Between The Lines


February 14, 2005

Sure wasn't Christmas

News that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. had fired an aide for spreading rumors about Mayor Martin O'Malley's marriage broke the same day that the mayor was making national headlines for other reasons.

In a speech in Washington on Tuesday, O'Malley compared President Bush's proposed budget to the Sept. 11 attacks, saying both hurt American cities. On Wednesday, when those controversial remarks showed up in The Washington Post, The New York Times ran a front-page story about Baltimore's high homicide rate.

CNN lumped all three stories together under the banner, "The Mayor's Mess."

"We got you on the right day," Air America Radio host Al Franken told O'Malley, who made a previously scheduled appearance on The Al Franken Show.

"Oh, yes," O'Malley replied. "Ash Wednesday."

- Laura Vozzella

Sharing the wealth

Campaign for Maryland, a political action committee with ties to Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, spent $1,180 to cater a reception for Gilchrest's boss on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Gilchrest represents Maryland's 1st District. The reception was held for Don Young, the Alaska Republican who chairs the committee.

Campaign for Maryland's treasurer, Lynn Caligiuri, is the wife of Gilchrest's chief of staff, Tony Caligiuri. Records show that Campaign for Maryland paid Lynn Caligiuri thousands of dollars in consulting fees.

Campaign for Maryland raised $82,496 in 2003-2004 and disbursed $65,364, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, an online service that tracks political contributions. Midnight Sun Political Action Committee, a group with ties to Young, raised more than $400,000 and disbursed $226,250 in hard money contributions including $2,000 to Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a Republican who represents Maryland's 6th District.

- Mike Adams

It was those elves

Talk about your post-holiday blues.

"Merrychristmas" showed up on the docket in U.S. District Court in Baltimore this month. It turned out to be MaryChristmas (the docket had a typo) Joy Henderson, 21, of Washington, charged with smuggling cocaine stuffed inside her sandals through Baltimore-Washington International Airport after a trip to Jamaica in April.

But there was a little mercy doled out for a woman named after the holiday (yes, she was born Dec. 25). She could have received 40 years behind bars on the original charges. She pleaded guilty to one count of drug conspiracy, and a judge sentenced her to six months in prison.

- Matthew Dolan

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