April 1, 2011

Lawmakers: A bunch of jokers

April Fool's jokes abound in Annapolis.

Someone took the time to unmute all 141 delegates' phones on the House floor, making for a noisy morning legislative session.

Select delegates also found autographed portraits of Gov. Martin O'Malley, accompanied by a generic packet of Kool Aid on their desks. The implication: Your governor wants you to drink up. (Pictured is a puzzled Del. Curt Anderson with his gag gift.) Tea party captain Michael Smigiel was reportedly behind the prank.

The fun didn't end there.

O'Malley announced on his Facebook page: After months of deliberation, I am pleased to announce the latest addition to my cabinet -- "Goodwill Ambassador," Mr. Donald Trump. (this is of course pending a background check)

Freshman Del. Sam Arora disseminated a press release addressing a "rumor" that he is being considered as a replacement for retiring Maryland schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick.

Continue reading "Lawmakers: A bunch of jokers" »

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 3:02 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: For fun

March 28, 2011

Memories of a vice presidential pool reporter

From Sun colleague Justin Fenton:

There's a fuss being made over at the Drudge Report about a pool reporter from the Orlando Sentinel being confined in a closet by the staff of Vice President Joe Biden during his appearance at a Florida fundraiser, with stories also written about the incident in the UK's Daily Mail and the New York Daily News. And now, the reporter is receiving apologies from Biden's staff and the fundraiser host.

Where's my apology?

A year ago, the same thing happened to me when I was a pool reporter at a Biden appearance at the home of developer David Cordish. Though I'm kidding about wanting an apology and I was not particularly aggravated by the situation, I nevertheless did mention it in my pool report:

Your pool reporter awaited the beginning of the event by sitting in a 5-by-8 foot, Asian-themed room with mirrors on the walls and family photos in small frames. Cordish three times brought guests, including VPOTUS, into the room to show off a collection of books about opera singer Rosa Ponselle.

In addition to Biden, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was also among the guests brought into my cage, er, waiting area, where I stared at a mirror and tried not to stare at a picture of a young Cordish sunning himself on a rock. I wasn't keen on the circumstances, but this was also a private residence and a private event, and I was willing to go with the flow to hear the vice president's remarks. Here's my full pool report, which the Chicago Sun Times and several other newspaper web sites ran in full.

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 5:00 AM | | Comments (2)

March 17, 2011

Irish spirit day ...

Maryland's lawmakers tipped their hats to the Irish in a series of official and personal tributes for St. Patrick's Day. With temperatures expected to reach the 60s this afternoon, Annapolis pubs are bound to be fulling up.  

This morning clerks assigned to the House floor donned foam green caps shaped like beer pitchers for the first few moments of session (on the right); Baltimore County Del. James Malone was looking for some love (pictured on the left) and the Senate was treated treated to a short concert including bagpipes, a string quartet and a solo by former Sen. Tim Ferguson.

There's some pressure, apparently, to respect the Emerald Isle: Prince George's Del. Justin Ross, recalled that he once chose an orange tie for St. Paddy's day a few years ago. "I almost got beaten up by the Irish caucus," he recalled. This year he was in green.

Sens. Nathaniel McFadden and Norm Stone both wore the exact same tie. Readers, you'll have to decide: Who wore it better?* (After the jump.)

* Apologies to US Weekly

Continue reading "Irish spirit day ..." »

Posted by Annie Linskey at 12:12 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: For fun

March 11, 2011

HBO to film Sarah Palin movie in Maryland

HBO announced plans Friday to film an account of the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain in Maryland.

Game Change, based on the bestselling book of the same name by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, focuses on the campaign from McCain’s selection of then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to their general election defeat to Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Palin will be played by Julianne Moore, the Academy Award-nominated actress who has starred in such films as The End of the Affair, The Hours, Far From Heaven and, most recently, The Kids Are Alright.

Palin, who was memorably skewered by Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live, was asked this week about HBO's casting choice.

"Well, I'm all about job creation," she told Fox News' Sean Hannity. "And I guess I could provide some of these gals who pretend like they are me some job security. I would ask, though, if they're of the mind of spreading the wealth around, that perhaps they want to spring for one of my kids' sets of braces or something as they capitalize on pretending to be me."

Hannity had a few ideas of his own for the role.

"She doesn't really look -- I mean, she's a good actress. I thought Courtney Cox, Demi Moore, might be a little bit more -- a little closer look, no?"

"Well, I'm absolutely flattered that you would say that," Palin responded. "But, no, I don't know. I think I'll just grit my teeth and bear whatever comes what may with that movie."

Continue reading "HBO to film Sarah Palin movie in Maryland" »

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 3:19 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: For fun, Washington

January 14, 2011

Baltimore mayor betting crab cakes on Ravens win

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is betting the mayor of Pittsburgh crab cakes and more that the Ravens will beat the Steelers in their divisional playoff on Saturday.

If Baltimore wins, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke RAVENstahl will send Rawlings-Blake a plate of sandwiches from Primanti Bros. Restaurant, Smiley cookies from Eat ’n Park and other Steeltown treats.

He’ll also have to post a video of himself in a Baltimore jersey declaring the Ravens’ superiority to the Steelers.

If Pittsburgh wins, Rawlings-Blake will owe Ravenstahl a tray of crab cakes from frin Faidley’s Seafood in Lexington Market. And she’ll be responsible for a video announcement of her own, in black and gold, proclaiming the Steelers’ superiority.

But she doesn’t believe it will come to that.

“Coach Harbaugh and the entire Ravens team are playing their best football right now, and I look forward to watching them win on Saturday,” Rawlings-Blake said in a release. “I am also excited to see how handsome my colleague, Mayor Ravenstahl, looks in purple and black!”

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 3:56 PM | | Comments (3)

Lawmakers express bipartisan support for Ravens

It's the first Friday of the legislative session and, more importantly, the Ravens are still in the playoffs. The Baltimore team faces arch rival Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Delegates from Baltimore and beyond showed off Ravens jerseys and purple ties and posed for pictures after the brief and largely content-free morning session.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch, who also sported a jersey, introduced Baltimore Del. Curt Anderson as "chairman of the Ravens caucus." Anderson led the body in chants and remarked, "Baltimore, the city that reads ... Ed Reeds!"

Over in the more sedate Senate chambers, no one was barking like a dog or dressed in sports gear, but Sun colleague Annie Linskey reports there was plenty of purple. Sen. Nancy Jacobs of Harford and Cecil counties donned a fashionable purple suit for the occasion. More photos after the jump.

Continue reading "Lawmakers express bipartisan support for Ravens" »

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 11:45 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: For fun

January 7, 2011

Speaker Busch has Ravens fever

House Speaker Michael E. Busch shows that he is ready for the Ravens playoff game this weekend, welcoming the mascot, cheerleaders and team band to the State House steps.

Busch, an avid sports fan, even did a little Ray Lewis dance (not pictured) and jigged with Poe during the official team fight song.










(Photo credit: Julie's iPhone.)

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 3:55 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: For fun

October 26, 2010

Political sports: Ravens top Redskins

If the Ravens and Redskins met in the Superbowl, more than half of Maryland's likely voters would cheer for the team in purple, a Baltimore Sun poll has found.

Of 798 respondents who also answered weightier questions about the governor's race and their financial worries, 51 percent said they'd root for the Ravens while 31 percent would back the Redskins in a theoretical Superbowl matchup.

A closer look at the numbers reveals that fans of former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. prefer the Ravens to Redskins by a wider margin than supporters of Gov. Martin O'Malley. (Ehrlich voters: 55 percent to 30 percent, O'Malley voters: 50 to 32.)

Redskins fans appear more enthusiastic about O'Malley than Ravens fans. (Redskins fans: 53 percent to 37 percent for Ehrlich, Ravens fans: 51 to 40)

Politicians in the making? Six O'Malley voters volunteered that they would "root for both teams," while only one Ehrlich voter gave such a fence-sitting answer.

Both candidates have closer ties to the Ravens. Ehrlich, who played ball at Princeton, grew up in and represented Baltimore County as a delegate and a member of Congress. O'Malley was mayor of Baltimore when the team won the 2001 Superbowl, though he grew up in Montgomery County, Redskins territory. 

Continue reading "Political sports: Ravens top Redskins" »

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 5:00 AM | | Comments (14)
Categories: For fun

October 7, 2010

Martin O'Malley and the Giant Hat

Governor Martin O'Malley greets this enthusiastic supporter during morning sign waving at Holabird and Merritt Boulevard in Dundalk. The inflatable hat is a repurposed Killian's Irish Red beer prop.
Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 10:26 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: For fun

October 1, 2010

Ehrlich family lunch

Gubernatorial candidate Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. took a mini-campaign break this afternoon and stopped at Grilled Cheese & Co. to lunch with his parents. The Baltimore Sun recently reviewed the new restaurant in Catonsville and summed up the experience as "reasonably quick and pleasing."

The Republican former governor ordered the BBQ Chicken grilled cheese and said he enjoyed it. His father, Robert L. Ehrlich, Sr. and mother, Nancy Ehrlich are also photographed on the right.

Ehrlich didn't miss the opportunity to tout his support for small businesses at the eatery and urged reporters to talk with the owner and staff. He promised part owner Scott Pevenstein: Your taxes will go down on Nov. 3.


Posted by Annie Linskey at 2:59 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: For fun

September 29, 2010

O'Malley in the driver's seat

Gov. Martin O'Malley did something unusual this morning: He drove.

The Democrat preceded his four-year term as governor with a seven-year stint as Baltimore mayor. Those jobs have long come with the perk of an official driver.

But after an announcement this morning about 11 new jobs coming to a GM transmission plant in White Marsh, O'Malley hopped into a Chevy Volt for the TV cameras.

"You sure you want me to do this?" he said jokingly. "It's the first time in 10 years."

(Aides say that's a bit of an exaggeration on his part; he does occasionally drive.)

Reporters stuck around in case the infrequent driver veered off the road.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 4:20 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: For fun

September 16, 2010

Bob Ehrlich gets a haircut

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 3:13 PM | | Comments (30)
Categories: For fun
Keep reading
Recent entries

Headlines from The Baltimore Sun
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.
Most Recent Comments
Sign up for FREE local news alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local news text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Breaking News newsletter
When a big news event breaks, we'll e-mail you the basics with links to up-to-date details.
Sign up

Blog updates
Recent updates to news blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected