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April 9, 2010

The House is on fire

The much anticipated “Rock The House” Graduation Celebration in Annapolis ended with alarm bells sounding Thursday evening.

The room began to smell of smoke. People grabbed their belongings and left via a narrow stairway. We spotted flakes of ash dropping from a ceiling vent onto Sen. Robert J. Garagiola (D-Montgomery County). Read our breaking-news coverage here

Minority Leader Sen. Allan H. Kittleman (R-Howard County) this morning joked that the Baltimore Sun’s reporting on the evening tarnished his squeaky clean image. It was the only time he went out to a bar all session, he said.

Sadly, news of the evacuation overshadowed a star performance by House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel County) who roasted the junior lawmakers in his chamber for about 20 minutes, coming up with zingers for each of them.

One of the more memorable quips was for a Montgomery County Democrat he dubbed “Heather ‘Transparency’ Mizeur” because of a package of legislation she’s pushing to post online more information about how laws are made.

The delegate was at the bar when her name called, leaving Busch alone in the front of the room with her certificate. Busch waited a few beats and quipped: “She’s so transparent nobody can see her.”

When the music started Busch assured us he was not dancing. He modestly said that he is like “an elevator” with “no steps.” It just wasn’t true.

This morning, Busch said he was in the running for the John Travolta Award but was edged out by Del. Kumar P. Barve (D-Montgomery County).

(Also, in our hurry to leave sans singe, we took the wrong overcoat, shown at left. If you are missing a beige Nienhaus coat, please e-mail If you picked up a light pink, three-quarter sleeve coat we’re looking for it, and we borrowed it from someone else so we are in big trouble if we don’t get it back. )

Posted by Annie Linskey at 9:34 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: General Assembly 2010

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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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