Trooper logic: Even Baghdad listens when governor says, 'Do it now'


Conversation between a reporter and a member of the governor's State Police security detachment in a State House elevator last Friday, after Iraq's Revolutionary Council said Iraq might withdraw from Kuwait:

"How's the governor?" the reporter asked.

L "Great! Didn't you see the news today?" the trooper replied.

"What news?" asked the scribe.

"Yesterday the governor goes to see the Kuwaiti ambassador," the trooper continued, "and today, Saddam Hussein threw in the towel."


Baltimore City recently started collecting a $250 licensing fee from executive search firms, companies that are paid to find employees for other firms. Each year the city collects about $7,500 from these firms, so the association hired lobbyist Bruce C. Bereano to push a state law that would prohibit any subdivision from collecting such fees.

Delegate Casper R. Taylor, Jr., D-Allegany, chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee, is one of the bill's co-sponsors, and last week the committee considered the legislation, which would take away from Baltimore City a relatively small funding source.

"I was just thinking," Mr. Taylor noted, "I've been invited by the mayor to attend opening day at the ballpark. I wonder if this means I won't be able to go."

"I have tickets, Mr. Chairman," said Mr. Bereano, who takes legislators to all manner of sporting events. "I have season tickets."


If you can't get them with season tickets, though, maybe making them feel like players will do the trick.

In the never ending struggle to keep its name and mission before the General Assembly, the Maryland State Teachers Association has memorialized the 188 senators and delegates on a facsimile of baseball cards. The senators' pictures are shown against red backgrounds with stars in the border. The delegates are in blue, no stars.

Mary Joe Neville, an MSTA lobbyist, tried to deliver the cards this week. Legislators rushed her imploring, "Do you have mine? Do you have mine?" A larger card in each package said, "We hope you find the cards to be an interesting memento of the 1991 General Assembly."

At the bottom of the card is the organization logo, complete with a motif of the state flag: "Get Smart, Maryland. Invest In Education."

The betting was that some cards would become more valuable just as the baseball cards do over time. Delegate John Astle, D-Anne Arundel, for example, will be remembered because he has volunteered to leave Annapolis for Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm.


The Senate celebrated a colleague's birthday Thursday. First Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., D-Prince George's, called the man of honor, Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, D-Baltimore County, to the rostrum. Mr. Miller then gave Mr. Bromwell a package with a book inside. It was the wrong book.

"Mr. President?" asked Senator Bromwell. "What the hell do I have to do with Lafayette and Harford County?"

Mr. Miller backed up, smiling and laughing, blaming the mistake on secretaries. Then he got another book, "The Bromwell Genealogy," published in 1910.

"One of his relatives died when a platform collapsed under him," said Senator Miller. "He was being hanged at the time."

Senator Bromwell didn't talk about that relative.

He talked about his grandfather, a one-time bricklayer who later became a senior page to then-State Senate President Louis L. Goldstein. And now, one of the bricklayer's descendants is a full-fledged senator.

It was, said Senator Bromwell, a picture of the American Dream.


Maryland's participation in the March "Super Tuesday" presidential primary three years ago is generally considered a failure. As a result, most state legislators want next year's presidential primary moved to some other date.

The difficulty will be in choosing a better date, says Delegate Anne S. Perkins, D-Baltimore, chairman of the House Constitutional and Administrative Law Committee.

Here's the choice Maryland's politicians seem to be facing: Do Marylanders want their primaries held in a month when the weather might bebad but the results of the vote could be meaningful, or would they prefer spring when the weather might be good -- but the rest of the nation has already chosen the presidential nominees.

Nathan Landow, chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party, urged a House committee last week to move the primaries from the second Tuesday in March to either the first Tuesday or the fourth Tuesday in March. No other states currently have plans to hold primaries on those dates, and either of them would give Marylanders a say in the candidate selection process, he said.

But Delegate Michael Gordon, D-Montgomery, urged that the primary be moved back to May, a month when snowstorms are not a problem and when 500 or so of the state's most politically active people -- members of the General Assembly and their staffs -- are not preoccupied by the legislative session.

Mr. Landow countered that fears of bad weather should not be the determining factor. General elections are always held in November without serious interruption due to storms, he said.

Besides, he added, with "global warming, winters are getting nice and we may not have the problem."

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