then ask 141 delegates and 47 senators permission for an animal ordinance ...

"Our time is better spent. We're state lawmakers; we're not county lawmakers."

Asked to characterize his current relationship with Shank, Donoghue said, "He gets elected just like I do. We're both delegates. We represent different areas. I represent the city of Hagerstown, and that's what I'm down here doing, working for the city of Hagerstown."

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