She dances, but don't make her sing

The Baltimore Sun

Sometimes a stuffy proclamation isn't enough. If you're the sunshine of the mayor's life, she'll get up and dance.

Sheila Dixon declared Sunday "Stevie Wonder Day," gave him a hug -- and then really paid tribute to the Motown great by getting on her feet while he played at the Pier Six Pavilion.

That's the biggest display of mayoral affection since Martin O'Malley allegedly played air guitar at the February 2006 Rolling Stones concert. Bigger, really, since O'Malley later denied playing air guitar. (He was just using his BlackBerry, honest.)

Dixon, however, stood by her musician.

"She was pleasantly surprised to be called up on stage with Stevie, and she said he was very enthusiastic with his hugging -- but she didn't mind," said spokesman Anthony McCarthy, who described the mayor as "a longtime fan."

Wonder also invited Dixon to join him for a song, McCarthy said."He asked her to sing, and she thought better of it," he said.

Does Dixon sing?

"Only in church."

If he could fix Iraq, can he fix B'more?

The guy who'd like to take the reins of Baltimore's Police Department was on Meet the Press recently, talking about "disbanding" a well-trained but widely distrusted force, "and then reorganizing with a totally different mission."

Anyone looking for radical change in Charm City policing will be disappointed. Charles Ramsey was talking Iraq, not Baltimore.

The former D.C. police chief was on a commission that studied the Iraqi army and national police. That wasn't Ramsey's only foreign police-consulting adventure.

"In April, I was over in the Czech Republic and Poland, looking at their police departments with the Police Executive Research Forum," he told me in a telephone interview this week. He also said he's done consulting for Israel.

Iraq and those other spots aren't exactly gay Paree, but would Ramsey really want to stay down on the farm after he's seen all that?

"Exposure to other parts of the world certainly broadens your perspective, but it doesn't change what, in your heart, you want to do, which is local policing," he said.

So what's the latest on Ramsey's quest to become Baltimore police commissioner? The Sun reported last month that he was a finalist, along with acting Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld.

Said Ramsey: "I'm still in the running as far as I know."

Those nice Irish lads who worked for Cole

William Cole had four lawyers working for him during last week's Democratic primary, when he won his party's nomination for the District 11 City Council seat. Pretty powerful team, especially given the lawyers' last name: O'Malley.

Governor O'Malley and all three of his brothers worked for the former state delegate. They were returning a favor to Cole, a University of Baltimore administrator who had worked on O'Malley's campaigns for mayor and governor. Cole was chairman of the O'Malley-Brown slate committee.

Paul O'Malley, who was Cole's legislative aide for one session in Annapolis, was his campaign chairman.

His twin, Peter O'Malley, who is Baltimore County Exec Jim Smith's chief of staff, worked a poll in Bolton Hill. So did the governor himself for about an hour, outfitted in a Cole T-shirt.

Patrick O'Malley, a lawyer with the Transportation Security Administration, was an Election Day coordinator, whose duties included delivering food to workers. Probably knows what the O'Malley boys like to eat.

Connect the dots

At the first City Council luncheon since the primary, Keiffer Mitchell showed up with a peace offering for the rival he dissed as "interim mayor" during the campaign: a big pot of red chrysanthemums. "Here are some mums to put the mum on 'interim mayor,'" Mitchell said, The Sun's John Fritze reports. Dixon spokesman McCarthy said she was pleased with the gift. "She's going to plant them in her yard at home." ... WCBM-AM has found a new place to promote Rush Limbaugh, on a billboard by the Jones Falls Expressway. It replaces one farther south -- and lower to the ground -- that made national news in May after it got a colorful graffiti job. "We made sure they put it up high," said station general manager Robert Pettit. The new spot is near Television Hill, home to the station that used to carry Limbaugh. "We wanted to be near WBAL, just to remind them." ... Comptroller Peter Franchot showed up at Del. Liz Bobo's campaign picnic in Columbia the other day, The Sun's Larry Carson reports. Franchot told the crowd he was struck by a bumper sticker he spotted on the way: "I never thought I'd miss Richard Nixon."

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