Hunger striker now works for food

The Baltimore Sun

When Aaron Kraus was on a hunger strike outside Government House to protest university funding cuts two years ago, Gov. Robert Ehrlich offered the University of Maryland student government president a steak (which Kraus refused) and shelter in the mansion (which he accepted because it was raining).

Now that Kraus is a graduate, he has taken something else from the Ehrlich administration: a job as a public information officer with the Department of Natural Resources.

How'd he get that gig, since his resume could sum up his college work experience as: Thorn in Gubernatorial Side?

"I went through the normal process," Kraus said. He added, however, "The governor still remembers me, and I remember him."

Maybe it was the work Kraus did right after his 2005 graduation that endeared him to The Gov. He was field director for Doug Duncan.

If you're marginalized, get confrontational

The Kevin Zeese campaign reveals its strategy for getting more mainstream news media coverage. "If the media marginalize Kevin with their coverage," his third-party Senate campaign recently e-mailed supporters, "we should be confrontational."

"Instead of emailing a Letter to the Editor, hand-deliver, IN PERSON; walk into the Newsroom and drop it off with the Editorial Staff, and give them a sharp verbal comment or two - or three - as well. If the media won't let you in, stay in the lobby, and demand an editorial person come down and take your Letter from you. We should picket and protest as well."

Good luck with that. I'm sure the guy who's been out in front of The Sun for years, ranting about some Post Office scandal we're supposedly covering up, would love some company.

Bono's next, if Oprah doesn't win

Rocky Twyman, founder of the Oprah Winfrey for Nobel Peace Prize Fan Club, was all set to go to Oslo this week to push his cause when an illness in the family forced him to stay closer to home.

But the Rockville PR consultant, who claims a passing (if plumper) resemblance to Stedman Graham, isn't giving up. He and like-minded Oprah fans - 60,000 of them signed Twyman's petition to the Nobel committee - plan to gather at the United Nations tomorrow to pray for peace and Oprah's victory.

If the former WJZ newswoman doesn't win, Twyman says he'll "start an all-out push to secure the award for Bono and Winfrey in 2007."

Sweet firsts for Baltimore

2b revealed to the world the other day that the purported inventor of tiramisu, Carminantonio Iannaccone, is living in exile right here in Baltimore. That brought to mind several other confectionery firsts in a city best known for its top-heavy Berger cookie.

According to "The City of Firsts" page on Baltimore's municipal Web site, Charm City can claim: the first sugar refinery in the country (1796); the first ice cream freezer (1848); the first candy factory to produce licorice (1869); and the first synthetic sweetening agent, saccharine (developed at Hopkins, in 1879).

Connect the dots ...

How do you get the news media to cover the ribbon-cutting ceremony at your newly enlarged factory? Send out a news release describing your expanded capacity. (Fifty-eight million gallons a year!) Make note of all the new jobs created. (Seven hundred!) And put a cherry on top, like they did at Dreyer's, which celebrates in Laurel next week: "Media are invited to stay for ice cream following the ceremony." ... The Rev. Tyrone P. Jones IV, in last week's Bridgeport (Conn.) News: "When I came here four years ago and saw all the abandoned buildings, I asked God, 'Why did you send me here?' But now I see change. Bridgeport is undiscovered country. Baltimore was once the syphilis capitol of the world. Now it is a world-class city. It can happen here." ... A non-BELIEVEr, meanwhile, created this bumper sticker to mock the mayor with the 48-hour pothole guarantee: "O'Malley can't even fix the potholes." ... Pat McDonough doesn't mince words on his campaign sign: "Pat McDonough. Delegate. Speak English!" ... Don King confirms it. He told The Sun's Sumathi Reddy last week that he'll campaign for Michael Steele sometime this month. ... City Paper reporter Van Smith took issue with my description of an article in that paper as "Earth Liberation Front-y." And he has a point. The story, by freelancer Lacey Phillabaum, was about an environmental issue, industrial pollution in Canton. But it didn't actually advocate blowing up buildings in the name of saving Mother Earth, as Phillabaum just pleaded guilty to doing at the University of Washington in 2001. ... Phillabaum's only other City Paper piece didn't advocate breaking any rules either, except the one about stating the obvious in newspaper ledes. It began: "As sport bikes proliferate, so does motorcycle stunt riding."

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