A kinder, gentler Jack Cade, the Republican senator from Anne Arundel, addressed R. Robert Linowes a day before the General Assembly convened last week. No fan of taxes, Mr. Cade suggested nonetheless that recommendations made by Mr. Linowes and his commission on taxes deserved a fair hearing.
Appearing before Assembly Republicans, Mr. Linowes offered a quick review of the proposals, which include restructuring designed to bring balance and fairness to the state's tax system.
Mr. Cade, famous for an uncompromising interrogation of witnesses before the Senate Committee on Budget and Taxation, was struck by the commission's careful treatment of lawyers.
Mr. Linowes said lawyers were excluded from a proposed tax on services because they could easily move their practices to adjacent states or the District of Columbia where the tax did not exist.
"You mean," said Mr. Cade, "if we tax all the lawyers, you could get 'em all to move out of the state?
"I think it's worth a try, myself," he added later.
Hard times seemed to bring some scorn in the state capital to the old notion that if you've got it, flaunt it.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Prince George's, noted that given the state of the economy, folks ought to be toning down their wardrobes. In other words, leave the %o double-breasted suits and the cuff links at home.
Some just couldn't resist, though. Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg remarked that when he started in politics way back when, he wore a Timex watch. Now, he said, he wears a Rolex. Neither could Delegate Curt Anderson, D-Baltimore, keep himself completely under wraps. In the midst of an Opening Day conversation, he mischievously lifted his coat sleeve and flashed the monogrammed cuff of his shirt, clasped by a cuff link. Then the adornments were gone, hidden beneath his coat.
RYAN'S RULES OF ORDER
Like a school marm talking to students on the first day of classes, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Charles J. Ryan Jr., D-Prince George's, had a series of instructions for his newly appointed committee this past week.
No eating at desks.
No smoking in the committee room.
No berating witnesses; try to display a "modicum of politeness."
No absences: Attendance will be taken at the beginning, the middle and the end of each committee hearing.
"During the last election cycle, a lot of your opponents called in to request your attendance records," he reminded them. "Someone out there is watching you."
AIR OF NEWT
Republicans arrived in Annapolis last week flexing the muscle born of electoral advances last November. They pressed for various rules changes. They complained about committee assignments. They seemed poised on the brink of becoming a genuine opposition party, discarding whatever remained of their old go-along, too-small-to-matter approach.
They were getting the attention of their opponents.
"Newt Gingrich goes to Annapolis," scoffed Delegate Samuel I. Sandy Rosenberg, of Baltimore's all-Democrat delegation, referring to the nettlesome GOP congressman from Georgia.
On opening day, Sen. Howard A. Denis, R-Montgomery, ran into his one-time colleague, Harry J. McGuirk, the longtime Baltimore political force, now an aide to Gov. William Donald Schaefer.
"You know, Harry," Mr. Denis said, "after all these years, I still feel like a freshman on opening day."
To which Mr. McGuirk, a Democrat, replied: "And we'll always treat you like one."