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January 15, 2009

State House: Purple for a day

At the request of Baltimore Del. Curt Anderson, Speaker Michael E. Busch consented to suspend the chamber's formal attire requirements and allow members of the House of Delegates to sport Ravens jerseys tomorrow.

Before Anderson announced the coming of "Purple Friday" on the House floor, some spirited negotiations took place.

"Mary's fine with the jerseys," Kristin Jones, Busch's chief of staff, told Anderson, referring to House Clerk Mary Monahan. "Don't paint your face, though," Jones warned Anderson.

Busch then introduced Anderson, who represents Northeast Baltimore and is chairman of the city delegation, as "the number one Ravens fan in Maryland," a epithet that aroused some boos on the floor.

Anderson encouraged the 141 members to wear purple tomorrow, in anticipation of the Ravens' AFC championship game Sunday night against Pittsburgh. Jerseys are fine, he said, "but bring a jacket with you." It was not immediately clear whether a lavender-hued down comforter of the type recently sported by Ravens Coach John Harbaugh would be acceptable.

Del. Justin Ross, a Prince George's County Democrat, and presumably a Redskins fan, rose to invite the Baltimore-area members to travel south and "see what a whole trophy case looks like."

Finally, staying true to his role as minority leader, Del. Tony O'Donnell, who was born in Pennsylvania, said he was rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles and had a superstitious beard to prove it. O'Donnell indicated he would not take advantage of the sartorial privileges of Purple Friday. "For this playoff season," he said, "I'll be going green."

-- Gadi Dechter

Posted by David Nitkin at 12:59 PM | | Comments (2)


Gotta love it!!! Sometimes in these difficult times, you need something like this to lift your morale. Bravo!

I can't say protest is the right word when it comes to questioning committee assignments. The Speaker of the House has the ability, and he alone, to decide who goes on what committee. The best a delegation chairman can do is to point out the strengths of the person(s) involved. Fortunately, in the case of Delegate Carter there were plenty of stregths to point out, leading to great arguments in favor of keeping her on the committee.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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