Reporter's hat in the ring? Film at 11

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November 02, 2005|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Andy Barth, the veteran WMAR-TV reporter, has the inside scoop on a potential candidate in Maryland's 3rd Congressional District race.That's because the person thinking about joining the already crowded field is none other than Barth.

"I'm thinking hard about it and talking to people, and we'll have more to say later," Barth, 59, told me yesterday.

A registered Democrat, Barth lives in Columbia. Five years ago, he unsuccessfully sought the job of Columbia Association president.

Barth said he hadn't told his bosses at Channel 2 on about his political aspirations, at least as of yesterday morning, when we spoke.

WMAR officials didn't return a phone call yesterday.

Nice little place you got there

Another 3rd District hopeful, Peter Beilenson, had a fundraiser the other night at the home of Marla and David Oros. Beilenson, who has taken the early fund-raising lead in the race, said the event yielded "a sizable amount." He wasn't specific because all the checks hadn't come in yet.

"It was very nice," he said. "We had about 100 people in a lovely setting."

"Lovely setting." That's what's known as understatment.

The Oroses' Roland Park mansion took four years to build and includes a billiard room, home theater and wine cellar. Quite a swanky setting for a guy who, as city health commissioner, went undercover to see how his drug centers treated patients - and had no trouble passing for a homeless addict.

Guess he cleans up good.

Think big, but maybe not think tall

Back in 2000 when Bill Bradley was running for president, he sometimes urged voters to "think big."

Today as Doug Duncan runs for governor, the Montgomery County executive asks voters to "Think Bigger."

Bradley and Duncan are both very tall. And they've got something else in common: Anita Dunn.

The high-powered Washington ad-maker worked for Bradley when he ran for the White House. Dunn, who grew up in Bethesda and still lives in Montgomery County, has worked for Duncan since 1997.

Dunn says that "think big" was never Bradley's slogan, just a phrase sprinkled in a couple of speeches as he pushed for some sweeping new programs - health insurance for all children, for example.

"You know the old joke is, the tallest candidate wins," she said. "Unfortunately, the Bradley campaign proves it wasn't true."

Dunn also does work for Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, who is not very tall.

For Smith, she joked, she'll have to retool: "Think small."

Arbutus all abuzz

Gossip around the Arbutus Roundtable this week included speculation about who might run at lieutenant governor with Doug Duncan.

Members hear it could be Kurt Schmoke, the former Baltimore mayor who squired Duncan around town last weekend.

("There's no short list or long list quite yet," says Duncan campaign spokeswoman Jody Couser.)

Roundtablers also think Attorney General Joe Curran won't run for re-election, so as to avoid conflict-of-interest complaints related to his son-in-law, Martin O'Malley, who is running governor.

("AG Curran loves his job, and at this time he's running," says spokesman Kevin Enright. "If that changes, the Arbutus Roundtable will be the first to know - maybe second.")

And the Roundtable was abuzz about Joe Steffen, the ex-Bob Ehrlich aide known as the "Prince of Darkness," who says he might run for governor as a Libertarian.

Don Murphy, a former Baltimore County delegate and current Roundtable member, wondered about the possible prince-to-governor career trajectory:

"Is that," Murphy asked, "a lateral move?"

Excused with the thanks of the court

Baltimore Circuit Court Juror No. 866 went to lunch with Juror No. 649 Monday, and they didn't even have to spend their 15 jury-duty bucks to do it.

They ate for free at City Hall with the rest of the Baltimore City Council, which was having its meeting-day lunch.

Councilmen Ken Harris and Keiffer Mitchell were part of the same jury pool at the courthouse, which was named, incidentally, for Mitchell's grandfather.

Neither one was picked for a jury, and they were excused in time to attend that night's council meeting.

Another politician whose jury number was just up: Janet Owens.

The Anne Arundel County Executive reported for duty Thursday at county Circuit Court. She wasn't picked either.

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