Frank Kratovil isn't even in office yet, but state Sen. Andy Harris is already trying to throw the bum out. Only a month after his loss to Kratovil, Harris has sent out a fundraising letter saying he might try again for Congress in the 1st District.
"We're going to keep all our options open for 2010," Harris told me.
And he really means all options, because at the same time, Harris is raising money for his re-election to the state Senate in 2010. He has a $100-a-ticket fundraiser for his state campaign fund planned for Jan. 8 at Columbus Gardens.
Eventually, Harris will have to decide which office he really wants. He can't be on the ballot for both at once. Delaware might let Joe Biden get away with stuff like that, but "Maryland is not one of those states," Harris said.
How about filing a bill to change that law?
"Someone else would have to do that," Harris said.
After such a hard-fought and squeaker of a campaign, it's no surprise that Harris might seek a rematch. But so soon? Shouldn't he actually wait for Kratovil to cast his first lousy vote before announcing plans to oust him?
"We know his first vote is going to be for Nancy Pelosi as speaker," Harris said.
Hey, Pelosi's a hometown girl. "I thought she represented San Francisco," he said with a laugh.
And Harris isn't burned out? That campaign was pretty nasty.
"We're looking at it as about half the campaign being over. We're 18 months into it and 22 months left."
How's the Kratovil camp taking this?
"Certainly there will come a time to worry about the next campaign cycle," said the future congressman's future chief of staff, Tim McCann. "The best thing he can do for 2010 is to be the most effective advocate for his district for the next two years."
Another GOP hopeful in Arbutus
Even before Bob Ehrlich tells us if he's in or out, some Republican named Mike Pappas announces that he's thinking about running for Maryland governor, creates a Facebook page - so we know he's serious - and sets up an exploratory committee in Arbutus, of all places.
Pappas, a 38-year-old construction lawyer, former paramedic, father of 2-year-old twin girls and state GOP parliamentarian, lives in Perry Hall. What's with the committee HQ in Ehrlich country?
"I had asked a few of my advisers to find us a location, and Mr. Murphy" - Don Murphy, the former delegate, long-suffering McCainiac and member of the legendary lunchtime gabfest known as the Arbutus Roundtable - "was able to secure that location for us," Pappas said.
The location is in the law offices of Salvatore "Mannie" Anello, another Roundtabler.
As if a potential primary challenge wouldn't sufficiently insult the ex-gov! But Pappas, whose candidacy was first reported by www.politickermd.com, said he didn't mean it that way.
"There's no symbolism in that location," Pappas said. "It may be symbolic for others, but there was no reason why I was looking for a location in Arbutus."
Put your shirts back on
You know it's a tough economy when even sex won't sell.
"Scores goes bust!" the New York Daily News reported the other day. Subhead: "Famed flesh den can't jiggle out of financial hard times."
The paper, quoting Scores lawyer George Weinbaum and co-owner Elliot Osher, reported that the strip club chain will close by year's end.
Scores has an outpost in Baltimore, conveniently located by the state prison complex, a Catholic soup kitchen and, for that matter, The Baltimore Sun. The place bragged about stocking $700 bottles of Cristal when it opened in March 2006. Is it last call there?
Clothes are still dropping and corks still popping, said Scores' Baltimore manager, who goes by Elvis but eventually told me his name is Mike Christian.
"They're just moving some stuff around in New York," he said.
Weinbaum told me: "The only thing I could confirm right now is New York is closing. Whether Baltimore maintains the name will be decided at a later date."
Brian Shulman, owner of Baltimore's Scores, did not return a message seeking comment. But in an interview with The Sun's Lynn Anderson when the club opened, he spoke to Scores' time-tested business model.
"It's a proven commodity - naked women."
Connect the dots
Baltimore County Councilman Vincent Gardina asked to speak at a council meeting last week, but Chairman Kevin Kamenetz made him wait. When Kamenetz finally gave him the floor, he did so a mite patronizingly, The Baltimore Sun's Nick Madigan reports. "Mr. Gardina," Kamenetz asked the math teacher, "how was school today?" Gardina's reply: "The kids were wonderful. They remind me so much of the council members." Without missing a beat, Kamenetz shot back: "You mean bright and inquisitive?" ... Baltimore County Exec Jim Smith made a rare appearance before the council at the same meeting. As he began to speak, Kamenetz, a lawyer who'd appeared before Smith when the exec was a judge, interrupted. "I've been waiting 20 years to do this to you!" Kamenetz cried, banging his gavel. "You're out of order!" Kamenetz added later: "I was at the head of the table, and he was behind the wrath of the gavel, and I loved every minute of it. I was just sorry I wasn't able to wear my black robe." ... The New York Post had a story the other day about "designer drugs" - an alleged coke ring operated by two Fashion Institute of Technology students. The suspects are Mickenzie Dippenworth, 21, of Bel Air, and Christine Scafa, 22, of Princeton Junction, N.J., the paper reports. They seemed to take their arrests in stride, giggling as photographers snapped their pictures at the police station. "We're not Plaxico Burress!" Scafa called to them. Dippenworth added: "Well, I'm a Plaxico Burress fan."