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Get out! Low-profile celebrity's a big tipper laura.vozzella@baltsun.com

The Baltimore Sun

The man who on TV gave us the re-gifter, double-dipper, anti-dentite, low-talker and bad breaker-upper proves to be something else entirely in real life: a great tipper.

Jerry Seinfeld left a $40 tip on a $40 lunch tab at Regi's in Federal Hill on Saturday.

So says Jessica Pickard, happy recipient of said gratuity.

The tab-doubling tip was the only thing that made Seinfeld, in town for an appearance at the Meyerhoff that night, stand out. No funny banter with the server. No witty repartee with the two guys seated with him. No riffs on their wings and wraps.

Wearing a baseball cap and hiding behind a newspaper, Seinfeld seemed determined to blend in, Pickard said. "He didn't really want to be seen," she said.

Seinfeld was also spotted at Arundel Mills mall Saturday. Clearly, there's no shopping in New York.

Maybe hock the threads to pay bills

Legal defense fund?

Sheila Dixon should just have a yard sale.

The full-length mink and Persian jacket could pay for quite a few billable hours. (Unless they've been pawned already, perhaps explaining why prosecutors couldn't find them.)

And let's not forget all the stuff she bagged on that two-day Chicago shopping spree with Ron Lipscomb: The $570 Jimmy Choo sandals, $600 in Coach accessories, $4,410 in Giorgio Armani attire and $2,273 in clothes and accessories at St. John Boutique.

Maybe what got the mayor in trouble can also get her out of it.

Just six months to St. Patrick's

Just as the subject of Bob Ehrlich's gubernatorial golf comes up again, Government House's current occupant goes public with his own hobby.

Yes, the band is back.

Purportedly mothballed O'Malley's March plays not once but twice in the next four days. That comes on top of Martin O'Malley's DNC jam session with Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.

"The tour started in Denver," said O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese.

Seemed like O'Malley was going to have to put down the guitar when he picked up the reins of government. There were working families to help, or tax. Thornton plans to fully fund, or not. Electric rates to slash, or not.

The band played last September's Baltimore City Irish Festival, but it has kept a relatively low profile since O'Malley took office. There was a CD in the works, he told Irish America magazine in July 2007, but the title suggested the group was in the closet, if not quite defunct: "Banished to the Basement."

Yet Friday night, the Celtic rock ensemble plays at the city Irish Festival at Canton Waterfront Park. On Sunday afternoon, it's a "Halfway to St. Patrick's Day Celebration" at Bourbon Street Live (what used to be known as Hammerjacks), near City Hall.

Halfway to St. Patrick's Day? What's that all about?

"As Governor," O'Malley writes on the band Web site, "I am unable to raise funds during the Legislative Session, which includes the month of March."

The halfway event is a $50-a-head fundraiser for O'Malley. So he's focused on politics after all.

'Maryland' is my Maryland

Lobbyist and former Del. Don Murphy scored quite the GOP convention souvenir: the triangular post identifying the Maryland delegation on the convention floor, signed by members of the delegation.

The thing is 10 inches on each side and 31/2 feet high. How'd Murphy, chairman of the Maryland delegation, get it home to Catonsville?

"The overhead compartment," he said matter-of-factly, as if the friendly skies have a surplus of bin space.

Stowing it was no problem from Minneapolis to Atlanta; flight attendants even asked to have their pictures taken with it. Atlanta to Baltimore was a different story.

"One flight attendant with obvious liberal tendencies said, 'That's going to have to go underneath,'" Murphy recalled. "I said, 'It's staying with me.'"

Connect the dots

In other late-leaking GOP convention news: Michael "Drill, Baby , Drill" Steele was the guest of honor at a state delegation breakfast. The state wasn't Maryland. It was Iowa. Is Steele thinking really big? "Obviously, when people come through the Iowa delegation, there's always speculation about whether this person is going to be running for president," said Dave Roederer, chairman of McCain's Iowa campaign. He said Steele - "a very, very impressive speaker" - was one of several McCain surrogates to address the breakfasters. Others were John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., and Roberta McCain, the candidate's mom. ... That Abe Lincoln impersonator TV cameras kept showing in the convention crowd during Sarah Palin's speech? NOT John Leopold, the Anne Arundel County exec's spokesman assured me. He left his costume at home. ... Leopold recalls that as a state lawmaker in Hawaii in the 1970s, his district included the apartment where Barack Obama and his mother lived. "He thinks it's pretty likely that he knocked on her door," spokesman David Abrams said. ... In other Leopoldlian news: He bumped into country singer Trace Adkins at the convention, not to mention two members of the Eastern Media Elite: Tom Brokaw and Andrea Mitchell. Leopold said Brokaw and Mitchell remembered him from the 1980 convention in Detroit. All these years later? How come? Again, the Lincoln outfit was not a factor. "I wanted to have the platform debated on the convention floor, something that hadn't happened in decades," Leopold told The Baltimore Sun's Nicole Fuller. "I had a number of planks in that platform about environmental protection and the Equal Rights Amendment."

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