Annapolis Notes - Feb. 28

February 27, 2011
  • Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, D-Baltimore City, shares a laugh Tuesday with Del. Kevin Kelly, D-Allegany, center, and Sen. George C. Edwards, R-Garrett/Allegany/Washington, right, before Gladden's resolution on renaming two Western Maryland mountains was considered in a Senate committee.
By Andrew Schotz/Staff Writer

Light moments amid the renaming battle

The movement to rename Negro and Polish mountains in Western Maryland is mainly from lawmakers in Baltimore City and metropolitan D.C. counties.

The four legislators representing Allegany and Garrett counties have resisted.

But the push back doesn’t seem personal.

Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, D-Baltimore City, the resolution’s lead Senate sponsor, joked with Del. Kevin Kelly, D-Allegany, who opposes her effort, shortly before her proposal was heard in committee.

They hugged a few days later when the House and Senate jointly elected a state treasurer.

Gladden also shared a laugh with Sen. George C. Edwards, R-Garrett/Allegany/Washington, when talk during the committee hearing turned to who was behind the bill.

Sen. Joan Carter Conway, D-Baltimore City, the committee chairwoman, said “one of the former officials”  asked for it.

“In fairness to Senator Gladden,” Carter Conway said, “I’m just saying, she didn’t wake up one day and decide that she wanted to rename the mountain. It was a request that was made of her.”

The reference was to former House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr., who Gladden has said asked her to “put the bill in.”

But Taylor told The Herald-Mail earlier this month: “That’s simply not true.”

Taylor said he wasn’t unsympathetic to the cause, but wasn’t behind it.

“He’s spoken on both sides of that issue,” Kelly said during the committee hearing.

“He tells me one thing. He tells her something else. He kind of does a lot of this,” Edwards said, moving his mouth to show someone talking out of both sides.

During the hearing, Edwards reached his hand behind his back. Gladden, smiling, stuffed in his hand what appeared to be money of an unknown denomination.

It wasn’t real money. It had President Obama’s face on the bill.

Gladden was paying off a bet with Edwards over whether Taylor would testify at the hearing.

The man behind the testimony

Often, committee chairs are grateful when witnesses keep comments short during a hearing.

So, after his Western Maryland colleagues spoke at length on why they think two mountain names shouldn’t be changed, Del. LeRoy E. Myers, R-Washington/Allegany, joked that he was there only to see former delegates who are now in the Senate.

He added, for the record, that he also was opposed.

But Sen. Joan Carter Conway, D-Baltimore City, the committee chairwoman, didn’t let Myers off so easy. She wanted him to explain why he was opposed.

Myers had nothing to add, so he quipped that he was the mastermind behind his colleagues’ testimony.
“I wrote all their scripts ... I wrote everything for them and they did a nice job of just reading it,” Myers said.

Schneider on public defender board

A Hagerstown lawyer has been approved for the Maryland public defender’s office’s board of trustees.

The Senate approved Arthur Schneider’s nomination on Friday.

His term will expire May 31, 2012.
— Andrew Schotz,

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