Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What Do You Mean I Can't Speak

(Annapolis) – Things seem to going along swimmingly at the Maryland Democrats annual luncheon, predating the start of the Maryland Legislative Session. The party’s leaders made jokes at the expense of the Maryland and National GOP. The partisan crowd took it all in with a lot of back-patting. Following the Governor’s closing. I noticed State Senator Anthony Muse had moved from his position near the back to the front. Senator Muse of Prince Georges County has indicated he will challenge second term U.S. Senator Ben Cardin from Maryland (FYI, he hadn’t filed the paper work at the time of this filing).

Without prompting Muse is on the microphone and appears to be making a speech to counter what he has heard from some of the speakers who have tacitly endorsed Sen. Cardin for re-election. The state senator of Prince Georges County is not amused (sorry for the pun). Initially the organizers leave the microphone open as people are left to wonder what to make of the speech. Someone starts to shut off the mike but then brings it back up. Later music is used to drown out the audio.

I make my way with a group of reporters to get Muse’s reaction.

What a way to start 90 day session that his likely to have some riveting moments. For a number of Senators and Delegates a lot is riding on governors redistricting map of individual districts for Delegates and Senators. Already members of the legislative Black caucus have questioned the protection of some white delegates in Montgomery County.

An issue which is likely to continue to get a lot of attention is gay marriage. Last year’s debate pulled at heart strings and tore through the Prince Georges County delegation which is home to a number of Black Mega churches which have opposed the concept. There are efforts underway to make the issue go to a statewide voter referendum.

State Senator Ulysses Currie who survived a federal probe into influence peddling for failing to report his work with the grocer Shoppers Food Warehouse look relax but he is likely to face ethics violations.

I also spotted Delegate Tiffany T. Alston of Prince Georges County who is alleged to have used campaign funds to finance her wedding. She is charged with one count of felony theft, one count of misdemeanor theft, one count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary and two election law violations.

Can I get a reference to Beyonce

This blog is about politics so when I hear references to Beyonce’ I cringe. FYI, B and Jay Z just had a baby (Blue Ivey Carter)
. The first reference comes from Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger who references the Destiny Child song, “I’m a Survivor” in trying to explain how he has dealt with the Republicans in congress (who knew).

Congressman Ellijah Cummings not be out done says he was thinking of a different Beyonce’ song called “I was Here.” The audience must have thought they were at an American Idol contest. At least no one had to sit through a sing off.

Governor’s Bet on the Outcome of Raven Game

In that time honored tradition of Governors’ putting a wager on the NFL Playoffs – Governor Martin O’Malley says he’s been trying to reach the governor of Texas, Rick Perry. Perry as you know is running in the GOP Presidential Primaries and has been a little difficult to reach. So Governor O’Malley, in partisan mode, says I’ll bet the Texas governor the Ravens will get more points than the Texas Governor will in the New Hampshire primary today (Hmmm Perry is polling in the single digits New Hampshire).

The Mike’s have it…

Delegate Mike Busch the Speaker of the House has joined his counterpart in the Senate as being the longest serving Speaker in Maryland. The Annapolis Capital Newspaper did a nice job profiling the Speaker calling him “Coach” because that’s what he does when he’s not herding his fellow Democrats.

Speaking of Sports

Delegate Jay Walker has parlayed his football career from Howard University to do color on ESPN. He’s actually pretty good. He called the New Orleans Bowl so I just had to get him to talk about Alabama and LSU Championship game.

The Bachelor

Last year, when it was clear Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown was on the market as a single man I suggested he was ripe pickings for the show The Bachelor. It didn’t take long before he was once again off the market. I found him and his new fiancé Karmen Bailey Walker arm in today. So I asked her, “Would she have been one of the many young ladies who would have tried for his affection? Ms. Walker, “Heck naw!” I know she was just kidding.

GOP Movings and Shakings

Alex Mooney, the head of the state GOP party, says he’s pulling his name out of the Sixth Congressional race and will endorse the incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. Congressman Barlett has been targeted by Democrats who have redrawn his district to cover parts of Montgomery and Howard Counties. The other GOP challenger is Sen. David Brinkley.

A pair of legislators are challenging sitting Democratic congressman. State Senator Nancy Jacobs will challenge Ruppersberger and Minority Leader; Delegate Anthony O’Donnell will challenge Congressman Steny Hoyer.

Most observers see this as long shot opportunities. Here's the rub, both can challenge and maintain their seats.

My Things Have Changed

This is the 40th Anniversary of the creation of the Maryland Woman's caucus. It was brought to my attention by Senator Jennie M. Forehand. While Senator Forehand is one of the seasoned veterans on woman's rights she was not first. That honor goes to State Treasurer Nancy Kopp. The Montgomery County Senator reminded me in 1972 there were no bathrooms for woman legislators. Women were forced to use the public restrooms for the general public and jockey for stalls. "You've come a long way baby."

Hey the 90 day session hasn't started. Just wait till we get to the the juicy parts of the session begun.

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