TIPPED THAT Keith E. Haynes, lawyer in Da Boss' law firm and candidate for the House of Delegates from Baltimore's 44th District, lived in Columbia, not the city, I popped the question: Do you sleep, eat and get your mail in the 44th?
"Yes," Haynes answered, aware that an answer otherwise could constitute a violation of the residency requirements for getting on the ballot, something that has gotten other politicians in hot water. "I no longer live in Columbia."
I asked how long Haynes, an attorney in the law office of Peter G. Angelos, had lived in Baltimore. The question seemed to take him by surprise, and he kind of bumbled his way through until finally declaring that he'd moved here the "latter part of June." He also lived in Baltimore while attending law school several years ago, works downtown and has many clients who live in the city.
His townhouse in Columbia is vacant. Haynes lives in a Howard Street high-rise within the legislative district he aspires to represent. And he swears it's his new residence - more than a futon and a telephone - and not merely a mail drop.
"I have my furniture there, my clothes, and all my belongings," he says. "I have my dishes, and I cook for myself."
Intrigued, I asked Haynes the kind of question you seldom hear in candidate interviews or political debates: Could he remember what he had for breakfast yesterday? And he answered forthrightly: "Pop-Tarts. ... Strawberry."
How about an O-vation?
Joey Amalfitano writes: "I finally went to my first ball game of the season Tuesday night with some friends from Philly. Didn't seem to me the O's have been doing much lately to earn their millions, but what the heck? It was a goofy game with the Rangers' starting pitcher thrown out after two pitches. But I thought the Oriole fans were sort of dumb and ungracious. Joaquin Benoit had a no-hitter going until the ninth but people were walking out long before that. I would guess only half the crowd of 29,000 were still there in the ninth, which strikes me as a crowd not being very interested in baseball. I guess this is an era where, if there aren't 15 home runs in a game, nobody's happy.
"They also cheered Jerry Hairston's hit in the ninth, which broke the no-hitter, and that's OK, but they could have given Benoit, who went seven innings and finished with the longest save in major-league history, a cheer in recognition of some great pitching. But not a peep.
"OK, that's my baseball rant for this year. Cheers."
Gentleman and scholar
What do you do at an immigrant health care rally with no immigrants?
If you're running Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's campaign, you plunge right ahead, which is what they did the other day in Takoma Park, on the campus of Columbia Union College. The lieutenant guv was attending the funeral for one of the Prince George's County sheriff's deputies killed last week. So Maryland's Potential First Gentleman, David Townsend, pinch-hit for his wife. He passionately spoke in both English and Spanish about his wife's efforts to improve health care for poor families in Maryland. He also blasted his wife's likely Republican opponent for his record on issues involving working families, charging that Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. benefited from scholarships for high school and college, then turned his back on those programs.
Townsend didn't appear bothered by the small crowd of about two dozen people. Everyone in attendance seemed to be part of the campaign or a staffer of either the college or nearby Washington Adventist Hospital. Tables set up by the hospital to test the blood pressure and check the vision of immigrants living in the diverse Takoma Park community failed to attract interest. It's a tough job being Potential First Gentleman.
Kathleen's nagging tag
Note to KKT: Don't forget to remove the cleaning tags before putting on your clothing in the morning. During a recent interview in East Baltimore with the energetic staff of Kids' Scoop, a nonprofit newspaper put out by area students, the lieutenant guv removed the jacket of her tan suit to reveal a gray tag from the cleaners on the back loop of her slacks, No. 518.
Don't stall on bridge
Several TJI readers registered agreement with me on the need to paint the cruddy-looking Howard Street bridge over the JFX. They liked particularly the idea of getting Maryland Institute College of Art students to design a paint job and maybe even carry it out. Phil Reely, who works for CSX in the exquisite B&O; building, wrote to Mayor Martin O'Malley months ago about this, and again recently. "Our citizens and visitors are still missing a visually artistic opportunity that could be admired from many vantage points," Reely wrote. Last week he got a response.
"[The city] will be advertising the contract for the bridge painting on 9/6," the mayor reported. "Usually the contract is awarded 4-6 weeks after that, and we expect painting to start in the spring."
Spring? That's next year! We could use a little Schaefer-esque "Do It Now" in City Hall.